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Raw Spirit: In Search of the Perfect Dram Paperback – 5 Aug 2004
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"...In the final judgement, it does what every good book should manage to do ... and what a hundred other books on whisky (and a thousand other books on Scotland) have signally failed to do: makes you want to go for a drink with the author" (Observer)
"Studded with bracing shots of pure insight and eloquence. And he's sound on the scotch as well" (The Independent)
"It’s a very readable and hugely informative book, and Bank’s gentle humour permeates the pages" (Time Out)
"It’s an engaging piece of work, part love letter, part memoir" (Esquire)
"A beautifully realised fusion of travelogue, social commentary and drinking guide. Scotland's most famous export is decanted into full-bodied, humorous prose." (Independent on Sunday)
As a native of Scotland, bestselling author Iain Banks has decided to undertake a tour of the distilleries of his homeland in a bid to uncover the unique spirit of the single malt. Visiting some of the world's most famous distilleries and also some of its smallest and most obscure ones, Banks embarks on a journey of discovery which educates him about the places, people and products surrounding the centuries-old tradition of whisky production. Using various modes of transport - ferries to the islands, cars across the highlands, even bicycles between bus-stops - Banks' tour of Scotland combines history, literature and landscape in an entertaining and informative account of an exploration in which the arrival is by no means the most important part of the journey.See all Product description
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Don't let the 3 stars put you off, my criticism is personal to me and minor, even when he goes 'off piste' the writing is still very natural, heartfelt and interesting. For the very most part its a great, informative travel and whisky guide as he relates his tasting experiences, and his humour, both equally dry and silly comes through too.
Its a good book, definitely worth a read, but being a fan of both his writing and a dram I expected too much maybe and for me the book as a whole just didn't flow smoothly with the whisky sometimes losing its place.
That said, it'll serve as a Great Wee Roads guide for when my time comes to seek the 'perfect dram'.
Part travelogue, part auto-biography, part motoring and part whisky.
A complex amalgam of flavours blended together to provide a very enjoyable dram.
Even for those who don't like whisky it is a still a good read, but for those who like a dram, the book includes some casual tasting notes and a number of fine stories that give an insight into Mr Banks' lifestyle.
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