Raw Spirit: In Search of the Perfect Dram, Iain Banks

I used to enjoy whisky. I also enjoy Iain Banks’s novels. So it made sense to read a book about whisky by Iain Banks. Ironically, I picked this book up from the boxes of books stored in the church hall where we have our Wednesday AA meetings. I put 50p in the honesty box.

The book is very readable. Iain travels around Scotland visiting distilleries and buying up hunners of bottles. One might say that it’s a self-indulgent book by a writer with too much money and who likes nothing more than to talk about his cars and motorcycles and throws money away on expensive wine and restaurants. And that isn’t entirely wrong either, but for all that it is still strangely compelling and enjoyable. He shares a lot of anecdotes about his life, many of which are rather amusing, such as his enjoyment of urban climbing. And although he talks a lot about his expensive cars, it’s clearly more than just self-indulgent prattle; this is a man who knows and loves the automobile and his enthusiasm is infectious. He also knows Scotland very well and it’s fun to read his descriptions of the various roads across the country.

Overall this is a great book. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. I’d give it a four.