Whisky Books
Whisky Books
A Bibliography of Whisky Books in English
Published Glasgow: Angel’s Share, Neil Wilson Publishing, 2019 1st edition. 208 pages., colour plates and maps [16 pages]. 9¼ x  6 inches. `Arran Water', the term for whisky distilled illicitly on the Isle of Arran, was revered for its quality throughout Scotland during the heydays of smuggling in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Despite this reputation, Arran's rich distilling past has long been forgotten, cast into the shadows of more illustrious whisky-making neighbours such as Campbeltown and Islay.

This pioneering book is the first to chart this fascinating aspect of the island's history. In Arran Water Gregor Adamson provides a comprehensive first-hand account of distilling on the island from the emergence of clandestine manufacture in the late 18th century to the construction of the new distillery at Lagg in 2018 by Isle of Arran Distillers which reinstated legal whisky production on the island after 160 years with the establishment of a distillery at Lochranza in 1995.

Arran Water dispels the myths, hearsay and folktales that have distorted Arran's distilling story and provides a clear narrative, largely through primary
Arran Water : An Island Whisky History


                         Gregor Adamson

Using a vast array of original sources, Adamson outlines the manufacture, transportation, and consumption of sma' still whisky, unearths the secrets of the hidden bothies of the Arran hills and glens, and describes the bloody battles fought between island smugglers and the Excise gaugers and Revenue Cuttermen. The author also explores the development of licensed whisky production on the island, from the lost legal distilleries of the 1790s and 1820s to the modern developments at Lochranza and Lagg.
research, which highlights the key role that illicit whisky production and smuggling played in the island's economic, social and cultural development.

Foreword by Charles MacLean


1 The Arran Landscape

2 Uisge Beatha and Early Excise Legislation

3 The Arran Smuggling Network

4 The Rise of Illicit Distilling

5 The Whisky Makers

6 Early Legal Distilling on Arran

7 The Making of Arran Peatreek

8 The Voyage of the Smuggler

9 Illicit Whisky Consumption

10 The Age of Improvement

11 The Crisis of 1815-17

12 The Whisky Killings, 25th March 1817

13 Excise Legislation of the 1820s

14 The Changing Nature of Arran

15 `Old' Lagg Distillery

16 The Sma' Still Returns

17 Arran Water' Today


Bibliography and Sources

Appendix I

Appendix II


Author Details. Gregor Adamson gained a degree in Scottish History from the University of Stirling, followed by a master's degree in Environment, Heritage and Policy at the same institution. A native of the Isle of Arran, he now works as a freelance writer and researcher specialising in the history of whisky distilling in Scotland.
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