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.

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

Subscribe to Planet Whiskies newsletter

* indicates required

Whisky Advent Calendar 2018

Whisky Advent Calendar 2018

See the full section of Whisky Advent Calanders available for December 2018 - Also available in Gin, Rum, Irish Whiskey, Bourbon, Vodka, Tequila, Cognac and a Douglas Laing special... Read More

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Latest Whisky News

See all whisky press releases for 2018

Take the Tomatin Tour If You Dare - Tomatin distillery brings back hauntingly good tour. 24th September 2018

Isle of Arran Distillers move closer to completion of new distillery as stills arrive: 18th September 2018

Chivas Welcomes Top Bartender, Rhys Wilson, To The Team. From Chivas Masters UK champion to Global Brand Ambassador. 13th September 2018

Glenmorangie takes to the waves: Whisky casks reimagined as limited edition handmade wooden surfboards: 12th September 2018

Post-war record of scotch whisky distilleries: Scottish Whisky Association: 5th September, 2018

Allt-a-Bhainne launch set to shake up the single malt category: 5th September, 2018

The Balvenie announces 25-year-old Kelsey McKechnie as their new apprentice malt master - 31st August 2018

Read Planet Whiskies take on Redbreast 32-Year-Old Dream Cask Single Pot Cask Still Irish Whiskey. Find out about the history and tasting notes for this whiskey

Great Whiskies Website

Buy Whisky online go to Great Whiskies (Planet Whiskies sister website)

Planet Gin Website

To read all the Latest Gin News. please go to our sister website - www.planetgin.com

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

Some Scottish Whisky Available to Buy Online

Glenfarclas 1970 (cask 2033) Family Cask Winter 2015 Release Single Malt Whisky
Glenfarclas 1970 (cask 2033) Family Cask Winter 2015 Release Single Malt Whisky ~ 55.5% ~ 70cl

Region: Speyside  ~  Type:   Scottish


Buy Now for £5,988.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change


John Dewars White Label - 1970s Blended Whisky
John Dewars White Label - 1970s Blended Whisky ~ 43.4% ~ 75cl

Region: Other Scotch  ~  Type:   Scottish


Buy Now for £456.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change


The Macallan Reflexion Single Malt Whisky
The Macallan Reflexion Single Malt Whisky ~ 43% ~ 70cl

Region: Speyside  ~  Type:   Scottish


Buy Now for £895.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change


The Glenlivet 16 Year Old Tollafraick - Single Cask Edition Single Malt Whisky
The Glenlivet 16 Year Old Tollafraick - Single Cask Edition Single Malt Whisky ~ 57.2% ~ 70cl

Region: Speyside  ~  Type:   Scottish


Buy Now for £414.11
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change


Glenfiddich 38 Year Old 1978 (cask 28117) Single Malt Whisky
Glenfiddich 38 Year Old 1978 (cask 28117) Single Malt Whisky ~ 56.3% ~ 70cl

Region: Speyside  ~  Type:   Scottish


Buy Now for £2,550.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change


Queen Anne - 1970s Blended Whisky
Queen Anne - 1970s Blended Whisky ~ 0% ~ 0cl

Region: Scotch  ~  Type:   Scottish


Buy Now for £360.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change


Miltonduff 34 Year Old 1982 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing) Single Malt Whisky
Miltonduff 34 Year Old 1982 - Old & Rare Platinum (Hunter Laing) Single Malt Whisky ~ 50.8% ~ 70cl

Region: Speyside  ~  Type:   Scottish


Buy Now for £321.35
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change


Bruichladdich 1985/32 - Hidden Glory Single Malt Whisky
Bruichladdich 1985/32 - Hidden Glory Single Malt Whisky ~ 48.7% ~ 70cl

Region: Islay  ~  Type:   Scottish


Buy Now for £725.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change


Seagrams V.O. Canadian Whisky - 1975 Blended Whisky
Seagrams V.O. Canadian Whisky - 1975 Blended Whisky ~ 43% ~ 75cl

Region: Canadian  ~  Type:   Scottish


Buy Now for £324.00
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change


Glen Grant 1954 (Gordon & MacPhail) Single Malt Whisky
Glen Grant 1954 (Gordon & MacPhail) Single Malt Whisky ~ 40% ~ 70cl

Region: Speyside  ~  Type:   Scottish


Buy Now for £1,999.95
World-wide delivery available - Price Subject to Change


Planet Whiskies on Pinterest

Planet Whiskies on Twitter

Support us Google Plus