Was Aberdeen the birthplace of Scotch Whisky?

Press/Media: Research


Historians have uncovered the earliest ever reference to a still for distilling Scotch whisky which suggests the origins of the spirit may lie in the thriving renaissance burgh of Aberdeen.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen came across a 1505 record for a still for making ‘aquavite’, which in Latin means ‘water of life’ and is the Middle Scots word for whisky, in the city’s UNESCO recognised Burgh Records.

It was found by research fellow Dr Claire Hawes who was working her way through deciphering the 1.5million words in Aberdeen’s municipal registers, the earliest and most complete collection for any Scottish town, to make them digitally available in the recent publication Aberdeen Registers Online: 1398-1511.

Period19 Jul 2019

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