The Main Scotch Whisky Brands by Type and Region


Whisky has been made in Scotland for hundreds of years, so it’s not surprising that there are currently well over 150 Scotch whisky brands – although there are far more if you include past brands and brands that make several types of spirits not just whisky.

With so many Scotch whisky brands it’s useful to categorize the main ones by the type of whisky they make and the region in which they’re made. That’s exactly what I did, and the following is a list of the main Scotch whisky brands by type (single malt, single grain, blended malt, blended grain and blended) and region (Lowland, Highland, Island, Speyside, Campbeltown and Islay).

If you want to learn more about whiskey and be able to try samples before you buy, then consider a subscription to Flaviar. Click on the link here to find out more.

Single Malt Scotch Whisky Brands

The vast majority of Scotch whisky brands are single malt Scotch whisky brands. Single malt Scotches are whiskies made in Scotland, from malted barley only, that come from one distillery.

Because there are so many single malt Scotch whisky brands, they’re categorized by the region in which they’re made. Scotland is divided into six whisky regions for this very purpose:

Lowland

A map showing the Scotch whisky region of Lowland

The whisky region of Lowland starts at the south of Scotland on the border with England and ends further north at approximately Glasgow in the West and Edinburgh in the east.

Lowland whiskies are considered the lightest and most delicate of all single malt Scotches – their whiskies are often tripled distilled which removes the heavier compounds and leaves the final product lighter-bodied. It also helps that they have very little peat. That’s why they’re usually soft, smooth, fruity and sweet.

There are 12 Lowland single malt Scotch whisky brands which are:

  • Ailsa Bay
  • Annandale
  • Auchentoshan
  • Bladnoch
  • Daftmill
  • Glenflagler
  • Glenkinchie
  • Inchmurrin
  • Kinclaith
  • Littlemill
  • Rosebank
  • St Magdalene

Highland

A map showing the Scotch whisky region of Highland

North of the Lowland whisky region is the Highland whisky region. It’s the largest Scotch whisky region covering the entire north of Scotland. It’s known for medium bodied whiskies that are stronger than those from the Lowland whisky region but lighter and more luxurious than those from the Islay whisky region (see later). That’s why they have bold flavors in a much more robust and dry body.

However, since it’s the largest whisky region with its distilleries spread far and wide over different types of natural environments, it does produce a wide variety of whiskies.

There are 33 Highland single malt Scotch whisky brands which are:

  • Aberfeldy
  • AnCnoc
  • Balblair
  • Ben Nevis
  • Clynelish
  • The Dalmore
  • Dalwhinnie
  • Deanston
  • Edradour
  • Fettercairn
  • Glen Albyn
  • Glen Deveron
  • Glen Garioch
  • Glen Ord
  • Glencadam
  • Glendronach
  • Glenglassaugh
  • Glengoyne
  • Glenmorangie
  • Glenturret
  • Glenugie
  • Glenury Royal
  • Knockdhu
  • Loch Lomond
  • McClelland
  • Millburn
  • North Port
  • Oban
  • Old Pulteney
  • Royal Brackla
  • Royal Lochnagar
  • Tomatin
  • Tullibardine

Island

A map showing the Scotch whisky region of Island

The whisky region of Island consists unsurprisingly, of all the islands around the perimeter of the Scottish mainland except for the island of Islay (mentioned briefly above) which is a whisky region in its own right.

Since the flavor of a whisky is affected by the natural environment in which it’s made and since the islands that make up the whisky region of Island are small, their whiskies have a large influence from the sea.

There are seven Island single malt Scotch whisky brands which are:

  • Arran
  • Highland Park
  • Isle of Jura
  • Ledaig
  • Scapa
  • Talisker
  • Tobermory

Speyside

A map showing the Scotch whisky region of Speyside

Once part of the Highlands, Speyside is now its own distinct whisky region. It’s located in the North-East of Scotland and surrounds the river Spey which provides its distilleries with water.

The Speyside whisky region is much, much smaller than the Highland and Lowland whisky regions, yet it has the largest number (and therefore widest variety) of single malt Scotch whisky brands – 49, which are:

  • Aberlour
  • Allt-A-Bhainne
  • Ardmore
  • Auchroisk
  • Aultmore
  • Balmenach
  • The Balvenie
  • BenRiach
  • Benrinnes
  • Benromach
  • Braeval
  • Caperdonich
  • Cardhu
  • Cragganmore
  • Craigellachie
  • Dailuaine
  • Dallas Dhu
  • Dufftown
  • Glen Elgin
  • Glen Grant
  • Glen Keith
  • Glen Moray
  • Glen Spey
  • Glenallachie
  • Glenburgie
  • Glendullan
  • Glenfarclas
  • Glenfiddich
  • The Glenlivet
  • The Glenrothes
  • Glentauchers
  • Imperial
  • Inchgower
  • Knockando
  • Linkwood
  • Longmorn
  • The Macallan
  • Mannochmore
  • Miltonduff
  • Mortlach
  • Pittyvaich
  • Portknockie
  • Speyburn
  • Strathisla
  • Strathmill
  • Tamdhu
  • Tamnavulin
  • Tomintoul
  • Tormore

Campbeltown

A map showing the Scotch whisky region of Campbeltown

Campbeltown is a small town on the west coast of Scotland that used to have over 30 distilleries (which explains why a small town is its own whisky region) but today has only three, making it Scotland’s smallest whisky producing region. Its whiskies are sweet, fruity, peaty and smoky.

There are six Campbeltown single malt Scotch whisky brands which are:

  • Campbeltown
  • Glen Scotia
  • Hazelburn
  • Kilkerran
  • Longrow
  • Springbank

Islay

A map showing the Scotch whisky region of Islay

Islay is a small island off the west coast of Scotland. It’s covered in peat that’s exposed to rain and sea spray which makes it particularly pungent. That’s why Islay whiskies have a pungent, peaty, smoky, earthy and oily flavor. And because they’re made on a small island they also have notes of salty sea air, brine and seaweed.

There are 11 Islay single malt Scotch whisky brands which are:

  • Ardbeg
  • Bowmore
  • Bruichladdich
  • Bunnahabhain
  • Caol Ila
  • Kilchoman
  • Lagavulin
  • Laphroaig
  • Port Askaig
  • Port Charlotte
  • Port Ellen

Single Grain Scotch Whisky Brands

Single grain Scotches are whiskies made in Scotland, from a mash that includes grains other than malted barley – most commonly corn, wheat and rye, and which comes from one distillery.

Grain whiskies are usually used to make up blended whiskies which is why there are only six single grain Scotch whisky brands:

  • Cameron Bridge distillery
  • Girvan
  • Invergordon Grain Distillery
  • North British
  • Starlaw Distillery
  • Strathclyde

Other types of Scotch whisky brands also produce single grain Scotches but since that’s not the main type of whisky they produce they’re not included in this list. I only included a brand in a category if it’s the only or main type of whisky it produces.

So, for example, Loch Lomond, mentioned above, is a single malt Scotch whisky brand because that’s the main type of whisky it produces even though it also produces two single grain whiskies.

Blended Malt Scotch Whisky Brands

Blended malt Scotches are whiskies made in Scotland that are a blend of two or more single malt whiskies. However, because there are not that many of these types of whiskies, there are no blended malt Scotch whisky brands that produce mainly or only blended malt whiskies.

There are, however, several blended Scotch whisky brands (see below) that also produce blended malt whiskies. For example, The Famous Grouse, Chivas Regal and Johnnie Walker. There are also several independent bottlers (see below) that produce blended malt whiskies. For example, Douglas Laing & Co which produces Big Peat, Scallywag and Timorous Beastie.

Blended Grain Scotch Whisky Brands

Blended grain Scotches are whiskies made in Scotland that are a blend of two or more single grain whiskies. Once again, there are not that many of these types of whiskies, so there are no blended grain Scotch whisky brands that produce mainly or only blended grain whiskies.

But again, several blended Scotch whisky brands also produce blended grain whiskies. For example, The Famous Grouse and Ballantine’s.

Blended Scotch Whisky Brands

Although there are far fewer blended Scotch whisky brands than single malt Scotch whisky brands, blended whiskies account for more than 90% of Scotch whisky sales.

Blended Scotches are whiskies made in Scotland from a blend of one or more single malt Scotches and one or more single grain Scotches.

There are 33 blended Scotch whisky brands which are:

  • Antiquary
  • Bailie Nicol Jarvie
  • Ballantine’s
  • Bell’s
  • Beneagles
  • Black & White
  • Black Bottle
  • Black Dog
  • Buchanan’s
  • Chivas Regal
  • Clan MacGregor
  • Cutty Sark
  • Dewar’s
  • Dimple
  • The Famous Grouse
  • Glen Turner
  • Grand Old Parr
  • Grant’s
  • Haig
  • Hankey Bannister
  • J&B
  • Johnnie Walker
  • Passport Scotch
  • Pattison’s whisky
  • Pinch
  • Royal Salute
  • Samuel Dow
  • SIA Scotch Whisky
  • Tè Bheag
  • Teacher’s Highland Cream
  • Vat 69
  • White Horse
  • Whyte & Mackay

Independent Bottlers of Scotch Whisky

Independent bottlers are brands that buy barrels of whisky from distilleries, which they later bottle under their own label. Independent bottlers are more likely to experiment with casks, maturation periods and techniques than distilleries, so they often produce some incredible whiskies.

There are nine independent bottlers of Scotch whisky which are:

  • Adelphi
  • Blackadder
  • Compass Box Whisky
  • Douglas Laing & Co
  • Duncan Taylor
  • Gordon & MacPhail
  • Murray McDavid
  • The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
  • Vintage Malt Whisky Company

Useful Whiskey Links

  • Click here to buy whiskey at Tipxy.com
  • Click here to join Flaviar and explore interesting and rare whiskeys
  • Click here to design your own bottle of whiskey at designerdram.com
  • Click here to search Amazon for awesome whiskey gifts and accessories

(Affiliate links)

Josh Mitchell

I'm Josh Mitchell. I love whiskey and am working on increasing my whiskey tasting abilities and my collection.

Recent Posts