If you are looking for one of the best liquors in the world, whisky, especially whisky made in Scotland, is where your search will end. Scotch whisky is considered one of the most premium drinks in the world. Considered a drink of the gentlemen, Scotch whisky has now taken the world by storm and is enjoyed with equal relish by man and woman alike. It is indeed an aristocratic drink, one which must be savored and relished in order to enjoy the whole bouquet of flavors that are revealed in each sip.
Scotch whisky is a type of whisky that is produced, distilled and matured in Scotland. The producers of Scotch whisky have to follow stringent rules as laid down by the Scotch Whisky Regulations in order to call their finished product a Scotch. For a whisky to be called a Scotch it has to be aged for a minimum time of three years and has to be matured in casks made of oak. The alcoholic strength of a Scotch has to be less than 94.8% according to volume.
There are many whisky producing regions in Scotland. The Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Islay and Island regions are the main whisky producing regions. Each of these regions is marked by its individual characteristics which is reflected in the whiskies produced here. The soil, water and general climactic character of the region determines the flavor of the whiskies produced in these regions.
The Scotch whiskies that are from the Highland region are known for their fine balance and taste. The whiskies from this region have a peaty and smoky character but this character is not overpowering. This smokiness is carefully balanced with a slightly sweet yet at the same time a slightly dry taste which is long and lingering.
The Speyside region is very similar to the Highland region in its geographical characteristics. In fact this region has the highest number of distilleries in Scotland and produced some of the finest single malt Scotch whiskies. The whiskies from this region are lighter and very balanced and are quite sweet on the palate. The Lowland region produces whiskies that are light, floral, fruity and a little grassy to taste.
The stronger whiskies from Scotland come from the Islay region. This region uses a lot of peat to dry the malted barley lending a smoky and peaty flavor to the malts produced here. The water used in whisky production also flows over peat which gives an additional peatiness to the whiskies made here. Since this area is coastal the saltiness from the air merges with the whiskies giving them a salty flavor. Whiskies from the Island region are generally mild in taste but instead of being sweet, is salty giving these malts a very coastal feel.
If you are looking at some of the most expensive whiskies in the world, whisky from the Highland and Speyside region is where your search will end. The Macallan 1926 whisky which is produced in the Speyside region sold for USD$54000. This bottle was sold at an auction held at Christies in 2007 in New York. The Dalmore 62 vintage was one of the twelve bottles produced in 1943 from four single malts and sold for a whopping USD$ 58,000.