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Issue 40 - Wacky, weird and wonderful

Whisky Magazine Issue 40
June 2004


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Wacky, weird and wonderful

We might moan about nanny state governments these days, but over the years legislators across the world have tried all sorts of bizarre things. Here Christine Green looks at some of the stranger alcohol laws

Do you consider yourself a whisky connoisseur or someone who merely enjoys partaking in a glass or two when entertaining? Alternatively, you may find your fascination of the world of alcohol draws you into exploring its history.

And if you take up the challenge and delve deep into the archives you will find amongst other things a collection of strange laws, many of which were penned by members of the clergy or local business people some of whom regarded alcohol as being the ‘demon drink'.

In their eyes legislation needed to be enforced in order to ‘save the souls' of the weak willed who succumbed.

Fortunately, many of those laws have long since fallen into the abyss of time, gone but not totally forgotten, especially by historians for whom they are a reminder of what life was like in days gone by.

And what of the others that remain locked in the historical archives and have yet to be eradicated.

Who knows, in the eyes of the legal system they may well be still enforceable, but for the moment they are there to be read and enjoyed, giving everyone in the 21st century the chance to step back in time and find out what life was really like.

If you are prepared for a transitional journey back to days long before non alcoholic beverages were even conceived, draw up a chair, pour a glass of your favourite chilled wine or wee tot of whisky and relax as you are taken for a brief look back in time at some of the most bizarre laws.

Of all the weird laws relating to drinking n...

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