Saturday Scenes

Fri 7 June 2013

Just a Wee Dram

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 11:54

On the 1st of June in 1495, the first recorded reference to distilling Scotch whisky is made.

“To Friar John Cor, by order of the King, to make aqua vitae, VIII bolls of malt.” Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, 1 June 1495.

Friar John Cor was a monk based at Lindores Abbey in Fife. The record shows that eight bolls of malt were given to Friar John Cor for him to make the water of life: aqua vitae, also known as uisge beatha.

Whisky production was first taxed in 1644, causing a rise in illicit whisky distilling in the country. By 1780, there were eight legal distilleries and over 400 illegal ones. Smuggling became standard practice.

Scotch Whisky Association – History of Scotch Whisky

Even Ministers of the Kirk made storage space available under the pulpit, and the illicit spirit was on occasion transported by coffin – any effective means was used to escape the watchful eyes of the excisemen.

Clandestine stills were hidden in the heather-clad hills, and smugglers organised signalling systems from one hilltop to another whenever excise officers were seen to arrive in the vicinity.

By the 1820s, despite the fact that as many as 14,000 illicit stills were being confiscated every year, more than half the whisky consumed in Scotland was being enjoyed without payment of duty.

Finally, restrictions on licensed distilleries were lifted and the illegal distilleries disappeared almost over night. This was the beginning of the modern era of Scotch.

On the 1st of June in 2013, the modern era of superb Saturday scenes was continued with these submissions:

And these were the people who took them:

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