Many countries produce whisky, but Scotch can only be made in Scotland and by definition must be distilled and matured – in Scotland – for a minimum of 3 years. Scotch Whisky has been made for more than 500 years and uses just a few natural raw materials – water, cereals, and yeast.

Scotland is home to over 100 malt and grain distilleries, making it the greatest concentration in the world. Many of the Scotch Whisky distilleries bottle some of their production for sale as Single Malt (ie, the product of one distillery) or Single Grain Whisky.

However, the majority of all Scotch Whisky is consumed as Blended Scotch Whisky. This means as many as 50 of the different Single Malt and Single Grain Whiskies are blended together, ensuring that the individual Scotch Whiskies harmonise with one another and the quality and flavour of each individual blend remains consistent down the years.

Malt whisky is usually classified in one of five main categories – Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Islay, and Campbeltown – according to the geographical location of the distillery in which it is made. In many ways, the geography and climate of each region influences the character of the whisky produced there.

Aberdeenshire is home to some of the worlds most famous whisky producers. Take a tour at more than 14 distilleries .

Many of these traditionally Scottish distilleries will let you pay an informal visit; some may ask you to make an appointment. Others offer regular guided tour led by experienced distillers. Tours range from basic to detailed – suitable for any enthusiast. Best of all, some distilleries offer tutored tastings.

For more information visit http://maltwhiskytrail.com/