Speyside and Glenlivet are two of the most magical and evocative names associated with Scotch whisky. This area is to malts as the Haut Médoc is to claret and Grande Champagne is to Cognac. It is not that all whisky produced here is better than anywhere else; what is striking is that so much of it is consistently excellent and appealing, and that the best emerges as the epitome of elegance, balance and distinction. Distilleries are so thick on the ground in this part of the Highlands that the logical way to look at them is to follow a series of loop-trails centred on the towns around which they cluster: Elgin, Rothes, Dufftown, Aberlour, Keith and Tomintoul. Sites of interest on this trail are listed in association with the towns and not the individual locations.