Whisky and whiskey is currently being produced in 23 countries worldwide and drunk in over 200 countries worldwide
Whisky and whiskey are now produced all over the world. Each country and each distillery has its own unique style and character. From light and fresh to bold and smoky - there is a style to suit everyone. Knowing a little about the history, location and distilling techniques of a distillery can make the drinking experience more enjoyable and make selecting and buying a whisky a less daunting experience. For those of you in love with the 'water of life' it is a great place to start planning your next holiday.
Scotland - the home of malt
The historical origins of whisky can be much argued about, but the true spiritual home of the much loved spirit cannot. Scotland is the leading world producer of malt whisky with over 80 distilleries currently in operation. In addition to this, there are around 25 further distilleries that have been mothballed, decommissioned, closed or demolished within the last 30 years. Stocks from these closed distilleries are dwindling as the years pass, but if you add their whisky to the millions of litres produced in Scotland every year then you end up with a lot of whisky! The country is split in to six whisky producing regions - Speyside, Highlands, Lowlands, Campbeltown, the islands and Islay. Each region has its own general style, although there are exceptions in all cases. Speyside is the one of the smaller regions in geographical terms but has the highest concentration of operating distilleries, with just over 30. In contrast, Campbeltown only has two remaining distilleries. The majority of the islands only have one distillery on them with the major exception being Islay, which has eight distilleries. Many distilleries still use traditional techniques that have been in use for over two centuries. in scotland, whisky is more than just a drink or an industry. It is a national icon and forms part of the history and fabric of this proud nation.
All around the world - differences to be embraced
There are currently over 20 other countries producing whisky around the globe apart from scotland. Demand for whisky is growing throughout the world and this has resulted in distilleries popping up in some surprising places. The second largest producer, behind Scotland, is America and the third largest is Japan. Ireland is the other traditional powerhouse in the whisky world and comes in fourth place. These four countries are where the majority of the world's whisky is made but other places are joining the party. Whisky is currently being distilled in a number of countries around Europe, India, Canada, Australia and various others. Most producers are small and experimental, using new techniques of production and maturation, leading traditionalists to question 'is this really whisky?'. Whisky is technically anything distilled from malted barley or grain and matured for a minimum of three years, so you can decide for yourself. Be prepared for new flavour sensations and experiences.