Almost a half of all Scotlands distilleries can be found in the Scotch Whisky region of Speyside which has the greatest geographical concentration of distilleries anywhere in the world.
So if you are keen on a great Whisky drinking holiday, then this is the place to visit!
The epicentre of the region, and of course the lifeblood for most of the distilleries, is, of course, the River Spey.
Renowned as one of the best salmon rivers, it rises in the high country of Badenoch, south west of the Cairngorms, and flows by Aviemore, Grantown, Craigellachie and Rothes to the sea between Elgin and Buckie.
It is of course the waters from this great river that is the basis for some of the great names in Whisky, and is the reason for it being THE Scotch Whisky regions.
Apart from the summer, the best times to head to this corner of Scotland is in May and October when the countryside colours are just beautiful.
The Glenfiddich distillery is the largest and also the most slickly run in the area.
Having recently spent £1.5m refurbishing the site and sprucing up the bar and visitor centre, it makes for a user-friendly introduction to the whisky world,but it doesn’t have a corporate feel.
This family-owned business is still a romantic operation, with dusty warehouses and shiny copper stills giving the site a quaint, cottage-industry feel. The tour is very hands-on, with the reek of yeast and the clatter of coopers’ hammers to keep novices interested.
The eighth annual Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival - In 2006 it will confirm Speyside's place as THE Scotch Whisky region of Scotland.
Nearly fifty world famous distilleries are located in this area of outstanding natural beauty. More of these distilleries this year will be open to the public, especially for the festival. The festival kicks off with a glamorous and prestigious Gala Dinner and Dancing in the Waterside Bond at Strathisla Distillery.
Attendees to the festival can also take part in the final selection for the Speyside Whisky Awards.
This Scotch Whisky regions offers a huge variety of brands as shown above. Some are big brands and widely available, some are quite rare and only available in Scotland.