The Speyside area is considered as a sub-region within the Highlands and its proliferation of distilleries is generally associated with minimally peated, light and fruity whisky. This sweet, estery spirit rose to prominence in the mid-late 1800s and is now the most popular style of single malt in the world. The Glenfiddich distillery for example accounts for approximately 30% of single malt sales worldwide, while Speyside whisky as a whole continue to make up the core malt content of numerous blends.
Aside from the honeyed, lightly fruity and elegant whiskies produced in Speyside there are also a number known for a considerably heavier style, frequently influenced by maturation in active sherry casks. These classically sherried whiskies, such as Macallan or Glenfarclas are often excellent, though it is worth noting that the vast majority of Speyside distilleries have also successfully produced high quality sherry matured bottlings themselves. Many of the regions distilleries produce spirit that also ages particularly well, producing stunningly complex and refined old whiskies.