Slainte

Tartan Day is ahead of us (April 6), celebrating the many contributions of the Scots to the United States. It was chosen to commemorate the Declaration of Arbroath (6 April 1320) upon which the Declaration of Independence was modeled. The water of life (whisky) is certainly in the warm welcoming spirit of America. Andrew Carnegie funded thousands of public libraries in The United States, recognizing their role in the American Dream, and his in particular as a poor scottish immigrant. In past years I have held many fundraisers, often whisky tastings with the wonderful support from Andy’s in Rochester and numerous distillers. I had many warm memories reading the following book, and miss RPL and Andy’s!

Freedom and whisky gang the gither (Robert Burns)

Title: Scotch by Ted Bruning
Publisher: Shire Publishing, Oxford, March 2015
137 pp
Genre: whisky, nonfiction, food/ beverage, single malt scotch
3.5 Stars ***
Author: Ted Bruning has written several interesting books on spirits, including Home Brewing (2014) and Historic Pubs of London (2000). He usually provides a nice list of places to visit and includes here websites and regional distilleries. This would make a nice gift to add to a whisky connoisseur’s collection.
Story line:
This is a small book but is an interesting and informative history of single malt scottish whisky. I have read dozens of book on this subject and enjoyed the concise, entertaining text with good quality informative photographs. There are interesting shenanigans of the corporate whisky world in the 1980/90s. It was depressing to read how many are now foreign owned. At least they are still producing.
After reading, I have a couple new artisanal distillery offerings to try (Abhainan Deag on Lewis since 2008, and Kilchoman, the first new Islay since 1908).
Slainte!
Read on:
Ian Banks Raw Spirits, in search of the perfect dram
MacLean’s Miscellany of Whisky (or anything published by Charles Maclean)
David Wishart Whisky Classified
Phillip Hills (Ed) Scots on Scotch
Michael Jackson’s Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch
And a recent favourite
Heather Greene’s Whisk(e)y Distilled (2014)
Quotes:
Eradour, Scotland’s smallest distillery, was founded legally in 1825 by a cooperative of local farmers to supply their own needs; but mysteriously, they seems to have been already experienced stillmen.
Victorian consumers seem to have taken it for granted that whatever they bought might contain more or less anything from innocuous to the lethal; and whisky was no exception.
By the mid 1870s brandy was on short supply. Scotch wasn’t.
In one sense it doesn’t matter what you drink your whisky out of so long as the hole is at the top and not the bottom.

Read as an ARC from Netgalley

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