Speaker tells the story of whisky

AT THURSDAY’S meeting of Arbroath Rotary Club in the Meadowbank, president Mike Sowden welcomed Iain Young from Dundee Rotary Club, Hugh McConnell from Whistler, Vancouver, and the speaker for the evening, Brian Townsend, editor of ‘Amber Lights’ the weekly column in the Dundee Courier.

Mr Townsend entertained the company with a comprehensive talk on ‘The Lost Distilleries of Scotland’. He spoke of their origins in the 16th century, and stated that by 1823 distilling was made legal. Tax was levied at two shillings and sixpence (12 1/2p) per gallon.

Mr Townsend said that the introduction of Prohibition in the USA did not help the situation. However, there was one whisky which was allowed into the States due to the opinion that it was medicinal in it’s unusual taste. This was Laphroaig!

In 1900 there were an estimated 130 distilleries which had reduced to only eight by 1932. The abolition of Prohibition by President Roosevelt brought about the resurgence of whisky. The largest exports, he stated, still go to the USA, with France surprisingly second, followed by China and Japan.

Mo Morrison proposed thanks.