Highland Malt varies from soft, light smoky, dry to peaty. Northern highland malts are earthy, flowery, fresh, a ittle be bitter sweet and light salty. All northern highland distilleries (not Glen Ord) lies near the sea along the coast line. There were some old distilleries in Inverness called Ballackarse, Phopochy, Polnach and Torrich. In 1550 the mayor of Inverness appointed official tasters to taste and ensure the quality of the whisky. On the black isle stood the old Ferintosh distillerie, which has been raided in 1689 by the jakobites. Between 1893 and 1926 Ben Wyvis I distillerie in Dingwall was also called Ferintosh.
The central highland reach from Glengoyne at their south end north over Blair Atholl and Edradour up to Dalwhinnie on their north end. These whisky´s has been called formerly Perthshiremalts, they are light bodied, aromatic and light sweet with an often dry finish. All of the total 128 distilleries in the central highlands has been built before 1840, only nine distilleries were founded later. Five of these distilleries (Glenturret, Blair Atholl, Tullibardine, Glengoyne and Edradour) are still existing today. All of them were formerly small farm distilleries.
The eastern highlands surround Forfarshire and Aberdeenshire. The whisky´s are medium bodied to heavy bodied, soft and sweet with a dry finish for the most time. There were 76 distilleries in Forfarshire and between 1825 and 1830 there have been founded 36 distilleries. Today there are all of these distilleries silent or lost, only Old Fettercairn is still in production. In Aberdeenshire there are Royal Lochnagar, Glen Garioch, Ardmore, Glen Dronach and in Aberdeen for itself there were Bon Accord (1855-1910), Strathdee (1821-1938) and Devanha (1820-1915). Banks o Dee has been burnt be smugglers 1825.
In the western highlands there were 28 distilleries, nine of them lied near the Forth Clyde, three in Ardrishaig, three near Tabert and one in Dunoon, Sandbank and Ardincaple. Today there are only Oban and Ben Nevis left, Glenlochy has been transferred in appartements.
The whisky´s of the islands are dry, peaty, iodic, peppery and phenolic. Orkney malts have a hint of heather. The first island distillation was mentioned in statues of Iona in 1609, where the citizens were allowed to distill their own aqua vitae but there was no permisson to import it too. There were only 22 distilleries which had a legal licence in the past. There were two on Bute, one on Arran and Jura, two on Tiree, seven on Skye and nine on Orkney. The problem in island distillation was the expensive import of barley and coal.