"Scotch whisky is a mystery, a magic of locality. A foreigner may import not only the Scottish barley but Scottish water, Scottish distilling apparatus, and set a Scot to work on them, but the glory evaporates: it will not travel."
Ivor Brown, British essayist and novelist
Fortunately, though the "magic" and "glory" of Scottish distilling processes are not exportable, the finished product is. No alcoholic beverage in the world is so closely and immediately identified with its homeland as Scotch. And two brands exemplify and symbolize the world-renowned quality and prestige of Scotch whiskyChivas Regal and The Glenlivet.
In A Double Scotch, celebrated beverage author, journalist, and columnist F. Paul Pacult tells the stirring story of how two families forever changed the Scotch whisky playing field by producing benchmark whiskies that, over time, became standards of excellence, not just in Scotland, but the world over.
Set against the spectacular, craggy backdrop of the Scottish Highlands, this multigenerational saga offers a study in contrasts between families as different from each other as the exquisitely blended Chivas Regal is from The Glenlivet, the quintessential single-malt Scotch.
You'll meet the Chivas brothers, James and John, an ambitious pair of upscale Aberdeen grocers who never owned or operated a distillery, but elevated the process of blending whiskies to a fine and very profitable art. The father-and-son team of George and John Gordon Smith, on the other hand, were hardy Highlands farmers from the Glenlivet district of Banffshire whose sideline malt whisky business became too lucrative to remain a part-time pursuit.
For all of their differences, the Smiths and the Chivas brothers shared a common dedication to quality, authenticity, and customer service. It was that dedication that helped both families weather a storm of cutthroat competition that, along with excessive taxation and ill-advised government interference in the whisky trade, gave birth to an infamous era of widespread skullduggery, illicit distilling, rioting, smuggling, and even murder. Through it all, these two familiesalong with their flagship brandsnot only survived but also transformed their local craft by creating first a nationwide, then a worldwide market for their products.
Amidst this remarkable tale of family drama, business intrigue, and bloody mayhem, Pacult taps into a deep vein of dry Scottish humor and infallible common sense. Served neat, A Double Scotch will whet the whistle of Scotch lovers, Scotland aficionados, and business enthusiasts alike.