Planet Whiskies :: Scottish Single Malt Whisky, Scotch, Distilleries, American Bourbon, Japanese, Irish

World-Wide Whisky News by Planet Whiskies | Buy your whisky online

To advertise on Planet Whiskies visit our contact us page

Whisky History - The beginning of Whisky

What a lot of people do not know is probably that alcohol was first invented in the 10th Century by Arab alchemists. This technique was found when trying to make cosmetics and perfume as Arabs do not really have the need to drink alcohol. But soon the techniques where taken to Spain and then spread throughout Europe. Two Century later farmers, monks and university scholars where making alcohol from grape and grain or really any produced that were available to them with ease. Over in Ireland at this time monks really became the first to distil what we know as whisky when they used fermented barley. The timing of this was very vague and is believed to be around the middle of the 11th Century.

Over this time with the travellers going between Ireland and Scotland this process spread quickly and whisky was starting to be produced by all the local farmers. This is when I would say whisky finally came to Scotland.

Other facts regarding the history of whisky.

People will always argue about where whisky was invented. Scotland or Ireland? Well distilling was brought to Ireland by St. Patrick in 432AD, but the first written recording of it being sold was in Scotland 1494 and it soon became widespread as knowledge spread on how to distil whisky and soon afterwards nearly every farmer in Scotland became a maker of whisky. As you can see there is a lot of time between the two dates. The Celts could be the first to produced whisky as they named their liquid usquebaugh which means ‘water of life’ and the word whisky also comes from the gaelic word 'Uisga'.

In the early years of whisky there was no period of ageing and after the whisky was distilled it was consumed. So the whisky had a raw taste. It was then discovered by accident when a cask was forgotten about in the mid 18th century and when the owner of the cask tasted the whisky he found that the whisky mellowed after ageing thus the process of ageing began and why we have whisky maturing now for years just to have the correct taste that we all love.

At the start of the 17th Century whisky distilling in the Scottish Highlands was massive with nearly every farmer joining in with the making of whisky. This was because the crop was easy to produce (barley and oats). This was when whisky became massive in Scotland, but really was only sold to local people in each of the farming communities. But then came the Act of Union.

In 1707 and the Act of Union, Scotland and England join parliaments and soon after taxes were introduced on distilleries and malts. Of course this did not go down well and a lot of illegal whisky was beginning to be produced. But more penalties were brought in to reduce this illegal trade and smuggling of whisky. The penalties where very steep and in a very short space of time this practice nearly disappeared.

It was not until the late 1700’s when whisky became very profitable because of the improving farming methods. So with all the distilleries at this time present in the Highlands of Scotland and the main population in Scotland being in the Glasgow and Edinburgh area, distilleries began to be built within this area. This would help get the whisky to the marker quicker as the transport network was very poor in these days. But with taxes very high still and so many costs involved it was hard to keep this as a profitable business.

So illegal distilling was still happening and with the government really cracking down on this production the ‘smugglers’ tended to move all there distilling production to small islands around Scotland where they were very unlikely to be discovered. It was not until excise act of 1823 when taxes fell with the reducing of duty was reduced by 50%. This cut down massively the operations by smugglers and the whisky industry became legal once again.

Generally whisky was really only sold within Britain, but as time when on it spread around the world and is sold in most countries. Also with it being sold worldwide other countries producing there own whisky. Hence why this website is about all the whiskies in the world and not just relating to whisky in Scotland and Ireland.  

With the history of whisky very vague it really has been adopted by Scotland and is one of Scotland biggest export with it being comsumed in nearly every country in the world. Over the coming years the whisky industry will keep growing and the making of this site all help the process.

With regards to Irish whisky they have some amazing brands and deserve so much credit. There exports are always growing, and the merging of certain distilleries this will keep growing also. There is such a large market place for whisky that there is enough room for everyone to take a slice of the action. My own thoughts are Scotland and Ireland are both massive within the whisky industry and both have to keep growing.

Share Planet Whiskies on social media

Planet Whiskies on Twitter
Planet Whiskies on Facebook
Planet Whiskies on Google Plus
Planet Whiskies on Pinterest

Highland Park Freya - The Valhalla Collection 16 Year Old Single Malt WhiskyHighland Park Freya - The Valhalla Collection 16 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Colour/Appearance: Fair gold.
Nose: Mild sweet smoke, green apple, sweet butter icing, coconut and cream, lemon peal. Palate: Vanilla cream, spiciness, marmalade, cinnamon spice, oaky spice, leafy green notes, bark and damp twigs. Finish: Gentle spice, warming.

Buy Highland Park Freya for £499.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

The Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch No. 2 Single Malt Scotch WhiskyThe Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch No. 2 Single Malt Scotch Whisky

To create the second batch of Tun 1509, David carefully hand selected 42 of the finest casks - 35 traditional American oak barrels and seven European oak sherry butts - from the distillery's precious aged stocks. Read more

The Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch No. 2 for only £279.90
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Buy from Spirits By Post:: Excellent whisky selection available to buy online today:: Click for more details

Latest Whisky News

See all whisky press releases for 2017

Tomatin Launches Limited Edition 1972 Single Malt From their Warehouse 6 Collection: 19th July, 2017

Bunnahabhain releases oldest ever single malt in tribute to the 'Gaelic God of the Sea': 8th July, 2017

Latest News From Edinburgh: Holyrood Distillery Hires Top Team Of Industry Experts: 7th July, 2017

Port X Whisky: The Dalmore Releases Unique Vintage Port Collection: 6th July, 2017

New Single Cask Spirits Range Unveiled By The Scotch Malt Whisky Society: 5th July, 2017

Final chapter in the Smugglers' story: Isle of Arran Distillers release ultimate bottling in history-inspired trilogy: 5th July, 2017

The Scotch Whisky Association comments on Scottish GDP figures announced today: 5th July, 2017

Kingsbarns Distillery Releases 2 Years Old Spirit Drink: 28th June, 2017

New Haig Club Scotch Bar To Launch At The Cube, Birmingham: 28th June, 2017

Distillery Manager Joins The Clydeside Distillery Team: 27th June, 2017

Latest Gin News

Ian Macleod Distillers Acquires Edinburgh Gin :: 13th September, 2016

Crafted Upon Four Pillars :: The definitive Modern Australian Gin Debuts in the U.S :: 13th July, 2016

VisitScotland Interactive Whisky Guide

Visit Scotland Interactive Whisky Map

Found out about 105 whisky distilleries in Scotland's five whisky regions in this very exciting interactive whisky guide :: More information

Buy the Whisky Magazine Subscribe to Whisky Magazine

Subscribe to the Whisky Magazine and find out the latest news within the whisky industry. More details

Selection of Scottish Malts Whisky available from Spirits By Post

Glenfarclas 40 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch WhiskyGlenfarclas 40 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery:  Glenfarclas

Nose: Chocolate, raisins, prunes, touches of mint, leather.
Palate: Flavourful oakyiness, liqueur filled chocolates, Christmas cake, chocolate flavoured prunes, dried fruits, cinnamon, black pepper.
Finish: Sweet, crisp, dry and lingering.

Buy Now for £672.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Highland Park Loki - The Valhalla Collection 15 Year Old Single Malt WhiskyHighland Park Loki - The Valhalla Collection 15 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Distillery:  Highland Park

Colour/Appearance: Pale gold.
Nose: Spiced apple, oak cakes, dried bitter orange, buttery toffee, gingerbread.
Palate:Sweet smoke, apples, custard, woody, spices, cinnamon, ginger.
Finish: Constantly changing.

Buy Now for £499.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Scapa 14 Year Old Single Malt Scotch WhiskyScapa 14 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery:  Scapa

Colour/Appearance: Gold yellow.
Nose: Spicy and fruity, half-dried apricots, peaty, honey, hazelnuts.
Palate: Round and sweet, nuttiness, honeyed, balanced oak, leather and caramelised notes.
Finish: Short, cinnamon lingers.

Buy Now for £125.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Highland Park Odin - The Valhalla Collection 16 Year Old Single Malt WhiskyHighland Park Odin - The Valhalla Collection 16 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Distillery:  Highland Park

Colour/Appearance: Vivid burst of sunlight.
Nose: Robust, sweet vanilla and honey, red berry fruit, toasted honeycomb, peaty smoke.
Palate: Prominent sweetness, cinnamon, bitter chocolate, fruit cake.
Finish: Lingering and complex with citrus.

Buy Now for £499.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

Scapa 1980 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch WhiskyScapa 1980 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery:  Scapa

Colour/Appearance: Light Gold.
Nose: Rich, spices, cinnamon, honey, zest, barley, sweet cereals.
Palate: Honey, juicy barley, notes of orange and cacao, oaky and winter spices.
Finish: Spicy, long and warming.

Buy Now for £599.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change

More details about Spirits By Post can be found on their website at www.spiritsbypost.com

Planet Whiskies on Pinterest

Planet Whiskies on Twitter

Support us Google Plus