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Whisky Dream: Waking a Giant Paperback – Illustrated, 28 May 2008
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"Whisky Dream" tells the extraordinary story of one man's dream to raise from the dead not one, but two of Islay's most cherished malts. After a hard-fought battle, former wine merchant Mark Reynier, together with old business partner Simon and masterblender Jim McEwan reopened Bruichladdich in 2001 after seven years of silent mash-tuns. Their astonishing journey involved scrapes with a top secret MOD submarine, U.S. military satellites, the CIA, faceless multinationals, patronising bank staff, supply problems, all-new international sales and distribution network, and an eleventh hour, GBP7.5 million bank loan. Port Charlotte Distillery, closed its doors on Islay in 1929, exactly a century after its foundation, as a direct result of a major downturn in the whisky industry, caused by Prohibition in the United States, becoming nothing more than a windswept ruin.Not happy with achieving what even their families and close friends told them was impossible with Bruichladdich, and after declaring that he would 'never, ever, ever do this again', Mark set his sights on the traumatic challenge of, indeed, 'doing it all over again' with Port Charlotte.More than anything, however, this is the story of the islanders themselves, 'The Ileach': their resourcefulness, their stubbornness, their ancient ability to triumph over adversity. This is what brought - and will bring - both Bruichladdich and Port Charlotte distilleries back from the grave.
About the Author
Stuart Rivans was educated at Bearsden Academy before attending Glasgow University and completing a post-graduate diploma in journalism at Strathclyde University. He has produced numerous projects for BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Scotland, STV, Grampian TV and Channel 4. He is a former freelance writer for The Scotsman, Sunday Herald, Evening Times and Big Issue.
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It was the book which was difficult for me did not assume English a native language, but was more attractive than it.
This is about a distillery that has woken from the grave. Killed by big corporate entity, Jim Beam, a bunch of believers tried and succeeded (IMHO) to bring back the brand.
And not only bring it back, but bring it back with a vengeance.
Battling against the big conglomerates, they are fiercely independent and raised eyebrows with the settled whisky scene.
One of the big names in whisky, Jim McEwan, formerly of Bowmore, put together a series of excellent expressions.
Too many, according to the whisky bores, but in my opinion it gives me the opportunity to sample the genius of Jim McEwan.
This turned out to be more of a whisky review, then a book review, but read the book and buy a bottle.
Enjoy both at the same time.
A wonderful combination.
The downside is that the writer seems to have pretty much been taken in by Bruichaladdich's marketing team and parrots back everything he's been told. We are constantly told about their "tiny" marketing budget, but the owners have built up a lot of hype surrounding the brand. Rivans is uncritical of their controversial range of "innovative" finishes (which were pioneered not by Bruichladdich, but Glenmorangie) and lets himself down with a few inaccuracies.
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