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					A Timeless Secret It is said that the art of distilling was discovered somewhere in As ia in approximately 800 B.C. The assumption was that this technique was merely used to make perfumes, however this has been refuted. The method by which the processes found its way to the British Isles i s uncertain; however we do know that the Moors brought the art of dist illing to Europe. It is believed that the art was then refined in mon asteries throughout central Europe. Apparently the patron saint of Ire land, St. Patrick, carried this trade into the monasteries in 432 AD o n a Christian mission. Regardless, the Celts did attain the secret eve ntually and made their water of life that in Gaelic is pronounced “Uis ge Beatha”. This simple yet not well-known name is how the scotch whiskey came t o be, as Uisge means whiskey. The millstone year for whiskey in hist ory would have to be 1494 as a Sir Friar John Cor of Scotland ordere d eight bolls of malt. It was reportedly to be used for aqua vitae which is the first accountable proof of production of whiskey in Sco tland. The skill of distilling soon left the monasteries for the farms where just about everyone was making whiskey up until about 1820 this is w hen the government decided they were going to shut down personal and private distilleries making them illegal. The rough and sometimes bru tal taste differs greatly from today. It was not until the eighteent h century that it was discovered that with aging came a mellower brew . The findings of the aging process was practically tripped upon when an old cask long forgotten was found full of the good stuff. The uniting of the two parliaments one from England and one from Scot land in the year 1707 is what drew into effect the Union Act. Realizi ng that it would pay off for both sides, they came up with an unheard of plan for making the malt. By the year 1725 the English malt tax was forged however not without bl oodshed. At this time every second bottle of malt distilled in Scotlan d was of the illegal kind due to roving excise men, illicit distillerie s, and the fashion of smuggling. In 1820’s much trouble arose in the form of crime and tough taxing policies which eventually became completely unmanageable. To solve the problem, the government ordered the Excise Act which allowed th e government to track which distilleries were legal and those which were not by using labels. Whisky started out as a product for the British market in the 1820s, but today it has become a drink that is appreciated and loved around the world. Much of this incredible development is the result of the i

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ntroduction of blended whisky. Even today approximately 90 percent o f all whisky that is produced in Scotland is used in blended whisky. However the interest of single malt whisky has increased in recent ye ars and this development is likely to continue. 492 PPPPP

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posted:12/16/2007
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