Glengoyne is one of the few distilleries producing whisky in this part of Scotland today. However at the beginning of the nineteenth century it is recorded that at least eighteen whisky stills were in operation in this area.But these, like many others at that time, were illegal. Whisky producers were forced to produce whisky illicitly as they were unable to pay the heavy taxes imposed by the government on spirit production to fund wars against France. Smuggling became rife and the hills and glens around Glengoyne formed a perfect cover for this lawless activity.It was not until the 1820’s that an Act of Parliament was passed reducing the duty on spirit and the cost of a licence to distil which put an end to illegal production. This gave rise to a rush of stills being legalised including those at Glengoyne in 1833. It is reputed that Glengoyne was one of only a few stills to be licensed in the southern Highlands due to the high quality of whisky it produced.Sir Walter Scott’s novels capture the romance and intrigue of this period in Scottish history. In particular with his character, Rob Roy, who was renowned for cattle thieving and other activities and is believed to have once escaped the law by hiding in an oak tree just 300 metres from the Glengoyne Distillery.