Aeneas MacDonald, Porpoise Press. 1930 135pages no reference or glossary.
Yes this book is old and one could argue that it is out of date and has no relevance to the current world. However, anyone who does argue these things are completely wrong. There are facts that are no longer accurate but these just add interest and value to the experience of reading it. Details such as there being no distilleries in America only highlight the fact that at that time prohibition was in place. Details such as Ireland only having 21 distilleries, of which only 2 remains, Cooley’s had not been built at that time. Or that Campbeltown had 10 distilleries. Even the names of some distilleries such as Macallan,Aberlour,Tamdhu and many more having the name Glenlivet placed after it due to the reputation of The Glenlivet.
This book is not just a history lesson. It is a book that is romantic and poetic but above all it is a book full of passion and blunt honesty. When Aeneas MacDonald wrote this he did so with the need to express strong views which he did with clarity. It is these views that are still current today. He warns, educates and enlightens today’s reader whilst marking, at the time of publication, the start of a renaissance within the whisky drinking world.
I have been lucky to have an original UK edition which are not easy to find, however, there has been a facsimile edition which includes an introduction by whisky writer, Ian Buxton and a foreword by Charlie Maclean. I have not read the facsimile edition but I believe that it does have an index and can be purchased at a reasonable price. I would strongly recommend it.
A twist to this book is that the author Aeneas MacDonald was in fact George Malcolm Thomson. He was the founder of the Porpoise press and did not want people to think that he had started the press with the purpose of only publishing his work as he had already published other works under his own name. In addition to this his Mother abstained from drink and he did not want to bring any sense of shame onto her.