Whisky is simply put nothing short of distilled beer, without hops. Therefore is also the history of beer in part the history of Whisky. Beer is actually first mentioned in the oldest writings known the Dead Sea Rolls from 5.000 B.C.. The art of distilling was first mastered by the people in the Far East somewhere round 800 B.C. the ancient Greeks learned the craft some 400 years later. Sometime in the middle of 5th century the monks in Ireland starts to distil beer, spiced with herbs and botanicals, all for medicinal purposes of course.
The first writing from Scotland mentioning Whisky dates back to 1494, in this a Monk by the name of John Cor is granted permission by King James IV to distil Aqua Vitae, the latin word for water of life that then got replaced by the Gaellic, Uisge Beatha. This Gaellic name became Usky and finally Whisky.
The big break thru for Whisky came in the middle of 19th century when the Phylloxera bug ate most of the Wine Vines in Europe, this led to a lack of grape distillates (Cognac etc.) and the Whisky marched in as the replacement, a position held since then. 1916 the rule came stipulating that whisky had to mature at least three years in oak casks to be able to be called Scotch Whisky.
Today there are more than 500 distilleries, in over 150 countries making Whisky. About 100 of these are Scottish. The history of making Whisky in Sweden is relatively short. Spirit of Hven distillery is the third Pot Still distillery ever built in Sweden. The first distillery was started by the Swedish monopoly, Vin&Sprit in Sodertalje back in 1955 (actually the stills came from Bladnoch distillery). The product was released as a blended whisky 1961. Unfortunately the production was cancelled in 1966 and the product called “Skeppets Whisky” disappeared already in 1970.