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The Whisky Men - Gavin Smith

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The Whisky Men - Gavin Smith

Postby Lawrence » Mon Oct 31, 2005 7:40 am

An excellent read full of facts and figures all weaved together so that's it's interesting and a page turner. Bruichladdich was as heavily peated as all the other Islay malts in the 1960's according to statements from a retired distillery worker and such.

I encourage you all to secure a copy asap and start reading.

Lawrence
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Postby Iain » Mon Oct 31, 2005 8:09 am

Gavin wrote two of my three favourite whisky books - I'll certainly try to get hold of a copy of this new one.
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Postby The Fachan » Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:34 am

Lawrence,

I agree, its interesting and funny. Its refreshing to see a book that has no tasting notes or facts and figures on still etc.
Congratulations to Gavon on a great book.


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Postby Admiral » Mon Oct 31, 2005 11:58 am

Any idea where an international reader such as myself might find a copy?

(I've had Peat, Smoke & Spirit on order here for months now! By the time it arrives and I get to read it, the author will have published a sequel. :( )

Cheers,
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Postby Aidan » Mon Oct 31, 2005 12:43 pm

Admiral, maybe these ship to Australia, although I'm not sure http://www.birlinn.co.uk/cgi-bin/user/b ... 1841582999

Otherwise, amazon.co.uk, I'd say.
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Postby MGillespie » Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:54 am

Is this one available in the States yet?

[Editing myself...just checked Amazon.com and it's not listed yet.]

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Postby Lawrence » Thu Nov 03, 2005 3:58 pm

Amazon UK has it for £10.49 and I cannot see why they wouldn't ship to Australia or the US.

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Postby MGillespie » Thu Nov 03, 2005 6:25 pm

I'll give it a few weeks and see if it shows up on the US site (cheaper on the shipping costs).

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Postby Frodo » Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:23 am

Tried to get this book through Chapters. They wouldn't or condn't get it. :(
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Postby Frodo » Mon Feb 27, 2006 6:09 am

Got this book a while ago (thanks Lawrence) but have only started reading bits of it.

REALLY good read from ther perpective of people who have been in the indutry for a while. Comparisons between then and now. Funny yarns about distillery happenings (more in the past than now). Will post more comprehensive notes when I get through more of this book.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:35 pm

I am thoroughly enjoying this book, although a little annoyed at times by repetition. Have lost count of how many times the practice of "dramming" has been explained.
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:01 pm

Fair comment but what would they think about our endles talk about dramming? :D
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Postby Frodo » Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:00 am

Goes to show you how ingrained this was in the culture of whisky making...
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Postby Lawrence » Thu May 18, 2006 5:05 pm

I just finished this book, it was a my bed time read so it took me a while. While the whole book was a n eye opener the very last chapter is a must read for any scotch whisky lover who wants to know more.

This book is simply a must.
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Postby Frodo » Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:41 pm

Just finished this book. A large thank-you to Lawrence for getting me the copy.

This is a book that lets the workers in the whisky industry tell the story of (1) what working in the industry is like, and (2) what changes have taken place over the last generation. It's a very "textured" read where in parts of the book, whole pages are quotes from industry workers strung together with overviews from the author.

Chapters are written from the point of view of an industry job - brewer, mashmen, stillmen, excise officer, cooper, owner, blender, and manager with some chapters written about concepts such as dramming. This is not a consicely written book - it would be vary hard to do this and let the workers tell their story in their own way. However, the texture is magnificent, and I felt like I was in a pub having a beer with the various characters listening to their stories.

The biggest theme that gets repeated was that the culture of the workplace has changed drasticly in the last 30 yrs or so. The buisiness used to be far more labour-intensive and so used to employ far more people than it does now. Also each distillery used to do itsd own maltings and there are less bottling plants so these contribute to less people in the industry. "Characters" have all but left the industry, replaced by chemists and people with degrees. Most distilleries have become more automated which has made better consistency in the new make, but some in the book feel that it has led to erosion of skills that were honed through doing things manualy.

All-in-all a fastinating read for those who are not in a hurry.
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Jun 05, 2006 6:31 pm

Great review Frodo, I particularly liked the very last chapter, I thought it was a real eye opener.
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Postby Paul A Jellis » Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:35 pm

I agree Frodo, I've almost finished my copy and it's proven to be a fascinating read. I think the chapter on 'Change' could apply to any industry today. My Smith is to be congratulated on a truly wonderful and eye-opening book.

Cheers, Paul
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