Spirit of Place – Chicago Review Press
From Glenlivet to Talisker, an evocative portrait of Scotland’s distilleries Treating Scotland as eight distinct regions, this fascinating book describes the cultural terroir of the country’s 50 greatest distilleries and their exquisite range of single-malt whiskies. It details the entire distillation process, including the ingredients of local barley and spring water; the practices of roasting, smoking with peat, and fermentation; and the traditions unique to the geography of each region. More than 250 specially commissioned photographs capture the texture of the surrounding landscapes through the changing seasons, vividly portraying the craftsmen who work there and detailing the fabric of the buildings themselves. A unique addition to the literature on Scotch whisky and featuring text from the world’s greatest whisky expert, Spirit of Place is the perfect gift for anyone planning to tour Scotland’s distilleries, a souvenir for anyone who has visited them, and simply the perfect companion to a dram at home.
Spirit of Place – Kansas City
“Good Things to Drink” (Frances Lincoln) takes the same occasional approach with everything from savory drinks to infusions, punches, warming beverages, and gin and tonic variants.
Although many of this year’s books have a geographical bent, only one truly transported me elsewhere: “Spirit of Place” (Chicago Review Press). Charles MacLean knows Scotland’s distilleries and flavors better than anyone in the world, and his descriptions (amply aided by photographs from Lara Platman and Allan MacDonald) fully capture the magic of the country’s 50 finest. It was almost enough to make me book a return trip to Islay on the spot.