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Issue 134 - Ask the Expert

Whisky Magazine Issue 134
March 2016


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Ask the Expert

Send your questions to or by post to: Q&A, Whisky Magazine, St Faiths House, Mountergate, Norwich, England, NR1 1PY

I have the following books that I was given by a friend many years ago: The Manufacture of Whisky and Plain Spirit by Nettleton, Truths About Whisky Smuggling in the Highlands by Ian Macdonald, and Reminiscences of a Gauger by Joseph Pacy. The books are limited editions of 300 copies. I wonder if they are of any value?
J. Smernicki

These are beautifully presented facsimile versions of these rare whisky tomes that were republished by Classic Expressions from 2006 onwards. Classic Expressions was a publishing collaboration between whisky authors Ian Buxton and Neil Wilson who endeavored to bring out of print texts to the curious whisky historian. Each book was produced from a high quality digital scan of an original 19th or early 20th Century edition, and presented in a slipcase with a searchable PDF file on a CD (remember, this preceded the era of eBooks, Kindles, and iPads by several years). Classic Expressions made a fine job of producing these editions with the technology of the day, but the concept of the series only ran to four titles in the end. You can still find most editions for sale online through specialist whisky shops and rare book dealers for the original price of £50 a copy. Any art dealer would tell you that an original artwork is worth far more than a modern limited edition reproduction. Although original copies of rare whisky books can fetch hundreds of pounds at auction, Classic Expressions was a laudable experiment to produce affordable, well-executed c...

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