It is believed that the art of distillation was brought from the Mediterranean regions by Irish missionaries between the 6th century and 7th century. While the art of distillation originated in the East, its first European practice was in Spain introduced by the Moors in the Middle Ages, with perfumes and aromatics being distilled long before potable spirits.
... In the Irish Annals of Clonmacnoise in 1405, the first written record of whisky appears describing the death of a chieftain at Christmas from "taking a surfeit of aqua vitae". In Scotland, the first evidence of whisky production comes from an entry in the Exchequer Rolls for 1494 where malt is sent "To Friar John Cor, by order of the king, to make aquavitae".