The very first official mention of whiskey, confirmed by the annals, appeared in 1494. The Scottish Treasury ordered "to give eight bolls of malt to Brother John Cora for making aqua vitae." 8 ball (Scottish measure of weight, 1 ball - 218.25 kg) is more than one and a half tons, or rather, 1746 kg. Just imagine how much whiskey could be obtained from this material? Many, more than 2400 bottles. And this indicates a well-tuned production of alcohol.
Of course, the history of whiskey began much earlier. As early as 1170, the king of England, Henry II, during the occupation of Ireland, noted that the Irish warriors used the so-called "water of life" before the battle. And "taking on the chest", they sang merrily and became incredibly courageous in battle. Here we are talking about the Irish, but we should not forget that the Scots are the same Celts. One family who lived on two neighboring islands.
However, and still the Scots and Irish constantly arguing who the first of them invented whiskey. It is believed that the knowledge of distillation brought from their wanderings Irish monks, and only then passed them on to their Scottish colleagues. At the same time, a very specific person is indicated - Saint Patrick himself. But it should be noted that this legendary persona by birth was Scottish. So disputes over the geographic root of the whiskey can last forever. And it is better not to discuss at all, but simply to drink this magic drink, enjoying its incredible taste. And what's the difference who came up with it.
In 1505, the Guild of Surgeons and Barons of Edinburgh received a monopoly on the production of whiskey. Whiskey began to sell in pharmacies as a miraculous drug. In the end, even today, the Scots and the Irish treat a cold not with aspirin or Coldrex, but “toddy” - with a mixture of tea and whiskey. By the way, James Hogg, the glorious Scottish poet of the nineteenth century, said that
"If the body could correctly determine the amount of whiskey that should be drunk daily, then you could live forever, and all the doctors and cemeteries would not be needed".
In fact, in those days, whiskey was not produced in massive amounts. It was rather homemade, like "pickled cucumbers." Excess barley was converted into whiskey - because the crop could simply be destroyed by rodents or spoiled by high humidity. And whiskey did not threaten anything - unless the excessive thirst of its owners. In addition, this drink can always be sold. But in 1707 Scotland lost its independence, and the British, without thinking twice, decided to tax all barley malt available, from which they made beer and whiskey.
The era of "alcohol piracy" began. In the mountains of Scotland, where the royal troops could not reach, hundreds of small "factories" opened up, where they conjured day and night to make "living water." It is clear that the authorities did not like this state of affairs - they were hunting down underground "self-racers". And they hunted carefully. It even happened that real battles took place in the mountains.
Every year the British agreed to all the big concessions. And the reason was that in Britain very fond of whiskey. And he just began to miss. Of course, this situation did not suit anyone, and King George IV, who ruled the United Kingdom from 1820 to 1830, decided to change the laws in such a way as to provide manufacturers whiskey more right. It was from this time that the whiskey industry began to develop at an incredible pace.
Now a few words about the history of the technology of making this drink. For 333 years, barley malt was the only raw material for whiskey production. It was created in the traditional way: the mash was poured into a huge copper kettle, the pairs were cooled in a coil - and so on to infinity.
But since 1827 it became easier - Robert Stein created a continuous distillation apparatus. Three years later it was enhanced by Aenas Coffey. But the alcohols obtained from the use of these devices were neutral and differed from the traditional old whiskey - heavy, fragrant and oily.
The era of grain whiskey began. Now for the production of the drink used not only barley, but also other cereals. The invention of the method of continuous distillation gave rise to the development of an entire industry. Approximately at that time, in the last decade of the XIX century, large companies producing whiskey appeared. Names like George Ballantine & Son, Chivas Brothers, Justerini & Brooks etc, Johnnie Walker & Sons, Arthur Bell & Sons have been heard in the world alcohol arena. And at the end of the 19th century, the main international brands of whiskey were created, which still occupy a leading position in the market.
Prohibition in the United States made whiskey a legendary drink, and the smuggling brand Cutty Sark became alcoholic drink number 1 in this country. And now, in any country of the world, at any geographical latitude, we can drink whiskey. Here it is, true globalization!