Determining a clear history of whiskey is difficult. Surprisingly, the first stills were found in Pakistan in Cyprus. Whether or not drinking alcohol was made in them is unclear (it was possibly medicine or perfume). It’s highly probable that recreational alcohol originated in the middle East.
The Role of Religion in The History of Whiskey
It’s thought that religion played a large part in Ireland and Scotland being worldwide whisky centers. Missionaries and priests probably brought the distillation techniques back from their travels, and monasteries themselves were brewing and distillation hubs in centuries gone. It might be difficult to believe considering the modern religions’ views on alcohol, but churches and monks were the source of a lot of alcohol.
It’s quite possible and indeed likely that the Irish introduced whiskey to Scotland. Interestingly, Irish whiskey was considered to be a drink of nobility, whereas Scotch whisky was more common among the poor folk.
United Kingdom Conflict and Its Impact on the History of Whiskey
The 17th and 18th century was a trying time for what is now known as the United Kingdom, full of uprisings and conflicts. As rebellions of the Scottish, Irish and Welsh failed, a number of citizens expatriated to around the world. Jack Daniels was in fact a descendant of Scottish and Welsh people.
Advances in Technology
It wasn’t until the 19th century that Scotch whisky became more popular world wide. With better transport, it was possible to export whisky much more easily. There was also a relaxing of taxation of alcohol distillation, which allowed whisky to be produced far more easily.
Other things that have helped whisky on its way to alcohol stardom have been improvements in distillation techniques, resulting in a better product. These are too numerous to mention. Additionally, there was a plague in mainland Europe in the 19th century that destroyed a lot of the crop that was to make win and brandy. People turned to whisky for satisfaction, instead, and people continue to enjoy whiskey today.