Early forms of Scotch whisky date back as far as 1494 known as usage beatha (or ‘water of life’).
Distillation of whisky was already well established by the late 15 th century but production was taxed
until around 1644 which led to a rise in illegitimate whisky production by the mid 1700’s of 400
illegal distilleries, compared to only eight legal ones. Restrictions were then eased in parliament by
the early 1800’s which benefitted legal distilleries and made it more difficult for the illicit ones to
operate. Overall whisky production was improved in 1831 with the introduction of the column still
that made the distillery process less expensive to produce as well as creating an end product with a
smoother finish. The column still also enabled the mass production of whisky and provided the
blueprints for the traditions that many distilleries honour to this day.
Scotch whisky is usually a drink enjoyed with a somewhat refined palate, more commonly by older
men who have become accustomed to the harsh flavours. People starting out might drink whisky
with a splash of water or a couple of ice cubes. It is also scientifically believed that adding water
opens up the true bouquet of the whisky so you can appreciate its true taste.
Alternatively, whisky can also be enjoyed mixed with cola or there are a number of whisky cocktailrecipes.
that allow for the drinker to still enjoy the flavour of the whisky while taking the edge off.
Whisky is commonly enjoyed as part of blackjack strategy as it is a drink that is best enjoyed slowly,
which is ideal if you’re playing a number of hands and intend to be there for some time. Scotch
whisky can be anything from 40% strength, which is something for new whisky drinkers to be aware
as it can be very easy to get drunk on, plus whisky should be savoured to be fully appreciated.
Today Scotch whisky is a multi-billion pound industry with almost £4 billion worth exported around
the world every year which is approximately £125 sold every single second and accounts for roughly
a quarter of all food and drink exports. In order to keep up with the high demand there are over 20
million casks of whisky in distilleries throughout Scotland as part of the maturing process.
Scotch whisky is regularly exported all around the world and is particularly popular in the United
States. This may seem as a surprise when they are big in the production of bourbon with brands like
Jack Daniels and Jim Beam, but the American’s still have a taste for Scotch and spent more than
£700 million on Scotch in 2012 alone. It is also popular in countries like Mexico and Venezuela,
between them they spend over £200 million and represent over 20% of the global Scotch market.
The European market is also a big consumer with Germany and Spain spending an estimated £400
million between them. In France, more Scotch is sold in a single month than cognac is a whole year.