Whisky is the fruit of a northern climate. The term whisky is a derivative of the expression “water of life” known in in Gaelic as “uisge (pronounced ooska) beatha.” Over time uisge has been Anglicised to “whisky.” The first whiskies were produced in the 15th century by monastic orders. The first tax on production, in the mid 17th century, had the effect of stimulating illegal production. This may account for the remote location of many distilleries. In 1823 the Excise Act was introduced to license distilleries. As a result the industry became, if not more expensive, at least more respectable. There are currently somewhere around 90 producing distilleries in Scotland.