Customer Reviews


3 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!
A refreshing change from all those 'cut and paste' whisky books with potted distillery histories and 'expert' tasting notes. This book looks at a fascinating aspect of whisky history/Scottish social history, and is well-written, entertaining, and often funny. Warmly recommended.
Published on 2 Mar. 2003 by Wanda Russell

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment, which could have been so much better
The subject of illegal whisky making, its history, the economic and social conditions surrounding it, and how it was combatted by the government, has the potential to make a great book for whisky afficionados, especially when you consider how many of today's large commercial distilleries have roots in illegal distilling. But this book isn't it. It starts well, with a...
Published on 28 Mar. 2010 by D. R. Cantrell


Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!, 2 Mar. 2003
By 
Wanda Russell (Romford, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Secret Still. Scotland's Clandestine Whisky Makers (Paperback)
A refreshing change from all those 'cut and paste' whisky books with potted distillery histories and 'expert' tasting notes. This book looks at a fascinating aspect of whisky history/Scottish social history, and is well-written, entertaining, and often funny. Warmly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment, which could have been so much better, 28 Mar. 2010
By 
D. R. Cantrell (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Secret Still. Scotland's Clandestine Whisky Makers (Paperback)
The subject of illegal whisky making, its history, the economic and social conditions surrounding it, and how it was combatted by the government, has the potential to make a great book for whisky afficionados, especially when you consider how many of today's large commercial distilleries have roots in illegal distilling. But this book isn't it. It starts well, with a survey of the economic conditions and circumstances of distilling. This makes an excellent text on how having different tax rates for the same goods in different places in a single jurisdiction is Just Plain Dumb, and how arbitrary and inconsistent law encourages crime.

But that's all that's good in the book. The rest is just an incoherent collection of uncited anecdotes and well-researched and cited facts, with obvious tall tales thrown in without comment (for instance the tale of how a cripple was able to jump from his boat into that of a customs crew and smash their boat apart while the excise officers and their crew were still on board). To add insult to injury, the publisher has obviously bulked out what is still a fairly slim volume by inserting a large space between each disjointed fact or anecdote, attempting to hide that with a small image. And finally, the scholarship (which would other wise be fairly good if only the editor had managed to bash it into a coherent shape) is terribly let down by an obviously biased treatment of the illegal distillers as folk-heroes and excisemen as The Enemy, while largely ignoring the violence between distilling gangs, the poor quality of the spirit (which wasn't aged like it is today) and the effects on health of an unregulated alcohol industry having little in the way of quality control.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!!, 9 Mar. 2003
By 
Wanda Russell (Romford, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Secret Still. Scotland's Clandestine Whisky Makers (Paperback)
A refreshing change from all those 'cut and paste' whisky books with potted distillery histories and 'expert' tasting notes. This book looks at a fascinating aspect of whisky history/Scottish social history, and is well-written, entertaining, and often funny. Warmly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Secret Still. Scotland's Clandestine Whisky Makers
The Secret Still. Scotland's Clandestine Whisky Makers by Gavin D. Smith (Paperback - 9 July 2002)
Used & New from: £7.97
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews