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Reviews Written by
B. R. A. Gulien (Amsterdam)

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Red Dog [DVD]
Red Dog [DVD]
Dvd ~ Josh Lucas
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely the nicest family film I saw for ages., 4 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Red Dog [DVD] (DVD)
Not a blockbuster Hollywood style, but a nice little film about the Pilbarra Wanderer.
A true legendary dog, that wandered the West of Australia, after his master died.
I came upon the legend after reading a Australian blog and that had a photo of the statue of Red Dog, standig at the entrance of Dampier.
A mining town in the Pilbarra.
I knew I had to buy the movie and book it's based upon.
I was not disappointed with either.
The book has more depth then the film, but isn't it always so with movies?
You'll like them both.
Do the film first, then the book.

Red Dog
Red Dog
by Louis de Bernieres
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Nicest book I read in ages, 4 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Red Dog (Paperback)
I came up on Red Dog legend after a mention in a Australian blog.
I knew I had to get the book and film.
Absolutely the nicest book I read for ages.
And the weirdest thing is, that it is al true.

Legend of Laphroaig
Legend of Laphroaig
by Marcel van Gils
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A need to buy book, if you love Laphroaig, 20 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Legend of Laphroaig (Hardcover)
If you love your Laphroaig and curious how the liquid ended up in a bottle near you, you have to buy the book.
There are coffee table books, that are just that. Decorating the coffee table.
This one gives you an insight into the workings of a distillery and not just that, it gives you an insight in the distillery through the ages.
Situated in the southern part of Islay, Laphroaig is with it's companion distilleries in that area ( Ardbeg and Lagavulin) one of the distilleries, that put a lot of smoke and peat in their whiskies.
People love it or hate it, but the trend is that more and more people can appreciate the complexity of the Islay whiskies.
As a coffee table book it's not for decoration, but to check it again and again.
A perfect companion for the Ardbeg: A Peaty Provenance book.

Fatal Last Words (Bob Skinner series, Book 19): A gritty crime novel of celebrity and murder (Skinner 19)
Fatal Last Words (Bob Skinner series, Book 19): A gritty crime novel of celebrity and murder (Skinner 19)
by Quintin Jardine
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Time to retire the series, 20 Feb. 2010
That is all I want to say: Time to retire the characters and the series. They had their run. The first 10 were reasonably good, the rot set in after that.
Time for Mr. Jardine to look out for a fresh set of characters.

Whisky Legends of Islay
Whisky Legends of Islay
by Robin Laing
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

11 of 12 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. The truth about the disastrous flight of The Lord Of the Modern Isles, Prince Charles, when he landed the plane the wrong way, and had to be consoled with a very stiff Laphroaig. Some very fine stories from, and one about the Lady of the Isles, Christine Logan.

The book ends with the story of the making of English Whisky. How the English lured one of the real Whisky Heroes, Iain Henderson, retired Laphroaig Distiller, to Norfolk to set up a real English Whisky Distillery. (The St. George distillery). He (Iain Henderson) now sits (according to Robin), a broken man, in a small caravan, on the English side of the border, hoping, that in time, the Scots will forgive him.

As you can see, I liked this book a lot, but one piece of advice: Don't read it in one go. This book has to be savoured and read a story or chapter at a time, with a nice dram at you fingertips. My recommendation: Have a bottle from every distillery on Islay. Put one of Robin's cd's in the player and read one of the funniest books on Whisky. And remember: If whisky drinking was an Olympic sport, nine people of a team of ten, including women, would come from Islay. (A quote from Keith Jessop, which shows, he has a tremendous insight in the social life of Islay).

Seanchas Ile: Islay's Folklore Project
Seanchas Ile: Islay's Folklore Project
by various
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to sharpen you Gaelic, 2 Jun. 2009
This is a nice project for people who are trying to learn Gaelic.
It's subject is of course the Folklore of Islay, but the layout is in 2 languages.
One page is in Gaelic and the other page is in English, so you can compare both texts.
As a very beginning Gaelic speaker/reader this is of tremendous help to me.
The subject is to preserve the oral history of Islay.
There are still people around who experienced living on a rugged island, without the modern stuff we have nowadays.

On The Whisky Trail [2008] [DVD]
On The Whisky Trail [2008] [DVD]
Offered by Panns.Media
Price: £3.10

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A short whisky trail, 2 Jun. 2009
The title promises more then the DVD delivers. This is only a piece of the whisky trail. Only a part of Speyside is tackled. Some distilleries are visited, the majority is not. And then you have the other regions still to be done.
It shows how whisky is made from barley to the bottle, and some great distilleries are visited, like Glenfiddich, Glenfarclas and The Glenlivit, with some history thrown in.
Quality is not that good, but passable.
A great DVD for beginning whisky aficionados, but for the advanced whisky-lover a waste of time.

A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland Circa 1695: A Voyage to St Kilda: WITH A Description of the Occidental I.E. Western Islands of Scotland
A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland Circa 1695: A Voyage to St Kilda: WITH A Description of the Occidental I.E. Western Islands of Scotland
by Martin Martin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars one of the earliest travel books in Scotland, 2 Jun. 2009
This was written in a interesting timeframe, before the Jacobites got restless.
It's not a Lonely Planet, but written in the style of the 17th century.
Nowadays we journey by modern ferry, but this trip is more like an expedition.
A early insight in the cultural and religious believes of the Western Isles people, after the demise of the Lord of the Isles.
BTW, The Lord of the Isles by David Caldwell would be a perfect companion to this book.

Ardbeg: A Peaty Provenance
Ardbeg: A Peaty Provenance
by Gavin D. Smith
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect coffee table book, 15 July 2008
This is for all the Ardbeg whisky lovers. It tells the story of the distillery from 1815 up to now.
The resurrection in 1997, after being mothballed for a long time, is accurately documented.
Starting in 1998 with the distilling of the new spirit to the presentation of the new Ardbeg Renaissance, this is the story of the Peaty Path to Maturity.
It also tells the story of the Ardbeg committee, which is a big factor to the cultfollowing of Ardbeg.
The whisky is not forgotten. History of Distillery bottlings as well as bottlings of independent bottlers. Tasting notes are included for the very old, old, new and newest expressions.
Beautiful photographs of Ardbeg illustrate this book.
Not only the buildings and the spectacular Islay landscape, but also the people and the whisky are captured.
I had the privilege to obtain the book from the author and photographer themselves on the Ardbeg openday at the Feis Ile in May. So my copy is signed, of course.

Whisky Dream: Waking a Giant
Whisky Dream: Waking a Giant
by Stuart Rivans
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly entertaining reading, 20 May 2008
As a Bruichladdich user (sounds like an addiction) I knew most of the story.
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.

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