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Peat, Smoke and Spirit: The Story of Islay and its Whiskies [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Andrew Jefford
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Nov 2004
Those who discover malt whisky quickly learn that the malts made on the Isle of Islay are some of the wildest and most characterful in the malt-whisky spectrum.

In PEAT SMOKE AND SPIRIT, Islay's fascinating story is uncovered: from its history and stories of the many shipwrecks which litter its shores, to the beautiful wildlife, landscape and topography of the island revealed through intimate descriptions of the austerely beautiful and remote countryside. Interleaved through these different narrative strands comes the story of the whiskies themselves, traced from a distant past of bothies and illegal stills to present-day legality and prosperity. The flavour of each spirit is analysed and the differences between them teased out, as are the stories of the notable men and women who have played such a integral part in their creation.

The perfect adjunct to a glass of whisky on a dark, fire-lit evening, PEAT SMOKE AND SPIRIT is the last word on Islay and its whiskies.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; illustrated edition edition (1 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747227357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747227359
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 14.6 x 5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 354,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'If ever there was a book to read on a cold - possibly moonlit - night with a stiff dram beside you, then this is it. Irresistible' (Scotland on Sunday 2004-11-21)

About the Author

Andrew Jefford is a regular broadcaster on the BBC, the former drink correspondent of the Evening Standard and the author of many acclaimed books. He has won six Glenfiddich Awards and various other honours for his writing.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The islay whisky bible 6 Dec 2004
By A Customer
This book is partly a whisky book, partly and travel book and partly a social portrait of the island of Islay.
For the Islay whisky enthusiast, this is the most detailed and complete book I have ever seen. All of the Islay whisky distilleries and their products are descried in complete detail. An added bonus; the book discusses at length why each of the whiskies tastes as it does.
As well as the in-depth discussion of the whiskies, the book is a travelog of the island. Much of the island's history is described, and the reader gets to 'meet' some interesting island characters. The author is a professional writer of some ability, and it makes a change to have such a book written by a talented author.
Without doubt, the best book about the island of Islay and also the best book about Islay whiskies. If you like the island or the whiskies (or both), get this book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply a superb read 11 Jan 2005
By A Customer
This is a beautifully written combination of history, geography, social comment and whisky lore. One tip: get a detailed map of Islay to have next to you or you spend your life going back and forwards to the map inside the cover.
Be warned! Owning this book will cost you money. At least the requisite bottles of Islay malt to appreciate as you read and at most, a trip to Islay. Mine is booked.
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