Distilled Spirits - Whiskey
Whiskey is a distilled alcoholic beverage obtained through the fermentation of grains such as barley, wheat, rye, and corn, followed by an aging process in wooden barrels. Its name derives from Scottish and Irish Gaelic and means “water of life.” Although its exact origin is unknown, it is known to have existed since the 15th century in Ireland and Scotland.
The oldest distillery in the world, “The Old Bushmills Distillery,” founded in 1608, is located in Ireland. Distillation, in general, has a long history, possibly practiced by the Babylonians in the 2nd millennium BCE for perfume production. The Celts were familiar with distilling barley and rye and regarded whiskey as a divine gift that provided warmth and life.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, cheap whiskey was used to preserve bodies intended for dissection, and both Parliament and the Church attempted to control its consumption. However, in 1780, an increase in taxes on wine boosted its popularity and demand. Despite additional taxes imposed on Scotch whiskey, smugglers continued their business cunningly.