The history of whisky, tartan and the full Scottish breakfast

If you're heading to St Andrew's for a trip of a life-time we can ensure you there'll be plenty of Whisky, Tartan and the full Scottish breakfast. 

However, before you dive right into these traditional Scottish delights, we put together a breif guide to these key Scottish traditions. 


Scottish Whisky

The earliest record of distilling in Scotland was recorded as long ago as 1494; and records suggest that a distilling process in these days was already well established. 'Usige Beatha' was the name given to whisky in Scottish Gaelic, meaning ‘water of life’.

There's a lot you can learn about whisky, and as we dont have much time, below are 5 key facts you can impress your friend's with... 

  1. Just under 38 bottles of whisky is exported from Scotland every second
  2. Scotland has over 20 million casks of whisky maturing 
  3. The world’s most expensive whisky - Macallan Imperiale ‘M’ whisky – sold at auction in Hong Kong for $628, 205 in 2015
  4. To qualify as Scotch Whisky, it needs to be left for a minimum of three years to age in casks
  5. The saying ‘angel’s share’ comes from the 2% of whisky of year that gradually evaporates when stored in barrels




Tartan is a pattern which consists of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours; seen as the country’s national costume and the once unmistakable dress of the Highlander.

Historically, different patterns represent different regions, families and traditionally Scottish clans, however nowadays people can create their own patterns and colours.

The Kilt is now seen and accepted as a colourful, patterned skirt and Scotland’s national dress. However, its origins are not as clear-cut, with theories of Scandinavian or even Irish heritage. Finally, the Kilt is predominantly seen as a masculine garment – still prevalent in today’s society.


Full Scottish Breakfast

A full Scottish breakfast consists of eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, baked beans, black pudding and tattie scones. It can also include fried or grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, haggis and white pudding.

One of the most traditional features of this hearty breakfast are Tattie Scones. These are a regional variant of the savoury griddle cone, generally containing large amounts of boiled potatoes, butter and salt. They are traditionally served hot. 

Scottish Breakfast Use