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Peat Smoke & Spirit - Andrew Jefford

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Peat Smoke & Spirit - Andrew Jefford

Postby Lawrence » Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:02 am

Has anybody read "Peat Smoke & Spirit, a portrait of Islay and its whiskies" by Andrew Jefford? I spotted it a store today and while it was purchased for me it has been secreted away until my birthday. It looks facinating.

ISBN 0 7472 2735 7

Lawrence
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Postby lexkraai » Mon Nov 29, 2004 10:43 am

In two words: highly recommended! He blends whisky information together with all aspects of Islay, past and present and really manages to capture the essence of the island. Also, the different distillery chapters are concluded with the most exhaustive fact files I've ever seen (from water temepratures, to lyne arm angles, it's all there).

Cheers, Lex
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:54 pm

Great! Thank you for the info, it looks like a great read, I can't wait to start.

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Postby lexkraai » Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:58 pm

Hope it's your birthday soon, Lawrence; you won't be disappointed in your present!

I've written a brief review of the book for "Celtic Spirit" by the way: http://www.celticmalts.com/journal-d17.htm

Cheers, Lex
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Postby hpulley » Mon Dec 13, 2004 4:08 pm

It was my birthday recently and I asked for Peat, Smoke & Spirit among other things. It is a great book, a real tomb! I knew from reviews that it had a lot of pages but expected smaller pages; it is a huge volume.

Also got a bottle of Laddie 15yo. Or should I say, a bottle of "Brooch-la-ditch from is-lay". I said thanks and gently corrected them, of course and showed them the page in the book since they weren't quite sure if they believed me ;)

I think there are some glasses under the xmas tree :D

Harry
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Postby Lawrence » Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:29 am

This seems to be the book that everybody received for Christmas. I'm only just into the book and already the information flow has been excellent. What a great present!
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Peat Smoke and Spirit

Postby si_peacock » Wed Jan 26, 2005 1:38 pm

I agree with all the comments so far... just been very slow getting back to the board this year. This is the (Islay version) of the book I hoped In Search of the Perfect Dram would be.

I've been fairly vocal in my negative reaction to Perfect Dram - but my faith in whisky writing has proved well founded with this great book. It tells you about each whisky, everything down to the number, size and design of the stills etc, but combines this so well with the landscape, the history, the people, the climate, the shipwrecks and the economy of the island. I've read the whole thing and my other half is reading alternate chapters (the ones without whisky!! - she'll learn)

Great book - hope more come out on other whisky regions
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jan 26, 2005 9:42 pm

hpulley wrote:It was my birthday recently and I asked for Peat, Smoke & Spirit among other things. It is a great book, a real tomb!


Harry! I think you meant "tome". Or was your nose buried in it for a good little while? :lol:
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Postby hpulley » Wed Jan 26, 2005 9:48 pm

While tomb can mean something commemorating the dead and there are dead mentioned in Peat Smoke and Spirit, you are correct that I meant to same tome for large book. Different pronunciation. Not even similar etymological roots... Thanks for the correction.

Harry
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Postby JimHall » Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:05 pm

A bit of a cheap-skate I have requested it from my local library. They promise to get me it but god only knows how long that could take..... if I get it soon I'll let you know but it could be long after your birthday (next year) lawrence.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:26 pm

No sweat, Harry--don't take me too seriously. I just can't resist an opportunity for silly wordplay.

I just this minute ordered Peat Smoke & Spirit from amazon.co.uk based on the recommendations here, along with Murray's Bible and some cool tunes from Brittany. (No, not Spears! That would be "Britney"!)

Brooch-la-ditch indeed! Ha ha! Is that near Hetton-le-Hole?

(See what I mean?)
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Postby Lawrence » Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:40 am

Don't forget to order a copy for Mr. Picky.
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Postby JimHall » Mon Mar 07, 2005 1:16 am

still waiting foir my copy from Clackmannanshire library .... should have bought it really.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Mar 07, 2005 2:14 am

Got my copy from Amazon.co.uk two weeks ago. My reading habits are rather fragmented at the moment--I'm also reading a novel, and what's more don't want to take PS&S on the road with me--so I 've only read the first chapter, an overview of distilling. Mr. Picky clucked his tongue once or twice, but you know how he is. I ignored him. So far it seems to be a fine read. Will report more once I get into the meat of it.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Mar 10, 2005 4:38 am

I am so far greatly enjoying Peat Smoke & Spirit. I suggest to anyone buying it to pick up a copy of Ordnance Survey Landranger #60 (Islay) as well, for reference (or Explorer 352 & 353)--the map in the book is not particularly detailed. At the moment I can't find mine, and it's driving me crazy!
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Postby Tom » Thu Mar 10, 2005 6:37 pm

Its been the best book about Malt whisky i have read so far.
The information in this book is staggering without losing your concentration a single second.
absolutely fantastic. informative for both the beginners and senior whiskyfans.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Sun Mar 20, 2005 4:59 pm

Have to agree - this is a fantastic book! Not only have I learned a lot about whisky in general but the whisky I like so much have also been put into its right context! Whisky is about Islay and Islay is about whisky!

Skål!
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AT LAST

Postby JimHall » Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:08 am

I recieved the book from my Library this week and they had gone to the trouble of purchasing it, Just started and enjoying so far.

recommend using your local library.
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Postby JimHall » Thu Mar 31, 2005 2:49 am

So far I have found that bits are really very informative, but must be honest and say that I have been bored in places .... not finished reading it yet.
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Second edition?

Postby ronnie » Fri Apr 29, 2005 7:26 am

I was on my way buying this "Peat, smoke and spirit" from my bookstore the other day, but I was told that they aren't receiving any more of this book and that there will be a second updated edition available in june...
I didn't find it on Amazon, but after some googleing I found out that there will be a paperback version released on June 6th 2005, ISBN: 0-7472-4578-9.
Don't know for sure about the second edition thing... maybe it's just the folder that's different (hardback --> paperback).
-ronnie
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Postby hpulley » Fri Apr 29, 2005 12:23 pm

It is supposed to have corrections so it will indeed be a 2nd edition.

Harry
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Apr 29, 2005 10:14 pm

No more "Kidalton" I presume! Guess I have a collector's edition now.
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Postby JimHall » Sun May 01, 2005 10:11 am

I have finished reading this now and intended to buy a copy for future reference.
I previously said that bits were boring but vmy overall view of the book was that it is excellent and a must read for anyone visiting Islay.
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Re: Second edition?

Postby JimHall » Sun May 01, 2005 10:13 am

ronnie wrote:I was on my way buying this "Peat, smoke and spirit" from my bookstore the other day, but I was told that they aren't receiving any more of this book and that there will be a second updated edition available in june...
I didn't find it on Amazon, but after some googleing I found out that there will be a paperback version released on June 6th 2005, ISBN: 0-7472-4578-9.
Don't know for sure about the second edition thing... maybe it's just the folder that's different (hardback --> paperback).
-ronnie


Just for your info I have seen copies of it on Amazon.co.uk about two days ago.
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Postby bernstein » Tue May 17, 2005 1:24 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:No more "Kidalton" I presume! Guess I have a collector's edition now.
Received my copy today (paperback edition 2005) and yepp! - it's spelled "Kildalton" now as far as I can see! (Harry, you're mentioned on p. viii!!! :D )
I'm really looking forward to start reading tonight!
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Postby hpulley » Tue May 17, 2005 3:27 pm

I sent Andrew some corrections and he said he might list all the 'editors' in the new acknowledgements section. Cool! I'm a bit of a narcissist so I think I'll have to get the new edition now to read my name in print :lol:

Harry
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Postby hpulley » Tue May 17, 2005 3:31 pm

BTW, has anyone read Peat Smoke And Porridge by Rebecca Cameron? It is a novel. I saw it when searching for PS&S. There is no description so I wondered if others knew anything.

Harry
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Jun 04, 2005 11:21 pm

Sections on distilleries - excellent.

Sections on minutae of Islay - boring, booring, boring.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Jun 05, 2005 5:14 am

eelbrook wrote:Sections on distilleries - excellent.

Sections on minutae of Islay - boring, booring, boring.


Sorry, eelbrook, you are wrong, wrong, wrong. Hope that's not over the top. I cannot be happier with this book (in spite of numerous errors in first edition), and intend to buy a paperback copy for reference when visiting Islay. There's more to Islay (and life!) than whisky, and Jefford has done a fine job of painting a portrait of the island. I will return with a greatly heightened sense of place. But I'm a geography nut, anyway. I suppose that if you are incurious about such things, you would find those chapters boring. I'm just glad that the book is not so one-dimensional.
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Postby JimHall » Sun Jun 05, 2005 6:37 am

Although I mentioned Boring previously my overall opinion was good (see previous posts).
I wonder if Eelbrook has been to Islay? if not then maybe he should go a then re-visit the book.
I read it before my first visit and think I might have another read myself.
I won't mention any names but a distillery manager on Isaly told me that he skipped the first chapter as he found it a bit boring.He too enjoyed the book overall.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jun 07, 2005 7:57 pm

I'm not "wrong". We just have different opinions, the sharing of which is what this forum is surely all about.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:30 pm

And my opinion is that you're wrong! But you're right, of course. 8) But having been to Islay, and being in the middle of planning another visit, I found those "boring" chapters most edifying. Frankly, I'd have found the book boring without them.
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Postby Jeroen Kloppenburg » Fri Sep 02, 2005 1:03 pm

And for those who have not yet read this book and dont even have a copy yet, theres a chance to win a signed copy over at my website just now =)

Contest just began, and theres 2 months left to enter, so plenty of room to answer the few questions (not really hard) and to come up with a good caption under an image.

Enjoy =)
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Postby rthomson » Sat Sep 03, 2005 3:47 am

I received my copy a couple of weeks ago and have been working my way through it. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading through it and have only regretted that I have only the spare random moments to commit to it. I'll be in Islay (my first time) in a few weeks and Jefford's book has heightened my anticipation. A signed copy would be wonderful!


Ron
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Postby Paul A Jellis » Mon Mar 27, 2006 11:45 pm

Just finished reading my copy, and I think it is a fantastic book. It goes someway to explaining why Islay's whiskies are so complex and, at times, powerful. They do nothing but reflect the character of the island itself.

Andrew Jefford is to be applauded for this book, I have long wanted to return to Islay, but now it is a matter of some urgency. My first visit concentrated too much on the distilleries, I now need to return to see more of the island itself.

I know it is a book that I shall be picking up and reading again.

Paul
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