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Issue 81 - The knowledge

Whisky Magazine Issue 81
July 2009

 

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The knowledge

Misako Udo is the ultimate whisky enthusiast and her book The Scottish Whisky Distilleries is the most intensely researched book ever published.

To describe Misako Udo as a whisky enthusiast is a bit like saying that in the last year the British Labour Party has struggled a bit. Two years ago she published what is arguably the ultimate ‘train spotter's guide' to the distilleries of Scotland, and she has had the industry talking about it ever since.

Want to know the exact capacity of every washback and still in Scotland? It's all Scotland's Whisky Distilleries. Information about fermentation and distillation times? No problem? The name of the old distillery cat? Probably.

Glance through it, with its pages of closed distilleries you've never even heard of long lost in the depths of time, and you can't help be stunned by the research, enthusiasm and effort that has gone into writing it. So who is Misako and how did she not only fall in love with Scotland and its distilleries, but marry into the country and its culture?

Originally born in Nagasaki in Japan and brought up in Tokyo, she is now 49 years old and living in Edinburgh where she is now a Scottish Tourist Guide Association member and makes her living from conducting tours for Japanese visitors.

It's the culmination of a love affair with Scotland, Scotch and distilleries that started more than 30 years ago.

“My very first Scotch was White Horse at a Japanese local bar in Nagasaki with my friends when we graduated from the high school age at 18,”she says.“We loved White Horse's label which stood out among Japanese whiskies on the shelf behind the bar co...

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