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The Island Whisky Trail
The Island Whisky Trail: Scotland's...

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The Whisky Men

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Scotch in Miniature: A Collector's Guide...

Michael Jacksons Complete Guide
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Jim Murrays Whisky Bible
Jim Murray's
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Whisky Map of Scotland
Whisky Map of Scotland (Pictorial Map S.)

The Single Malt Whisky Companion
The Single Malt Whisky Companion: A...

Scotch On The Rocks
Scotch on the Rocks: The True Story Behind Whisky Galore

Lost Distilleries of Scotland
Scotch Missed: Lost Distilleries of Scotland

Malt Whisky Companion
Malt Whisky

Whisky Quotations

Freedom and Whisky gang thegither!
'The Author's Earnest Cry and Prayer' (1786)
Robert Burns

A good gulp of hot whisky at bedtime - it's not very scientific, but it helps.
When asked about a cure for colds News summary, 22 Mar 1954. Sir Alexander Fleming, (1881 - 1955)

Come, let me know what it is that makes a Scotch man happy! Ordering for himself a glass of whisky
Tour to the Hebrides (J. Boswell), 1773 Samuel Johnson

A torchlight procession marching down your throat.
Describing certain kinds of whisky, in G. W. E. Russell Collections and Recollections (1898)
John L. O'Sullivan, (1813 - 1895)

Selwyn Macgregor, the nicest boy who ever committed the sin of whisky. Muriel Spark, (1918) British novelist. The Go-Away Bird, `A Sad Tale's Best for Winter', 1958.

An eighteenth-century burial in the Highlands.
Yesterday we were invited to the funeral of an old lady, and found ourselves in the midst of fifty people, who were regaled with a sumptuous feast, accompanied by the music of a dozen pipers. In short, this meeting had all the air of a grand festival; and the guests did such honour to the entertainment, that many of them could not stand when we were reminded of the business on which we had met....
The body was committed to the earth, the pipers playing a pibroch all the time; and all the company standing uncovered. The ceremony was closed with the discharge of pistols ; then we returned to castle, resumed the bottle, and by midnight there was not a sober person in the family, the females excepted. Our entertainer was a little chagrined at our retreat, and seemed to think it a disparagement to his family, that not above a hundred gallons of whisky had been drunk upon such a solemn occasion.
Smollett, Humphrey Clinker.

Whisky Johnie—
Oh, whisky is the life of man.
Whisky Johnie.
Oh, I’ll drink whisky when I can,
Oh, whisky for my Johnie.

‘Twas whisky made me pawn my clo’es.
Whisky Johnie.
An’ whisky got me a broken nose.
Oh, whisky for my Johnie.

Oh, whisky drove my mother mad,
Whisky Johnie.
An’ whisky nearly killed my dad;
Oh, whisky for my Johnie.

A Sea Shanty
Oh, whisky here an’ whisky there.
Whisky Johnie.
An’ I’d drink whisky anywhere.
Oh, whisky for my Johnie.

Oh, some likes gin an’ some like beer,
Whisky Johnie.
I wisht I had a barrel here.
Oh, whisky for my Johnie.

If whisky was a river an’ I could swim,
Whisky Johnie
I’d say, here goes, an’ dive right in.
Whisky for my Johnie.

Scotch Drink
In fancy I drink once again
—Not drinking whisky and soda
As an Englishman does, which is very dull,
But with all the splendid old ritual
The urn, the rummers, the smaller glasses,
The silver ladles, and the main essentials.
The whisky toddy is mixed in a rummer,
And transferred at intervals with a silver ladle
Into an accompanying wine-glass
By way of cooling it
Sufficiently for consumption.
—Ah! quam duke est meminisse!
—We have fallen upon lean days.
Would Burns have sparkled upon small ale
And how would the Ettrick Shepherd
Who took his whisky in a jug
Fare in a time like this?
Hugh Macdiarmid.

‘Glenlivet it has castles three,
Drumin, Blairfindy and Deskie,
And also one distillery,
More famous than the castles three.’

The Drink That Satisfies
When Prince Charles Edward Stewart was in hiding after Culloden, he was assisted by one Mackinnon of Strathaird, who brought him from Skye to the mainland, whence he escaped to France. In recompense, the Prince entrusted to him the receipt of his own favourite liqueur, which had been devised for him when he was living in the French Court. The liqueur was called, by the high-landers,’ An Dram Buidheach,’ or ‘the drink that satisfies.’ This has now been anglicised to Drambuie.

For a hundred and fifty years after very little of the liqueur was made. The clan made some each year for their own use only.

Fifty years ago, however, young Calum Mackinnon used the ancient secret recipe to manufacture Drambuie in small commercial quantities. This he did in a cellar under Union Street in Edinburgh.

‘A widow woman at Tynron Kirk brewed ale in a very small way, chiefly for the people who came to church on Sundays, and to escape licence she left the reckoning to the consciences of her guests. Hearing of a new exciseman, she became alarmed, and came in great fear to her neighbour, a Mr. Williamson, a merchant, to ask his advice. Williamson, a remarkable gentleman in his way, who by activity and probity had made a great business in an out-of-the-way village, told the old woman to be in no fear—Mr. Burns would be gentle with her.

Next week Burns came to attend to business at Mr Williamson’s, and when that was finished the honest merchant took him up the way to see the old widow, telling him the whole case as they went. They had a bottle of the widow’s ale and sat a little while, after which they rose to come away. Williamson, having dropped the small sum due for the ale into her hand, said, “Now, mistress, this is Mr. Burns,” at which she had nearly fainted from terror. Burns, seeing the plight she was in took her by the hand and said cheerily to her, “Keep up your heart, my good woman—sin on, and I’ll protect you,” and left her the happiest woman in Nithsdale.’

The Deil's Awa'

The deil cam fiddlin’ thro’ the town,
And danc’d awa wi’ the Exciseman,
And ilka wife cries ‘Auld Mahoun,
I wish you luck o’ the prize, man.’

The deil’s awa, the deil’s awa,
The deil’s awa wi’ the Exciseman,
He’s danc’d awa, he’s danc’d awa,
He’s danc’d awa wi’ th’ Exciseman.

We’ll mak our maut and we’ll brew our drink,
We’ll laugh, sing and rejoice, man
And mony braw thanks to the meikle black deil
That danc’d awa wi’ th’ Exciseman.

There’s threesome reels, there’s four­some reels,
There’s hornpipes and strathspeys, man,
But the ae best dance e’er cam to the Land,
Was The deil’s awa wi’ th’ Exciseman!
Robert Burns

Five reasons for drinking
Good wine, a friend, or being dry
Or lest you should be bye and bye,
Or any other reason why.

Here’s a bottle and an
honest friend
What wad ye wish for mair, man?
Wha kens, before his life may end,
What his share may be o’ care, man?

And After-
In honest Bacon’s Ingle neuk
Here maun I sit and think,
Sick o’ the warld and warld’s folk,
An’ sick—damned sick—o’ drink !

Magnus Eunson And The Dead Man

The Highland Park distillery in Kirkwall is founded on the site of a bothie once worked by Magnus Eunson, a famous smuggler, and a church officer by profession.

It is said that Eunson used to keep his whisky beneath the pulpit in the local church. On one occasion, the gaugers came to search the church. Eunson had the ten kegs quickly removed to the manse, set in an empty room, and covered with a white cloth.

When the gaugers, after an unsuccessful search in the church, approached the house, Eunson called all his people, including the maidservants, and set them kneeling around the kegs, which with the cloth covering, under which a coffin lid had been placed, looked like a bier. He himself knelt at the head of the ‘coffin’, bible in hand, the others with psalm-books; when the officers entered, the attend­ants set up a wail for the dead. One of them whispered’ smallpox ‘ to the officers, who promptly fled, leaving Eunson alone for quite some time.

The Real Glenlivet
‘Gie me the real Glenlivet, and I weel believe I could mak’ drinking toddy oot o’ sea-water. The human mind never tires o’ Glenlivet, any mair than o’ caller air. If a body could just find oot the exac’ proper proportion and quantity that ought to be drunk every day, and keep to that, I verily trow that he might leeve for ever, without dying at a’, and that doctors and kirk­yards would go oot o’ fashion.’
James Hogg, according to Christopher North.

Reid Indian Peter
One of the most famous eighteenth-century taverns in Edinburgh was Peter Williamson’s, a tiny pub hard up against the entrance to Parliament House. A great place it was with the lawyers. The signboard, outside, had the inscription :—‘ Peter Williamson, vintner from the other world’ and the tale behind that is very strange. Peter, at the age of eight, was kidnapped on Aberdeen Pier and sold into slavery in America. But a kind master left him, on his death, money and a horse, and Peter’s adventures continued. He was captured by the Red Indians, had many adventures with them, escaped, and finally returned to Scotland, where he fought a famous court case against the magistrates of Aberdeen, and with the damages he received, he opened his famous tavern. Later, he started up as a writer and publisher, ran a Scottish weekly newspaper, started the Edinburgh Penny Post, and published the first Edinburgh Directory ! He is, says Macdiarmid. reputed to have been one of his own best clients.

A New Use For An Exciseman
An amusing tale is told of the founding of one of the Campbeltown dis­tilleries. One of the original partners was a local cartwright who used to tour the country, and often had his show of instruments announced from the pulpit of the local church before his arrival. White stopping at the hotel in Islay one night, he had to share his bed with an excise officer, and spent the whole night in gleaning information about the local distilleries. As a result, he determined on starting one for himself on his return to Campbeltown, and so originated — Distillery.

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