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Issue 64 - A good read

Whisky Magazine Issue 64
June 2007


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A good read

Ian Buxton peruses the library for some of the finest whisky books

How would you like a whisky investment that you can enjoy, display in your home, share with friends and which, however often you use it, will never wear out? And, as a special bonus, will almost certainly go up in value over the long term?

It sounds appealing. You've probably worked out that it's not a collectable bottle.

Open your precious vintage malt and the collectable value is gone faster than you can drink the dram you've just poured.

For that reason collectable bottles tantalise us: we can savour the anticipation of opening them but, once opened, drinking the contents is all that's left to us. So here's a better idea: collect whisky books.

They look good and, provided you are careful with handling, can be enjoyed and still retain their value. In fact, they'll proved to be a worthwhile investment and retain a historical interest for the true enthusiast.

Most collectable whisky books are in English and were published before 1950.

Books about Scotch whisky written from a consumer perspective really begin in 1930 with the publication of Aeneas Macdonald's Whisky (of which more later).

Prior to this, however, there are a number of titles published for a trade audience or for the purposes of political lobbying.

An early and important title is George Smith's The Practical Distiller Or, a Brief Treatise of Practical Distillation published in 1718 by Bernard Lintot.

Period editions are very hard to find and expensive but collectors may be satisfied by the handsome facs...

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