Scotland's Secret History

The Illicit Distilling and Smuggling of Whisky

By Charles MacLean, Daniel MacCannell

Edited by Marc Ellington

Format: Paperback

Availability: In stock

RRP: £14.99

Price: £14.99

Special Price £13.49

Birlinn Limited

Birlinn publishes mostly non-fiction books, ranging from biography to history, military history and Scottish interest. Their imprints, Polygon Books, Arena Sport Books and John Donald Books, publish a wide variety of genres including culture, literary fiction, poetry and sports.

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Illicit distilling in Scotland was seen as a ‘right of man' at the end of the 17th century. Attempts to enforce excise duty on the spirit were therefore met with resistance, ranging from riots to more and more ingenious ways of avoiding paying tax.

In this book and Charles MacLean and Daniel MacCannell give a fascinating insight into the day-to-day struggles that led to the increase in illicit distilling from the mid-1600s, then to its eventual demise in the early twentieth century. The Cabrach, a wild and sparsely populated part of Aberdeenshire, became renowned for its production of illicit whisky. Local inhabitants mixed farming and distilling with great skill, creating a network of stills and distribution to evade customs. Using new research first-hand historical accounts and official records, the authors show how spirits from this small parish were made and travelled far and wide, across the border to England and across the North Sea to France, firing up revolution and lending solidarity to the struggles of the Jacobites.

Features: Making Whisky (Dennis McBain), The Jacobite Legacy (Murray Pittock), The Bard and the Bottle (David Purdie), The Dram In Folklore (Tom McKean), A Smuggler's Paradise (David Ferguson); Banff - The Smuggler's Royal Burgh (Jay Wilson), Scotland's Lost Distilleries (Brian Townsend).

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Imprint Birlinn Limited
Publication Date 7 Sep 2017
ISBN 9781780273037
Number of Pages 160

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'The end result is, like a good Scotch whisky, something to be savoured and enjoyed, rather than consumed in a single gulp'

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