Glenfarclas – An Independent Distillery. 2011, Ian Buxton
.Angel Share – Neil Wilson Publishing Ltd. 184 pages with Illustrations in full colour. No glossary or index
It would be nice to be able to say that there was something not right about a book written by Ian Buxton – just for a change. The reality is that his thorough research and sensitivity coupled with his understanding and descriptive writing style shines through every time.
They say that you can’t read a book by looking at the cover – but you can enjoy the cover, the level of production, the care and design just quietly but confidently calling out quality.
This book is full of illustrations that are varied – old photographs and reproductions of old documents blend in with new photographs of people, production and place. The illustrations treat the eye in a similar way to the way the whisky itself treats the palate. The sensations are varied yet balanced and allow an exploration of texture, shape and form – rich, dark yet with highlights of brilliance.
Ian writes not just of the history of the distillery – although there is great interest in that alone, but of other associated aspects. These include the writings of Alfred Barnard and also notably of Pattison, Elder and Co, and the dramatic disaster that was to ensue.
Yet there is more – not just history, not just industrial past or farming heritage this book develops into the here and now. It details the family and their current status as well as bringing in the wider community of the distillery – from those in the still room through to the visitor centre and beyond.
Yes this is a historic record and a valuable resource for the student but it is also a snapshot of the present and a celebration of the past and present that also looks to the hope for the future – and all in a way that is a joy to hold and look at.