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Once densely-populated with whisky distilleries (The Scotch Whisky Industry Record lists 215 known distilleries in the Lowlands in the late 18th century), no-one is quite sure why there was such a drastic decline in numbers. Many point to successive Parliamentary acts that favoured English gin production, curbing the lowland producers’ biggest market – whereas other reasons cited are a preference for the stronger flavours like those of Highland whiskies.
The Lowland region lies south of an invisible border that stretches from Greenock on the west coast to Dundee in the east. There are currently three major distilleries; Auchentoshan, Bladnoch and Glenkinchie.
The region is known for producing a lighter, smoother, non-smokey style of whiskies. Lowland malts are cited as being perfect for pre-dinner drinks. They are also excellent introductory malts and can be appreciated by beginners and experienced whisky drinkers alike – with triple distillation more common in the Lowlands than in any other region.
The main active distilleries in the Lowland region are the aforementioned Auchentoshan, Bladnoch and Glenkinchie. Lost/mothballed distilleries of note include Inverleven, Littlemill, Rosebank and St Magdalene.