Scotch whishkey originated in the form of malt whishky, which was strong and smokey in flavour from the fires used to dry the malt. The Gaelic “usquebaugh” (prn. usky), meaning “Water of Life”, eventually adapted into “whisky” in English. Scotland has protected the term “Scotch” to be used only on whiskies produced in Scotland.
‘Eight bolls of malt to Friar John Cor wherewith to make aquavitae’ appears in the Scottish Exchequer Rolls as the first known written reference to Whisky. By 1494, the time of this writing, whisky had most likely been developed for hundreds of years.
Whisky became an essential part of life for the Scottish of earlier years. While having a strong social connotation, it was also used for everything from sealing a business discussion, to act as an anaesthetic and a disinfectant for wounds.
It has evolved into todays standards and is still being bottled in distilleries, some that have stood for hundreds of years. Through the 1900s blended Scotch became one of the most popular spirits in the world, but the 21st century has seen a wonderful resurgence in the popularity of single malt whisky.