In the 15th century, the first record of Scotch was made. A Scottish taxman noted eight “bolls” of malt or grains. Among the first reports, they mention that the Friar John Cor was using malt to produce “aqua vitae,” a drink known as the “water of life.” Those early spirits were extremely potent and were mostly used as medicine. However, the popularity of whisky soon attracted the attention of the Scottish Parliament.
The practice of smuggling Scotch continued until it was taxed by the Scottish Parliament in 1762. Single malt Scotch whisky was almost unobtainable outside of Scotland before the 1960s. Although journalists and whisky salespeople repeated this myth for decades, it’s a myth. The whisky market has changed, and single malts are now widely available in the U.S. and around the world. This change has led to an explosion of demand for single malts.
Making whisky has been a part of Scottish culture since medieval times. The oldest whisky is recorded in government documents from 1494. Although early versions of whisky were likely potent and rough, advancements in distillation made the product much better than it used to be. Continuous column stills and the introduction of blends allowed for the creation of grain whisky and blended alcoholic drinks.
To distinguish between malt whisky and grain whisky, you need to know what each type is made of. Malt whisky is made from barley, water, and yeast. It must be malted barley. Some scotches also include grains or cereals, and caramel colouring. It must also be aged in oak casks for at least three years before it is considered a Scotch.