WHISKY HISTORY

"According to the Scotch Whisky Association, Scotch whisky evolved from a Scottish drink called uisge beatha, which means "lively water" or "water of life".

The earliest record of distillation in Scotland occurred as long ago as 1494, as documented in the Exchequer Rolls, which were records of royal income and expenditure. The quote above records eight bolls of malt given to Friar John Cor wherewith to make aqua vitae over the previous year. This would be enough for 1,500 bottles, which suggests that distillation was well-established by the late 15th century. Whisky production was first taxed in 1644, causing a rise in illicit whisky distilling in the country.

Around 1780, there were about eight legal distilleries and 400 illegal ones. In 1823, Parliament eased restrictions on licensed distilleries with the "Excise Act", while at the same time making it harder for the illegal stills to operate, thereby ushering in the modern era of Scotch production.

Two events helped to increase whisky's popularity: first, the introduction in 1831 of the column still; the whisky produced with this process was generally less expensive to produce and also less intense and smoother, because a column still can perform the equivalent of multiple distillation steps in a continuous distillation process. Second, the phylloxera bug destroyed wine and cognac production in France in 1880."

whisky history

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