Sunday, July 19, 2009

Raw Spirit by Iain Banks

Raw Spirit: In Search of the Perfect Dram Raw Spirit: In Search of the Perfect Dram by Iain M. Banks

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Banksie! I hear you're writing a book about whisky - you'll be wanting a hand with that then ...

Offering the noted author Iain Banks the opportunity to write a book about whisky is a little bit like giving a five year old child the keys to a sweet shop and the toy shop next door as well. This is an enormously self indulgent book, but Banks writes in an engaging and humorous way about his various wanderings around the Scottish highlands and islands in a variety of interesting cars and bikes, accompanied by friends and acquaintances sampling the wares of different distilleries in search of the elusive perfect dram.

In between the tasting notes and distillery reviews, we are also treated to descriptions of 'great wee roads' for driving on, restaurant recommendations, anecdotes about daft escapades from his youth and assorted political rants (the second gulf war was just kicking off as the project got underway). This book really needs to be read with a notebook to keep a record of any whiskies that you might want to try yourself and a Google Earth window open so that you can trace the great wee roads that are so eloquently described.

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2 comments:

Leatherdykeuk said...

Much as I love Mr. Banks, my teetotal habits indicate I'd be better off giving this one a miss ;)

Anonymous said...

I don't drink either but I loved Raw Spirit, especially the descriptions of Scotland and Banks' droll, quirky humor.