Ian Norvals great grand-father was not content to follow in his grand-fathers footsteps. He himself had what was then an illicit still, and had gained a considerable reputation among his “drouthy” neighbours for one of the finest drams to be found. When in 1857 Ian’s great grand-father introduced this whisky, which was also the year his son John Norval was born the then illicit stills were no longer outside the law. The enterprising Henry Norval collected potions of the best products around from the previously illicit stills, along with the local burn water to make a blend of whisky, which he called: Norval’s Sensible Scotch Whisky.
It achieved immediate approval and for many years that blend was applauded by connoisseurs of Scotch whisky as the best in an expanding market.
The term “Sensible” was adopted to convey a whisky of real credentials with a distinctive taste for the regular whisky drinker, without the ostentation and the price premium of some of the large brands of the time. Later during the 1914-18 war, it was the practice of the Norval’s to send the local lads serving abroad, verses of the following poem eulogizing the blend, accompanied with a ounce of tobacco, a clay pipe, or ten cigarettes.