The Isle of Islay
Pronounced "eye-luh" (you're welcome), the Isle, which is the smallest of the bunch, is known for the extra-smoky, kick-in-the-pants-level intensity associated with Laphroaig, Bowmore, and Ardbeg. Proceed with caution here. But do proceed.
Located in the center of Scotland, this region only has three working distilleries left: Auchentoshan, Bladnoch, and Glenkinchie. They're whiskys are often triple-distilled, which is why they have the reputation for lighter, softer flavors.
Why some people spell "whiskey" as "whisky"
Unbeknownst to many of us Yanks, only Americans and Irish folk add an "E" to whisky's last syllable. The rest of the world, including distilling hotbeds like Japan, Canada, and, um, Scotland, leaves the "E" out of it. When the word first came into play way back in the 15th century, the Scots and the Irish Gaelic came up with slightly different ways of spelling it -- uisce beatha in Scottish, uisge beatha for the Irish -- and that ancient distinction lives on in the form of the controversial "E.: Today, we statesiders also use the "E" because it was Irish immigrants that first brought the glories of whisky to our fair shores, God bless 'em.