Whisky Still
West Highland Museum

This whisky still has a mysterious history. It was found abandoned anonymously on the steps of the museum in the 1920s.

The damage was caused by some over-zealous excisemen (or tax collectors) who were determined to make sure that the still would not be used again. They were making a statement against the long tradition of illicit whisky distilling in the Highlands.

The government tried to control whisky production with the 1788 Excise Act, which banned the use of stills making less than 100 gallons (450 litres) at a time. Legal whisky was poor quality, due to the high taxes imposed on the malted grain used to make it. The smaller illicit stills could use good malted grain, so their whisky was smuggled to markets where it would fetch a higher price than that made by the licensed distilleries.

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Date: 1920s
Materials : Copper
Size : 83cm x 162cm

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