James ‘JJ’ Johnston is the Chairman of the Malt Whisky Trail. 

I moved to Moray Speyside 27 years ago to join my first Nimrod Squadron at RAF Kinloss; 21 years later I would beappointed station commander at RAF Kinloss – but what I didn’t know then is that I would be the last serving RAF base commander.

One of the things I quickly learned is that the communities work together, people are warm hearted and welcoming. What I gained is that this beautiful part of the world is a place I am proud to call my home.

Coincidentally, also home to the world’s largest concentration of malt whisky distilleries and featuring some of the finest single malts and associated whisky masters.

Now as Chairman of The Malt Whisky Trail I have had the privilege of working in partnership with nine whisky destinations, all of them based in the heart of malt whisky country in Speyside. These partner organisations range from active distilleries like Benromach, Glen Grant, Glen Moray, Glenfiddich, Cardhu, The Glenlivet, and Strathlisa, as well historic distilleries like Dallas Dhu, and The Speyside Cooperage, where a great deal of Scotland’s whisky casks are processed.

Here, you’ll meet the craftsmen who are the guardians of centuries of whisky know-how.  There is an authenticity and quality in all that these craftsmen deliver, let alone the people and families that support them.

The Malt Whisky Trail is a highly collaborative organisation. Our partners bring their experience from across the Scotch malt whisky industry to bear, driven by a desire to promote whisky, our region, and our industry. The Malt Whisky Trail is managed by a board of directors comprised of leaders from our partner sites, and is overseen by myself as an independent chairman. To find our more about what we do and why we’re so passionate about malt whisky country, you can get in touch here
by emailing hello@themaltwhiskytrail.com.

The Trail is a global ambassador for the whisky industry and the region; our core business is the promotion of the Malt Whisky Industry, and we now have a new website rich in digital content, geared towards increasing visitor footfall to the area by 10% over the next 5 years.


In 2015, Moray Speyside welcomed over 700,000 visitors to the region. Their visits were worth £105.7m to the local economy and sustain more than 2,500 jobs across the region.


I hope you enjoy the new immersive site which is is designed to make it easier for visitors to plan their trip to Speyside.  The website is part of a major initiative to promote the Speyside as not just ‘Malt Whisky County’, but all that the region has to offer.

Come and experience a warm Speyside welcome, enjoy the whisky, explore the beautiful landscape and indulge in finest cuisine and hospitality with your friends and family.

Find out what The Malt Whisky Trail really is whisky and so much more.