Whisky Related Acts

Malt Duty Act 1713
This act was introduced to aid the English war against the French and was in breach with ‘Act of Union’. It caused the Malt Riots which started in Glasgow.

Wash Act 1784
Reduces excise duty on Scotch whisky and provides a definition of the Highland Line. The Highland Line defined the border of Highland and Lowland.

Amended Wash Act 1786
Restricts the number of Highland distilleries to two per Parish.

Excise Act 1823
Offered distillers a license for £10.-, making illicit distillers switch to licensed.

Image: Original Excise Act, 1823



Image: Distillers- & Maltster License, 1854
George Smith, Glenlivet Distillery


Forbes Mackenzie Act 1853

Licensing (Scotland) Act 1853 (16 & 17 Vict. c.67) – Forced pubs to close at 10pm and on Sunday, not allowed to sell alcohol after.

Sprits Act 1860
This act made it legal for the first time the blending of spirits under bond without payment of duty, the storage of blended spirits in vats, and the filling of casks with blended spirit in bond.