In 1644, the Scottish Parliament introduced a notorious excise duty on Scotch whiskey. This tax would continue to rise for the next several decades. This was simply unacceptable to those whose families had been making whiskey mainly for themselves.
Smuggling quickly became a way of life for the distillers who made it their mission to share their whiskies throughout the Scottish isles. Unable to curtail the smuggling, the government was eventually forced to reduce the duty in the early 1800’s leading to the establishment of legal distilleries. One of the few distilleries to have survived from that time is Old Smuggler, who chose their name to honor the spirit of the early whiskey maker.