Whisky expert Dave Broom, from Glasgow, says  Scotland’s national drink has its’ origins in Ireland. He said there is “strong evidence” whisky may have been first developed in Ireland and brought to Islay, to be drunk at the seat of the High Kings (is he talking about the Macdonald’s?).

Broom said: “If you look at the north of Ireland and across to Islay, that’s the cradle of distillation… but the first record I found is in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.” Film producer Adam Park (The Amber Light), said research carried out for the film suggests the Beaton family, who were Irish physicians, (related to the Maclean’s) developed a vast international knowledge of botanical remedies.  They were most likely to be instrumental in creating what would become the first Scotch whisky. “The Beatons were pretty amazing people, they travelled the world translating medical scripts and building their knowledge,” he said “They came to service of the High Kings and became experts in distilling spirit and added to it the plants and flowers that grew around them.”  Let’s be fair here; the Beatons, whose family name appears as MacMeic-bethad and MacBeth, are believed to have first arrived on Islay in the 13th century at the time of the marriage between Aine O’Cathain and Angus Og MacDonald, Lord Of The Isles and also closely associated with the Maclean Clan. The Beaton family became hereditary physicians to the Scottish crown, serving Robert The Bruce and every subsequent Scottish king, while also providing medical knowledge to clan chiefs from the Western Isles to the Lowlands.  Here we go –  a spokesman for the Scotch Whisky Association said: “The earliest known record of Scotch Whisky production dates from the Exchequer Rolls of 1494, but it is likely the ‘Aqua Vitae’ was being produced long before this date. It is likely early development of distillation in Scotland and Ireland took place in parallel, ultimately leading to two distinct global industries.”

I have said numerous times, the Irish invented whisk(e)y. The first written account of distilling in Ireland comes from Kilkenny in the 14th century with the Red Book of Ossory and the Kilkenny Whiskey Guild are celebrating and highlighting this history. The Red Book of Ossory is a fourteenth century register of the diocese which is associated with Richard Ledred who was Bishop of Ossory, 1317/60. The volume contains copies of documents which would have been important for the administration of the diocese – constitutions and taxations, memoranda relating to rights and privileges, deeds and royal letters. The register is, however, best known for the texts of songs composed by Bishop Ledred for the vicars choral of St Canice’s Cathedral ‘so that their mouths be not defiled with theatrical, foul and secular songs’. It also contains a treatise on acqua vitae (whiskey to you and me). Richard Ledred is must be noted, is the notorious Bishop who went on to tackle what he considered the important issue of witchcraft. He chased Dame Alice Kyteler out of the country and burned poor Petronella de Meat, her maidservant, for witchcraft. Check out; http://whiskytours.scot/kilkenny-whiskey-guild-irish-whiskey-tour

Birthplace of Irish Whiskey. Ballykeefe Distillery is situated in Co. Kilkenny the heartland of Ireland, adjacent to its medieval capital, Kilkenny city. It is steeped in a historic heritage and tradition, holding the unique distinction of being the birthplace of Irish whiskey. It is from this area that the first written account of distilling in Ireland comes in 1324 in the Red Book of Ossory. The word “Whiskey” is an Anglicisation of the Gaelic phrase, uisce beatha, meaning “water of life”. https://ballykeefedistillery.ie/our-story/birthplace-irish-whiskey

I have great respect for David Broom, in a way, we agree that the Irish started whiskey and the Scots took it under their wing a century or so later. Why do I write these articles/blogs? Because I can. My life evolves totally around whisky, I buy and sell it, I discuss it, I write about it, I visit so many distilleries with my tour company – it’s in ma hoose it’s in ma blood! Why is our whisky blog called the ANGEL’S BLOG? Named after a few things really, the angel’s share; the amount of alcohol (whisky) that is lost to evaporation when the liquid is being aged in oak barrels. The angel’s share. My Dad; he has been an angel for some 60 years or so, liked a dram when he was with us (I was told by my Uncle Harry) and I believe he is still taking his share in that distillery in the sky. I write almost all of the whisky blogs, with a few being from friends around the whisky world now and then. Club Patron (it did used to be a club) is another Maclean, this time of the Charlie variety; Charles Maclean. We know Charlie well (cousin) early on Paul (McLean) asked Charlie if he wished to become a club member, his reply; “Yes and I will be your Club Patron”.  And so it came to pass … you can find him here; https://whiskytours.scot/charlie. If you like a good read, an argument and a debate, take a look, there are tons of blogs waitin for you here; http://whiskytours.scot/whisky-blog-called-angels-blog PAUL MCLEAN Perth Scotland, also Kilkenny Ireland.

Wee note; notice the Irish Cowan’s whisky doesnee have an E