This is a traditional Scottish drink combining oatmeal, whisky and honey, often with the addition of cream. When I first came upon the drink many years ago, I was initially told that the name came from the Duke of Atholl favouring this drink for his breakfast every day! However, in fact the more widely recorded version is far more interesting.
It is said that the recipe dates from 1475, when Iain MacDonald, Lord of the Isles, was fleeing under sentence of death. He was pursued by the Earl of Atholl, who found out where the fugitive was hiding in the hills, and also learned that he was drawing his water from a small well. The cunning Earl of Atholl ordered that the well be filled with a mixture of whisky, honey, herbs and oatmeal; lingering to sample this fabulous combination meant that MacDonald was captured.