Your Global Whisky Guide

Discover whisky with some of our favorite regions

Indeed, the word “whisky” comes from the Gaelic phrase uisge beatha, or “water of life”. But today, the versatile spirit is produced to a high standard all over the world. At DFS, we often indulge in the pleasure of discovery, so we’re sharing some of the best regions for you to explore if you’re looking to take your first steps into the wonderful world of whisky.



Scotland: Speyside

The cradle of Scotland’s whisky industry and home to the greatest concentration of malt whisky producers in the country, Speyside has more than 50 active distilleries, including the world’s two best-selling single malts, Glenfiddich and The Glenlivet, plus heavyweight brands such as The Macallan, The Singleton and The Balvenie. Located in the far northeast, between the cities of Aberdeen and Inverness, Speyside is famed for its elegant, easy-drinking whiskies, which are typically among the sweetest Scottish single malts. Often matured in sherry casks, Speyside whiskies tend to feature notes of caramel, vanilla, pome fruits and spice, making them the ideal entry point for the whisky-curious.


Scotland: Islay

Often hailed as the connoisseurs’ choice, whiskies from the island of Islay are known for their typically bold, smoky character, coming from the tradition of using peat (rather than wood) fires to dry the malted barley. Contrary to popular belief, however, Islay’s whiskies aren’t only about this distinctive (some might even say medicinal) flavour profile, with many leaning into notes of sea spray, seaweed and even fruit. The second smallest of Scotland’s six whisky regions, Islay has just nine active distilleries, but most are among the country’s best-known, albeit least pronounceable brands, including Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bunnahabhain, Laphroaig, Bruichladdich and Lagavulin.



With a tradition of whiskey-making (note the “e” here) that stretches back centuries, Ireland is one of the world’s most historic whiskey-producing countries. The industry has experienced a huge renaissance over the past decade, growing from just four active distilleries in 2010 to more than 40 today. Referring to whiskies produced in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, Irish whiskey is typically triple-distilled (which is one more distillation than most Scottish whiskies), giving it a lighter character and a smoother mouthfeel. Jameson is undoubtedly the brand that’s most associated with Irish whiskey globally, but other notable names include Bushmills, Redbreast and Green Spot.



Japan’s whisky industry is rich and varied, but it can all be traced back to one man, Masataka Taketsuru, who brought the Scottish whisky-making tradition back to the country in the 1920s after attending university in Glasgow. After returning, Taketsuru had a hand in launching what would go on to become Japan’s two biggest whisky producers, establishing Suntory’s first whisky distillery before founding his own distilling company, Nikka. To this day, Japanese whiskies closely resemble their Scottish counterparts, although they tend to be slightly mellower on average. Names to look out for from Japan include The Yamazaki, Hibiki, Chichibu and The Hakushu.

Explore our world of whisky at the following DFS locations:

Los Angeles
DFS Los Angeles International Airport*

New York
DFS John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York*

San Francisco
DFS San Francisco International Airport*

Macau SAR
DFS Macau, City of Dreams*
DFS Macau, Shoppes at Four Seasons*
DFS Macau, Studio City*

DFS Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, Hawaii
DFS Kahului Airport, Hawaii
DFS Waikiki

DFS Okinawa Naha Airport (Domestic Terminal)
DFS Okinawa Naha City

DFS Bali Airport
DFS Bali

DFS Singapore Cruise Centre, Tanah Merah*
DFS Singapore Cruise Centre, Harbourfront*

DFS Auckland Airport
DFS Auckland

DFS Queenstown

DFS Sydney

DFS Saipan International Airport
DFS Saipan

*Main stores with largest assortment of whiskies


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