Peat Smoke and Spirit

A Portrait of Islay and its Whiskies

Peat Smoke and Spirit
Peat Smoke and Spirit

“The ocean bears down on Laphroaig with unrivalled glee; its warehouse walls are regularly flayed with kelp, and the distillery manager’s sitting-room windows have been on every occasion I have visited, sticky with brine.”

Buy on Amazon


“Fans of malt whisky…and fans of good writing should make a beeline for wine writer Andrew Jefford’s lyrical latest book, Peat Smoke and Spirit. This is part history, part geography and only part whisky lesson … but the writing is so good that it does not feel like education. This is a strong candidate for drinks book of the year.” Jancis Robinson,

“This is part travelogue, part adventure story, part history and all whisky. The book is written with lyricism, drama and empathyhis style is not just informative but also dramatic. If ever there was a book to read on a cold – possibly moonlit – night with a stiff dram beside you, this is it. Irresistible.” Abigail Bosanko, Scotland on Sunday

“Books aimed at the general public are a rarity in the world of wines and spirits. But Andrew Jefford, boldest and most stylish of contemporary drinks writers, had defied the trend with a hefty, and totally original, volume on Islay which should interest even teetotallers.” Nicholas Faith, Harpers

“Wisely, the author leavens his distilling with a cracking social history of Islay, which might have been dreamed up by Robert Louis Stevenson. There are shipwrecks and betrayals, acts of great heroism and enormous folly. By the end of this exceptionally well-written book, you will have the sense of knowing much of the island, and a very strong urge to go there for a wee dram or two.” Pete Clark, The Evening Standard