Best Single Malt By Region

The colors and flavors of single malt vary among several distinct whisky regions in Scotland. At the moment, we prefer single malts from the Lowlands and the Central Highlands. As we have become more experienced, our tastes have changed too. The more complex scotches please our palettes but the heavy peat of the Island malts is still a bit too strong. We list our favorite malts by region for your examination. Those appearing here have received five star ratings from both Steve and Don. You may view our tasting notes by clicking on the individual applelation of interest.


This is the region of Scotland south of an imaginary line drawn from Greenock on the west coast to Dundee in the east. The whiskies produced here are regarded as lighter in body and colour and less assertive than their highland neighbors. Lowland whiskies emphasize the malt more than peat, as in the highlands or brine, as in the islands.

Best in Lowlands
Auchentoshan 21 year old Glenkinchie 1991 14 year old
Bladnoch 11 year old Glenkinchie 27 year old
Glenkinchie 10 year old  


By far the biggest region is the Highlands. Bigger, brawnier, and generally more rounded than Lowland malts, the whiskies from the Highlands carry a wide range of flavors and styles. They cover a wide area, and malts from this region range from the relatively light-weight Glenmorangie to the powerfully aromatic Dalmore to the almost minty Inchmurrin, with many many variations in between.

Best in Highlands
Balvenie 10 year old Glen Keith 1983
Balvenie 12 year old, Double Wood Glenlivet 21 year
Balvenie 15 year old – cask strength Glenmorangie 10 year old
Balvenie 21 year old Glenmorangie 12 year old – Maderia
Benriach 10 year old Glenmorangie 12 year old – Port
Bora 27 year old Glenmorangie 12 year old – Sherry
Clynelish 14 year old Highland Park 14 year old
Cragganmore 12 year old Linkwood 11 year old
Dallas Dhu 1980 Linkwood 15 year old
Dallas Dhu 19 year old Longmorn 15 year old
Glendronach 15 year old Longmorn-Glenlivet 23 year old
Glendullan 16 year old Macallan 10 year old
Glenfarclas 15 year old Macallan 12 year old
Glenfarclas 21 year old Macallan 15 year old
Glenfarclas 105 Mortlach 16 year old
Glengoyne 10 year old Talisker 18 year old
Glen Grant 21 year old Tomintoul 27 year old


Once this town on the tip of the Mull of Kintyre had over thirty distilleries. Now there are only two distilleries in Campbeltown: Springbank and Glen Scotia. This, the smallest region, is known for a salty sweetness in its whisky. The whisky is half way between the Highlands and Islay.

Best in Campbeltown
Glen Scotia 14 year old  


From the island of Islay come rich, iodine-flavored, very smoky, very peaty whiskies. Two examples are Laphroaig and Lagavulin. The six distilleries currently in operation on this beautiful island of Islay produce some of the most aromatic of whiskies.

Best in Islay
Bunnahabhain 12 year old Bruichladdich 30 year old
Bruichladdich 14 year old – The Augusta Lochindaal 10 year old
Bruichladdich 15 year old Port Ellen 23 year old

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