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Whisky Legends of Islay [Paperback]

Robin Laing , Bob Dewar (Illus) , Bob Dewar
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

25 May 2009
This witty and diverting book, from musician and whisky expert Robin Laing, captivates the reader with folklore and history reflecting aspects of Islay life, all relating back to whisky. Simultaneously entertaining, comforting and informative, Laing uses narrative and lyric to examine the relationship between the islanders of Islay and whisky. When grouped together as a whole, the various anecdotes, poems and songs beautifully illustrate the importance that whisky plays in the lives of the people of Islay, but also of how it has shaped their history.

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Whisky Legends of Islay + Peat Smoke and Spirit: A Portrait of Islay and Its Whiskies + Islay (Landranger Maps) (OS Landranger Map)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Luath Press; First Edition edition (25 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906817111
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906817114
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 463,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A fine addition to every whisky library, the book is a testament to a very special aspect of whisky." - CELTIC SPIRIT WHISKY JOURNAL, on 'The Whisky Muse'. "There might be other guide books about Scotland in general and Speyside in particular, there might be other books about Scottish whisky - but forget them, you only need this - " - FOLKWORLD on 'The Whisky River'.

About the Author

Robin Laing is a whisky expert and author, as well as being a musician, songwriter and interpreter of traditional Scots song. Robin chairs the tasting panel for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and writes many of their almost poetic tasting descriptions. He contributes regularly to Whisky Magazine and performs his Whisky and Song shows all over the world, thus being an ambassador for Scotland in the most enjoyable way imaginable. He currently lives in Lanarkshire.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent book from the whisky bard 12 Aug 2009
Published during the Feis Ile 2009, this book is a return to prose for Robin Laing. Famous for his whisky-drenched songs and poems, he started to write about it too. After The Whisky Muse: a collection of poems and songs drenched in Scotch Whisky, he wrote the definitive tour around the Distilleries of Speyside in The Whisky River. Now he turned his writing talents to one of his favourite islands: Islay. 'He brings together the myths and legends of the island of Islay, the whisky capital of the world' (from the backpage blurb).

And he is not shy to start a legend of his own, Seamus Mor. It incorporates such chapters as : Bar Legends, Legendary Drinkers, but my favourite is the story of Islay Cheese which was (allegedly) banned by the Pope, because of it's aphrodisiacal properties. Of course that has something to do with whisky. The Islay Cheese company was housed in one of the buildings of the former Lochindaal distillery. Still some Angels Share wafting around? Or maybe the fact that the old cheesemaker John Kissock and his son were 'legendary drinkers' according to a Port Charlotte resident. But did it work? Well, read the legend of Seamus Mor and you'll know! Sadly Islay Cheese is no more. A loss to all, except the Pope.

Of course the well known stories, like the Yellow Submarine and the Weapons of Mass Destruction are there, but a lot of unknown stories give moments of reading pleasure. Mythical or not so mythical whisky beasts have their own chapter. The famous beast lurking around Ardbeg and it's water supply, Smokey the Bowmore distillery cat and many more.

The chapter on Whisky Heroes is the last chapter or section of the funny and sometimes hilarious book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars Light Hearted Stuff.... 25 Oct 2013
By Czarnecki - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
obviously....I came back from Islay a few months ago. I was looking to pick up anything that I could about Islay and it's Whisky. This is a fun little collection of stories - some real some are tall tails.

Nothing too serious here...

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