[Ansteorra-rapier] Whiskey class

Charlie Cain / Larkin O'Kane larkinokane at cox-internet.com
Sun Jan 13 07:17:10 PST 2002

So there is part and parcel of the research.  Now to the recreation
Then to the tasting?

Larkin - Whose brewing skill stop at mead.

Brendan McEwan wrote:
> Just because the modern distilleries did not exist does not mean it(whiskey)
> did not exist.  Licensing a distillery did not happen until the 1600's(in
> Ireland).  The oldest licensed distillery is Bushmill, I believe, founded in
> 1608 but...
> I found this with one search on the first line.
> Scotch whisky can trace its roots back to the ancient Celts of more than 500
> years ago. The name they gave to it was 'uisge beathe' - the water of life.
> Certainly the whisky that they produced was stronger and much harsher than
> what is now produced today, as they only had knowledge of crude distillation
> processes. The production of Scotch whisky came about because there was no
> effective way of storing beer over a long period of time, and distilling a
> liquid into a spirit drink was a way around this.
> The earliest evidence of major Scotch whisky production was in 1494 when
> Friar John Corr received enough malt to produce over 1000 bottles of 'aqua
> vitae' (Latin for 'water of life'). The large-scale production of it had
> begun to take place primarily because it was considered a good medicine,
> providing relief from a wide variety of ailments, and also warming the body
> on a bitterly cold Scottish winter night!
> By the late 1600's the government had realised the immense profit making
> potential of Scotch whisky, and began to tax it. This led to an almighty
> struggle over at least the next 150 years between the excise men, in favour
> of legal Scottish distilleries paying tax, and the people who ran illegal
> Scottish distilleries, often in the Highlands of Scotland. Often raids on
> illegal stills would involve the military and the excise men were instructed
> to smash up any equipment that they found. They were fighting a losing
> battle though. To give an idea of the scale of the problem, in 1777 there
> were 8 licensed distilleries, but at least 400 unregistered. Smuggling was
> rife, and the Highlanders used all their creative means to ensure that as
> much illegal whisky was distributed as possible. Smugglers sometimes faced
> the death sentence, so it was a real battle of nerve and wit.
> This is not to say that the licensed Scottish distilleries were not selling
> a lot of whisky though. Indeed in the late 1700's they were selling so much
> south of the border that they were affecting the gin sales of England, no
> mean feat in those times. The distillers of England's then favourite spirit
> drink, gin, used their powers of persuasion to get the duty on Scotch whisky
> being sent to England increased. This led to one of the biggest Scottish
> distilleries, Stein and Haig, to declare themselves bankrupt. In turn there
> was another increase in the distribution and consumption of that harsher
> spirit drink, illegal Scotch whisky.
> A compromise was reached in 1823 when legislation made producing Scotch
> whisky a profitable venture, and all though this didn't completely wipe out
> illegal production it was a giant step in forming it into the great industry
> that it became.
> Scotch, or any "whisky" for that matter is nothing more than a distilled
> ale(malted(partially germinated) barley, water, and yeast).
> Brendan
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ansteorra-rapier-admin at ansteorra.org
> [mailto:ansteorra-rapier-admin at ansteorra.org]On Behalf Of Chris Zakes
> Sent: Friday, January 11, 2002 6:54 PM
> To: ansteorra-rapier at ansteorra.org
> Subject: [Ansteorra-rapier] Whiskey class
> At 07:37 AM 1/9/02 -0800, you wrote:
> >--
> >[ Picked text/plain from multipart/alternative ]
> >
> > This is to let all know that one additional class is being included that
> is not listed.  It is a Scotch tasting class at the end of the day after
> all fighting is over.
> I realize I'm probably being a stick-in-the-mud, but... I did a bit of
> digging at http://www.scotchwhisky.net/distilleries/index.htm. *None* of
> the distilleries I looked at  date before 1800. Why are we having a class
> on a subject that's 200 years post-period?
>         -Tivar Moondragon
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Don't cry because it's over;
smile because it happened.

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