Traditionally, the Lowlands were a hot bed of whisky production, creating a significant amount of grain whisky for use in blended whisky in addition to single malts. Fast forward a couple of hundred years and there are unfortunately only 5 operational distilleries left in the Lowlands; Auchentoshan, Glenkinchie, Bladnoch and the little known Aisla Bay and Daftmill. Auchentoshan is easily the most famous of these remaining distilleries, although a few of the Lost Distilleries still have stock available to buy despite its increasing rarity. These include whisky from Rosebank, Little Mill, St. Magdalene and Ladyburn. Incidentally, the virtually unheard of Aisla Bay sits on the same site that Ladyburn used to occupy. This is despite the fact that they only produce grain whisky exclusively for blends as opposed to the single malt Ladyburn is famous for.
The Lowlands are not a formal region defined by official borders, but are categorised as any area of main land Scotland that is not in the Highlands. That’s not to say that the Lowlands are completely flat and low lying, as some places in the region are of a higher altitude than certain areas of the Highlands! Whisky produced here is very light due to the uncommon practice of triple filtering the spirit and the exclusion of peated barley during distillation. This tradition most likely developed due to the lack of local peat in the area and the difficulty of transporting peat from the Highlands to the inland Lowland distilleries before modern roads and transportation were introduced. The resulting drams are very light but also become very dry shortly after they hit the palate. They are oft referred to as the ‘Lowland Ladies’ due to their feminine nature and make excellent aperitifs.