As you move south through Scotland, towards the English border where wars have been fought over territory and sovereignty for hundreds of years, you begin to notice some dramatic differences not only in lifestyle, attitude and landscape, but also in the production of scotch whisky. The Lowland region of Scotland is the second most industrious whisky region, due to the enormous number of distilleries which can be found here. In the past, the Lowlands were synonymous with high quality, single malt whiskies, but while a couple of excellent single malt producers still remain in the area, today the majority of whiskies of this region are very different.
The Lowland region is now primarily associated with blended whiskies, and grain whiskies which appeal to a wide international audience. While in the past, the Lowlands were thought of as a poor-quality whisky region, with a negative reputation in the 18th and 19th centuries, today, quality is back up to where it should be thanks to stringent new laws and regulations overseeing the production of the distinctive drinks which are distilled here.
Of the surviving single malt distilleries in the Lowlands, quality is exceptionally high. This is a region with a lot to prove, and it has significant competition with its northern neighbour in the Highlands. As such, Lowland single malt whisky is ferociously traditional, and uses every trick in the book to achieve exceptionally smoothness, typified by grassy, creamy whisky which is packed full of complex flavors of toffee and honeysuckle.