Dog Falls illicit still

Below a rock outcrop close to the Dog Falls waterfall in Glen Affric you can find the remains of a hidden whisky still.

The name 'whisky' comes from the Gaelic 'Uisge Beatha', meaning "water of life".  The secret of making whisky is thought to have been introduced to the west coast of Scotland from Ireland around 1500 years ago.

While whisky is made elsewhere in the world, Scotch whisky is certainly the most famous.

In the Highlands of Scotland in the 18th century, making (or 'distilling') whisky was a common activity. Nearly every household would have had its own whisky still, to make enough to provide for themselves. They sold any surplus and sometimes even paid the rent in drink.

The government, however, wanted to extend its control over whisky production, and the Excise Act of 1788 banned the use of stills that made less than 100 gallons at a time. This meant that all small household stills became illegal. All this achieved was to send Highland whisky production underground with people hiding their whisky stills in remote places.


Storyteller Bob Pegg shares a local tale.

Visiting Dog Falls illicit still

The exact location of Dog Falls is grid reference NH 281 281.

The still site itself is not accessible. For infomation about access to Glen Affric and Dog Falls, please see the related web pages.

All sites managed by Forestry Commission Scotland are open for you to explore. However, not all sites have paths or signage and some are a considerable distance from car parking. We recommend that visitors consult a detailed map and wear appropriate clothing.

Please follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and remember that historic sites should be treated with care and respect.