The First Definitive Book on Whisky

By Aeneas MacDonald

Edited by Ian Buxton

Format: Hardback

Availability: In stock

RRP: £9.99

Price: £9.99

Special Price £8.99

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.

Product Description


This is - in the opinion of many whisky writers and experts - the finest whisky book ever written. It is certainly the first written from the point of view of the consumer and is thus historically significant. But more than that, poetic and polemic in style and with its emphasis on the importance of single malt whisky and its concern to protect and inform the consumer, it remains fresh and relevant to the interests of today's whisky drinker. It is a remarkably prophetic book, and with Ian Buxton's shrewd commentary and analysis, combined for the first time with period illustrations, it is brought bang up to date for today's generations of whisky aficionados.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Hardback
Imprint Birlinn Limited
Publication Date 5 Jul 2018
ISBN 9781780274218
Number of Pages 192

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Press Reviews

'The finest whisky book ever'

'If I could take only one whisky book to a desert island it would be Aeneas MacDonald's Whisky'

'This is a small volume but there are plenty who will love it. It is airy, witty, full of sound knowledge and practical wisdom'

'A highly entertaining read: personal and opinionated, and providing a valuable insight into the Scotch whisky industry'

'Among the generous pour of publishings to please whisky fans, one stand-out is a long-awaited new edition of Whisky by Aeneas MacDonald ... [h]is literary musings on matters of malt and more, first published in 1930, are widely hailed as among the best writing on the subject. The new edition features period illustrations and an appreciation by writer Ian Buxton, who was instrumental in bringing the book to the masses'

'an absolute triumph… Aeneas MacDonald's original text emerges as a superbly-written celebration of whisky… Many, many books have been written about whisky since Aeneas MacDonald first sat down at his typewriter. It is nice to be able to conclude, thanks to the efforts of Birlinn and of Ian Buxton, that one of the first books on the subject remains one of the best'

'Original copies of ‘Whisky', Aeneas MacDonald's 1930 book, now change hands for hundreds of pounds, so it's canny publishing to release a new edition in time for Christmas. MacDonald, the pseudonym of journalist George Malcolm, was one of the first writers to bring an amateur's eye to what had previously been a dry, technical subject. He was not an expert, and part of the joy of this new edition is Ian Buxton's humorous commentary correcting him. In fact, it can be read as a good-natured argument between two greats of whisky writing'

'This slim little volume is a glorious polemic, and today's readers are helped enormously by the introduction and text annotations offered by spirits scribe Ian Buxton who deploys his pen as scalpel, exposing both the unfortunate innards of the original author and cutting to the chase' 

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