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History of Gaelic Pure Scotch Whisky

Gaelic Pure Scotch Whisky specialise in a limited supply of the finest whisky with a minimum of 12 years to enable the spirit to mature. This length of time gives the whisky the chance to absorb the natural flavours from the cask that form its character and the area in which it is stored.

A scene depicting some barrels of smuggled whisky being brought onto land

At Gaelic Pure Scotch Whisky we guarantee to supply the original malt whisky within each barrel without influencing its character or diluting its strength. This is why you will be able to clearly experience the true flavour and taste of each region of Scotland; from Speyside to the Highlands, Lowlands and Western Islands.

Gaelic Pure Scotch Whisky publishes the details of each cask we bottle on our website to ensure authenticity and traceability as part of our brand protection. This gives the customer the opportunity, if they so wish, to trace their purchase and be assured of its authenticity as part of the whole experience of choosing a specialist connoisseur's whisky. Gaelic Pure Scotch Whisky is licensed to sell alcohol through its United Kingdom Premises Licence and Personal Licence held by its founder.

Smuggler's Gold™ has been made to be an affordable gift ensuring the diversity of style and taste that can be distinguished between the three main regions of Scotland, allowing the connoisseur to identify the distillery that made the whisky. It is the quality of the water that characterises the whisky and in order to enjoy the Scottish experience we also supply Scottish mineral water from each region.By adding a drop of water to your whisky will release the flavour hidden within it, or drink it with ice made from the mineral water or just drink it pure, whichever is your preference.

There are two types of whisky barrels, the Hogshead and the Sherry butt. A Hogshead of whisky will only produce a maximum of 500 bottles per barrel, or a Sherry butt will only produce no more than 1000 bottles per barrel, whichever barrel is chosen, the product remains bespoke and a limited edition. Each cask will be unique.

History of Scotch Whisky: Trade Mark of Scotland

In 1915 David Lloyd George, Prime Minister introduced the Immature Spirits Act to slow down the consumption of distilled Malt and Grain Whiskies. This he did instead of a prohibition. This Act meant that the distilled spirit had to remain within the bonded warehouse for a minimum of two years, slowing down the supply of alcohol. The following year he extended this for a further year bringing the total time the spirit had to remain in the bonded warehouse to three years.

This has remained unique to Scotland to this present day enabling Whisky to be called Scotch if stored within a Scottish warehouse.

Maturation is where the whisky ages in Oak casks after the distillation process. Various sizes of barrel are used ranging from 200 litres to 250 litres for a Hogshead and 500 litres for a Butt. The legally permitted size is 700 litres, however it is more usual for smaller barrels to be used. During the maturation process the cask breaths and 1-2% of evaporation occurs, known as the 'Angel's Share'.

The earliest history of distillation in Scotland was by monks mainly for medical purposes, first recorded in the Exchequers Rolls of 1494. The records show 8 bottles of Single Malt Whisky bought for King James 4th of Scotland to make 'aqua vitae'. Thereafter in the 16th Century King Henry 8th reformed the Church to enable his marriage to Ann Boylen and disbanded monasteries. This brought the secret of distilling into the wider community as monks fled to towns and villages taking with them their secret skills of distilling, brewing and alchemy into the community.

In 1707 illicit distilling became widespread with the unification of England and Scotland when new excise duties were imposed. This was seen by Scots as the English imposition, taxed but not beaten the struggle of legal distilling was harsh, which continued the illicit production. Only the 1823 did the new Excise Act loosen the regulations and cut duties to transform the whisky industry. Aeneas Coffey perfected the design to the first continuous still, or parent still to produce a milder flavoured Grain Whisky that could be produced in greater quantities than Single Malt Whisky. Having the two processes allowed distillers to start blending malt and grain whiskies to produce a product that is milder and of greater appeal and consistency of flavours. Therefore blended Whiskies are consistent in developing brands like Barrogill Whisky as oppossed to Smuggler's Gold that specialises in Single Malt Whisky.

Whisky really became popular during and after the long lasting battle of Phylloxrea Vastatrix between 1860's and 1880's that severely damaged the French vineyards restricting the production of port and cognac. Within 20 years the master blenders of Bell's, Dewar's, Haig's and Walker's became the most popular blended whiskies through salesmen such as Tommy Dewar and Alex Walker promoting their brands in London and throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

There are many ranges of taste that adds distinction and elegancy to Scotch whisky for you to enjoy through experiencing Scotland's whisky regions. These regions include the Highlands, Speyside, Lowlands and Islay.

  • Highland Whisky is the largest region of Scotch production that embraces the widest range of varied styles. In the West of the region the whisky is of dry character, but firm and rounded. The northern area is more distinctive of heather and spiciness whereas the Southern area gives a light fruity note.
  • Speyside Whisky is known for its elegance and complexity, having most distilleries concentrated within any one region. Water is drawn from the river Spey basin that forms the centre of malt distillation. The variation in landscape is greatest in this area, from granite mountains down to barley pasture.
  • Lowland whisky is an area that produces the most amount of Malt Whisky. The name Lowlands describes an area that is relatively flat and free of mountains. The whisky tends to be gentle in flavour and lighter than the average Scottish Malt Whiskies. Softness depicted by cereal notes, which makes it pleasantly simple as opposed to the Highland and Islay whiskies.

The History of the Haig's family legacy and Whisky

The Haig family can be traced back over the last 385 years to Throsk where the Haig family first started distilling whisky. Over the years the family's influence grew through sons and daughters marrying into other established distilleries or mainly setting up new stills for themselves. Robert Haig is said to have learned the technique of distilling in Holland as opposed to the monks knowledge gained from distillation within the monasteries. He moved from Holland to Throsk near Alloa, outside Sterling in 1623 and established himself in 1627, which is taken to be the date at which the family legacy connected to distilling was established. Dimple or Pinch is the whisky that has made the family most famous.

Although Dimple can be traced back to the 1890's the Haig whisky distilling legacy can lay claim to be the oldest Scotch Whisky distilling company, having been active distillers for over 357 years. Robert Haig was summoned to appear before the Kirk Session for working his still on the Sabbath in 1655 which was the first official recording, thereafter he moved to Newbiggin continuing to distil until the start of the nineteenth century.

The Haigs are well established and connected to other distilleries as John Haig, who is Robert's great-great Grandson married Margaret Stein, the family that founded two successful distilleries at Kilbagie and Kennetpans in Clackmanshire. John Haig had five sons with Margaret and all entered the Kilbagie to learn distilling, of which four went onto establish their own distilleries.

  • James, the eldest went to Edinburgh and owned the distilleries at Cannon Mills then later at Lochrin and Sunbury, his sons continued the latter two distilleries.
  • The younger brother, John was in partnership with James at Lochrin and went on to open the Leith distillery at Bonnington Toll.
  • Robert went to Ireland and purchased the Dodderbank distillery near to Dublin.
  • The younger brother, John was in partnership with James at Lochrin and went onto open the Leith distillery at Bonnington Toll.
  • The youngest of the brothers William continued the tradition first at Kincaple then from 1810 at Seggie. William had two sons John and Robert.
  • William's son Robert continued with Seggie whilst his elder brother John built the Cameron Bridge Distillery in 1824.

In 1827 Cameron Bridge production was moved entirely over to grain whisky production as John saw the potential of the Stein Patent stills that was invented by his cousin Robert Stein at the Kilbagie distillery. Thereafter in 1856 John Haig & Co joined six other Lowland distillers to form a trade agreement protecting their individual and collective interests of the members to form the Distillers Company Limited (DCL) in 1877 with John Haig and his son Hugh as directors. At this point in time the Scottish industry was growing rapidly filling a gap in demand as the French exports of port and cognac had dropped. In 1882 John Haig & Co merged with David Smith & Co and became a limited company with Hugh Haig, John Haig's son, as chairman. However it was John Alicius Haig who released the first Dimple Deluxe blend in 1888, the distinctive three pinch bottle was introduced in 1893 by George Ogilvy Haig. This is how Dimple in the USA became known simply as Pinch, due to the shape of the bottle.

The three pinch bottle established the marketing and brand recognition for Dimple. DCL later acquired the entire ordinary share capital of John Haig & Co Ltd in March of 1919 to take over of the Haig dynasty with DCL in control of Haig & Haig Ltd. The DCL was established by Hugh's brother John Alicius Haig, who now had full control to market whisky in the USA. The original Dimple is at 70% ABV and now in limited supply as the current Dimple is only 40% ABV.

Tak a wee dram afore ye go

Please remember that this whisky is at cask strength 40-70% ABV and drink responsibly.