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Issue 61 - Inverness and beyond

Whisky Magazine Issue 61
January 2007


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Inverness and beyond

We look at the region of Speyside round about Inverness

Every whisky enthusiast knows the importance of the Speyside region to the production of Scotch single malt whisky. And even quite casual whisky drinkers know of the iconic distilleries at The Glenlivet, Glenfiddich and The Macallan.

But Speyside can be a funny place. It's served by different airports at each end, and the terrain and geography plus a degree of local rivalry mean that it splits in to two halves.

Could you name the whisky capital of Speyside? Well don't worry because the locals have a problem too, and the answer depends on who you ask and where you ask them. The region even has two competing whisky festivals.

There are other peculiarities too. Only a handful of the region's distilleries welcome guests. Many of them only produce single malt whisky for bottling. And there are oddball distilleries littered around the region, too. Glen Garioch, for instance, a sister distillery to Bowmore on Islay and to Auchentoshan in Glasgow, is the closest distillery to Aberdeen and has a dinky and pleasant visitor centre at Meldrum. But it doesn't feel like it's in Speyside.

And the Speyside Distillery – you'd think the name was a clue wouldn't you? – is not on the Spey but out on a limb on a tributary and a considerable drive from Speyside's heart.

More than that, fly in to Inverness rather than Aberdeen and you're in a more rugged and Highland terrain altogether, and if you're visiting with family this is where you want to be. There are great walking and hiking oppo...

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