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Issue 60 - Back in print

Whisky Magazine Issue 60
November 2006


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Back in print

A new company is breathing new life in to old lost tomes.Ian Buxtontells us more

As regular readers will know, I am an enthusiast for old whisky books for several reasons.

Firstly, they are often attractive objects, “Books do furnish a room” as Anthony Powell remarked.

Secondly, unlike a whisky collection you can enjoy them and they don't decline in value the moment you've opened them.

Finally, and most importantly, they can tell us how whisky has changed during the years and what people a hundred or more years ago thought was important.

Unfortunately, there is a growing interest in classic whisky books and they are getting expensive and very hard to find.

However, emboldened by the positive reception to the re-issue from 1930 of Aeneas MacDonald's Whisky (Canongate Books), for which I provided the introduction, I decided to see if there was an opportunity for some even more specialist titles.

I've teamed up with publisher and writer Neil Wilson to create a website at We are offering limited edition facsimiles of two of the rarest whisky books you could hope to find.

Ian MacDonald, author of the first book Smuggling in the Highlands, was a highlyregarded and long-serving excise officer, who spent much of his career in the Scottish Highlands where he came to know the people and their whisky-related ‘ploys' very well.

Much of the material in Smuggling in the Highlands was first read before the Gaelic Society of Inverness during the late 1880s, when whisky smuggling was resurgent in the north of Scotland.

It was su...

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