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Is there actually an official map of Speyside?

 
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BigShing
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 2:08 am    Post subject: Is there actually an official map of Speyside? Reply with quote

Something that I've always been curious about when it comes to Whisky categories is what region of Scotland actually constitutes as Speyside? I mean, I can point to a region on the map that I know is definitely Speyside, and I can reel of a list of distilleries that I know are undoubted Speyside malts... but I couldn't draw you an accurate boundary around the Speyside region if you asked me because every single map I've seen online shows a completely unique area for the region!

Like recently I discovered that some people consider Dalwhinnie to not only be Speyside, but represent the most southern tip of the Speyside region, but I don't think I've ever seen a map of Speyside that extends that far south.

Has what people consider the Speyside region been reduced over time? Is there actually an official - or at least something near official - definition of its boundaries? Are there whiskies that you feel should or shouldn't be classified as Speyside? I'm just wandering what your thoughts are, hoping to learn a thing or two in the process!
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DaveWn
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure if this will help you get a bigger picture but the Spirit of Speyside Festival website lists 56 distillery's and/or maltings on their Speyside map https://www.spiritofspeyside.com/assets/0007/3781/SoSWF_Map_2018.pdf

Personally I wouldn't consider Dalwhinnie as being in Speyside, I would consider Tomintoul as being the most southernly distillery in Speyside
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BigShing
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dave, that seems as good a map as any to use for reference!

Do people think that the likes of Dalwhinnie being categorised in places as a Speysider stems from people interpreting Speyside as the region a certain distance from the River Spey, and so they follow that all the way down to Loch Spey?

For instance this whiskyexchange map appears to do just that.
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TheMaster
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally classify Dalwhinnie as a Speyside whisky. It's technically in the region that allows it legally (under SWA rules) to be a Speysider. All Speyside is, of course, it a region of the Highlands......

In my view it's all a bit, by-the-by, really anyway. Regional classification does help with some whiskies and helps some consumers (mainly novices buying in supermarkets), but is pretty much irrelevant to anyone who knows what they are buying.

Bunnhabhain is an Islay whisky, you tell a novice that it's an Islay and they'll expect peat. Bunna is a Speyside whisky by everything other than location.


anCnoc is a Highland whisky, you have the 12yo which is very light an fresh and then the 18 or 24 which are sherry monsters and totally different, all 3 of which you'd swear were Speyside, then in days gone the 16yo which was what I'd definitely class as "Highland".


Then what about Benriach?!?! They've sherried, triple distilled, heavily peated, rum cask finished....whatever. They are a Speyside whisky, but there is stuff there you'd never say was in the Speyside style. Glendronach is more in keeping with Speyside in style, and that's a Highland!

What about Auchentoshan? Lowland. Light. Three wood - massive toffee richness you'd say was easily a Speyside.


This is even more the case in modern times where wood types are used in certain ways and distilleries are playing with other things, such as peating, to get flavour into younger whiskies.
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BigShing
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you feel at all that classifying Speyside from the extent of the River Spey kinda waters down what the term Speyside represents to many whisky drinkers: Which is a relatively small region densely packed with distilleries that all share a basic character, or do you feel that with the lines blurring in terms of flavour profile and manufacturing processes from region to region that the geography is becoming more important and what people think of as Speyside needs to expand?
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bluepeter
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Is there actually an official map of Speyside? Reply with quote

BigShing wrote:
Has what people consider the Speyside region been reduced over time? Is there actually an official - or at least something near official - definition of its boundaries?!

From a purely legal perspective, The Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009 set limits on the places in which a whisky must be distilled if it's to use one of the protected designations (Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Campbelltown and Islay). Regulation 10 defines the boundaries of those regions. It's worth noting that the Highland region includes Speyside. A Speyside distillery therefore has a choice as to whether it describes its product as Highland, Speyside or both.

Unfortunately, the Speyside region is defined in terms of specific council wards, so now you need a local government boundaries map.

If you're interested in reading the regulations for yourself, they can be found online at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2009/2890/contents/made .
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BigShing
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Peter, might be interesting to take the locations listed in section 10 and seeing if I can map out a rudimentary border. Don't have time to do it right now though! :D
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