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Barrels and Drams: The History of Whisk(e)y in Jiggers and Shots Hardcover – September 6, 2011
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Very readable, a wonderful collection of anecdotes, historical curiosities, lore and biographical notes, Jim Beam, Jack Daniel, John Powers, John Jameson -who I discovered was a fellow Scot - are described in colorful prose.
Who knew the words Alcohol and al-abiq (a popular type of still) are of Arabic origin? Or lands which, today, eschew alcohol, once hosting early distilleries? Or that Pakistan's Muree Brewing Company launched a 21-year-old single malt Scotch whisky, not for sale or export, except to non-Muslims who need a permit to obtain?
I knew of early records tracing distillation in Scotland back to 1492 - noting duty paid on "eight bolls of malt" to make aqua vita (water of life" for merry old King James !V.
And I knew about Al Capone and long lost cases of Sandy Mac salvaged by Leon Sehoyan a decade or more back.
I didn't know how infernal income tax, that " purgatory for the peasantry " then and now, originated in taxes levied on whisky in 17th century Scotland. Shame, shame!
As for characters, notable moonshiners, bootleggers, Bill Mc Coy (The real McCoy), Ulysses Grant... you name them, they are all here.
A handy volume guaranteed to improve your knowledge and enjoyment of the world's favorite tipple.
Now, whaur did ah leave ma dram?