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Origins of Scottish Whisky 

The Water of Life

Alcohol has been around since the Egyptians were building the Pyramids, giving the workers beer and bread to help them through the hot days. Wine has also been known to be in existence for up to 10,000 years through religious scripts. It is not known when Whisky was first made but records of distillation are shown from the 11th century. The first written record of whisky was in 1494. 

The name whisky originally from the Gaelic "Uisge Beatha", meaning 'water of life'.

In 1644 the Scottish Government imposed a tax on whisky and in 1707 after the union of Scotland and England a malt tax was introduced on the 23 June 1725 which caused riots over Scotland, this indirectly increased the cost of making whisky, as malt is the main ingredient.

In 1824 George Smith the originator of the Glenlivet whisky was the first to gain a legal licence to distil whisky when the English government introduced a law to legalize the production of whisky.

The oldest bottlers of whisky are Cadenhead’s who have been bottling whisky since 1824.

Whisky and all alcoholic drinks are restricted to persons of over 18 years and should not be consumed by anyone younger.

Origins of Tartan Scotland
Scottish Whisky Origins


Definition of Tartan

Official definition of Tartan from the Scottish Register of Tartans Act (2008) Section 2

Section 2: A tartan is a design which is capable of being woven, consisting of two or more alternating coloured stripes which combine vertically and horizontally to form a repeated chequered pattern. The tartan pattern is traditionally known as the sett of the tartan. Below are a number of examples of Scottish Tartans and 2 American, which can be found on the Scottish register of tartans. Pop in to The Edinburgh Clothing Company at 93 South Bridge Edinburgh to see if you can find your Clan Tartan or see for all tartans registered in the Scottish tartans register a comprehensive list is also available on

Originally Tartan was normal everyday clothing which was made locally to the area you lived. Tartan was seen by the

 English as a form of uniform, an Act of parliament band the wearing of tartan in 1747, this was the Act of Proscription. This came about due to the Jacobite uprising which ended at the Battle of Culloden 1746. The Act of Proscription was ended by George III in 1782 which allowed highland dress to be worn again after 35 years being outlawed. There are 34 US States with their own tartan.

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