This is the area around the river Spey, between the Grampian Mountains and the Moray Firth, where the vast majority of Single Malt Scotch Whisky is produced. It is an excellent area for making whisky. Cold, pure snow melt water runs off the mountains, the area grows excellent barley and there are only a small number of passes through the mountains, so that Gaugers or Redcoats could be seen coming well in advance. This was important as, before the mid 1820’s, whisky tended to be made in this area in the “traditional manner” that is without duty or tax being paid. In the 1820’s the law changed so it became economical to operate a small Highland distillery legally.
The characteristics of Speyside whisky is also vast. From the light Glenlivet, to the heavy Macallan, to the smoky Benromach.