Economical evolution

Fight against alcoholism in England

In order to fight against the devastating effects of alcoholism in those times, England decided to increase seriously the taxes on gin produced on its territory as well as on the genever produced in Holland. However, the "Gin Act" of 1736 did not mention the Scottish uisge beata.
The effect was immediate, and the result was a huge progression of production of uisge beata in Scotland. The production increased from about 100.000 gallons in 1708 to 250.000 gallons in 1736. However, according to documents from that time, the great majority of the production was absorbed by the local market. 
In the same period, the gaelic term "uisge beata" to design water of life has been altered and corrupted, to become uisky of whisky. 
A new important increase of the production happened round 1750, and again it appears that the local marked absorbed it nearly entirely.
This is one of the curiosities of history. The distilleries increase their production in order to take advantage of a lack in a low in England, hoping to export their whisky, but in fact only contributed in a worrying increase of alcoholism on their own territory.
Lots of distilleries have been created in those days. One of them was the Dolls distillery (later renamed Glenochil) which has been founded in 1746 and Gilcomstan (in Aberdeen) in 1751.

Restrictions to distillation

A disastrous harvest in 1756 obliged the government to forbid distillation on the whole territory. The whisky production decreased by 90% in a few months. This did not impeach home distilleries to continue, of course. Home distillation was not prohibited in those days, if intended for own consumption only, but it was strictly forbidden to sell home made whisky.
The times were hard, and the recently founded Gilcomston distillery has been reconverted into a brewery in 1763. The times were hard for legal distilleries.
The general prohibition about production of alcohol in the legal distilleries encouraged the private producers to sell their alcohol. Lots of people broke the law. 
Private production became very important from 1760. It was nearly ten times more important than the official one (which fell beneath 50.000 gallons a year). But the global production was very close to the production before the prohibition. The era of moonshine distilling was born.