15th. to 17th century

Distillation started in Scotland officialy in the 15th century. In 1495 a new regulation of distillation and a lowering of the existing tax on spirits effected in the increase of more legal distilleries. In 1505 the surgeons of Edinburgh got the monopoly to distill and sale whisky. This monopoly was controlled by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh because whisky was sold as a medicin. This monopoly was broken for the first time short after. In 1497 there were mentioned nine shillings income for aqua vitae. In the first time all grain types were used for distillation, malted barley is know since the 16th century. After a bad harvest there were regulations for distillation in 1579, only Earls and Lords were allowed to produce spirits for their own consumption. 1590 came the first export of aqua vitae to Ireland. 1609 in the statues of Iona was the legal distillation on the islands allowed. Haig founded his distillerie in Sterlingshire 1618. 1644 first tax on the strong waters (aqua vitae) with 13 pence for a pint to raise money for Oliver Chromwells war. The farmers and distillers ignored this tax and there was no possibility for the gaugers to bring this taxes home. Duncan Forbes founded on the Black Isle the first official mentioned distiller 1670. After a raide in 1689 he got the privileg do distill tax free whisky for an anual fee of 22 pound. This privileg lasted for 95 years until 1784 and in 1760 nearly two third of the legal production came from him. This was about 400.000 l per year with an annual profit of 18.000 pound (todays ammount of 2 Mio pound). 1688 started the first taxation on the alcohol content.