Scotland is split into 6 whisky producing regions, mostly on geographical bases:
Islay – Islay Distilleries are on the inner hebridean island of Islay, an island with a long history of producing highly acclaimed whisky given the high density of distilleries on the island. These include Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bunnahabhain, Bruichladdich, Caol Ila, Kilchoman, Lagavulin, Laphroaig. Islay whisky is generally heavily peated and smoky. The majority of the barley used is malted in the Port Ellen maltings and dried using peat smoke.
Island – A collection of distilleries that are on islands that are not Islay. Including Arran on Arran, Isle of Jura on Jura, Tobermory on Mull, Talisker on Skye and Highland Park & Scapa on Orkney. Each malt is unique but typically they have a lightly peated character and often a saltiness due to maturation affected by sea air.
Campbeltown – Campbeltown reputedly once rivalled speyside for whisky production. Today however only three working distilleries remain on the Campbeltown peninsula. These are Springbank, Glen Gyle and Glen Scotia. Campbeltown malts typically lie at the taste crossroads between lowland and Islay, being lightly peated and silky smooth.
Speyside – Named for the concentration of Distilleries within the valley of the river Spey, the speyside whisky region north west of Aberdeen is geographically a little more ambiguous than this and is technically a sub-region of the Highland region. Currently this area has the highest density of working distilleries, historically localised here due to the quality of the natural water sources amongst other reasons. Speyside malts tend to be mellow, sweet and fruity. Historically traditional malts from this region also included peated/smoky varieties added to these characters.
Highland – The Highland region is north of an imaginary line between the River Clyde in the west and River Tay in the east estuaries. Similar to the Island whiskies and their distribution from Glengoyne in the Campsie Fells in the south to Old Pulteney in Wick in the north and from Oban in the West to Glen Garioch in the east, these range massively in character.
Lowland – The Lowland region lies to the south of the Clyde-Tay line. Distilleries here include Auchentoshan, Bladnoch, Daftmill and Glenkinchie. Lowland whisky is typically malty, grassy and subtle and delicate in character.
For the poster I have to thank The Scotch Whisky Experience [http://www.scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk/] for having it printed, The beauty of having a future father-in-law in the paper industry means that proofs of items such as this often fall off the back of a printers lorry and into my possession occasionally. This was professionally framed by Hutton Fine Arts in Glasgow [http://www.huttonfineart.co.uk/].