The Highland region is the largest, and one of the oldest, whisky regions and these days also incorporates the Islands (though some dispute this as an independent region). As it is the largest region, it is almost impossible for the whisky industry to arrive at a general character trait.
If one was to try though, a Highland Single Malt's character is defined by tradition and history as being heavier, richer and more obviously flavoured due to their stills being smaller than other regions. This was due to the lack of access to barley meaning not as much spirit could be produced so there was little need, nor practicality, for large stills.
Instead, the region has broadly been split into north, east, south and west. The distilleries in the north have a tendency to create full, rich and cereal sweet whiskies, while the whisky of the south has a more light, drier and fruitier scent; the east produces full, dry and very fruity single malts as opposed to the western distilleries which dominate a more peaty character. Given these intra-region differences 'A Highland Single Malt' could mean a variety of different things.
One of the Single Casks we have released, called A Walk In The Orchard, is from the Macduff Distillery on the Moray Firth in the east of the Highlands. It is known for its malty and nutty-spicy notes as well as the fruity and light traits that come with its location. This 15 year old specifically has sweet orchard fruit tones, herbal notes, and a dry, gingery finish.
"The freeing nature that comes with escaping to an orchard really exposed itself in this dram; it provides some release from the harsh and ragged Highlands while a gingery tether ties it to the landscape."
Our Brand Manager Kirsty Mackinnon