So, you fancy yourself a wee dram of malt whisky while you’re here in Scotland?
Och, good on ya. It’s our national drink for a reason.
It’s hard to know for sure how long the process of whisky distilling has been around. At least the 15th century, probably long before.
We gather up the barely and soak it in water before spreading it out to germinate. After six or seven days, you’ve got green malt, perfect for the kiln. After it’s smoked in peat, it’s mashed down into a coarse grist and now its ready to ferment. Into the ‘pot’ it goes and so begins the distilling process. Only the purest liquid makes it through. Only the best.
There’s far more to it than that, but you’re just here for the drink, no?
So, go on then, enjoy yourself some uisge beatha… ‘water of life’.
Whisky has simple ingredients: barley, wheat or rye, yeast and water. The Scots drink it straight or with a dash of water.
But the drink is also complex. There's an abundance of different 'cask strengths', 'blended malts', and 'single grains'. Take a tour and learn the nuances.
Whisky makers say distilleries are in remote locations because of fresh water sources. But this isn’t always true.
In the 18th century, distillers relocated to avoid tax collector routes. This was bad for distillers, but it’s great if you want to enjoy a dram near a delightful view.
Distillers avoided tax by malting at night. Glaswegians rioted when Britain imposed a malt tax. And dragoons and highwayman patrolled the roads searching for whisky smugglers.
Take a whisky tour and let your guide bring the history to life.
Many of Scotland’s literary legends were influenced by the taste of whisky. Robert Burns penned entire poems in the drink’s honour.
Find out why the Scots call it ‘The Water of Life’ and you may be inspired to write a verse or two yourself.