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Thread: Raw Spirit

  1. #1
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    Default Raw Spirit

    Belfast airport, a few months ago. Having spent the weekend with my girlfriend, I and my best friend were waiting for our return flight. It was delayed so we had ample time to browse through the books in the airport bookstore.

    As a longtime fan of Iain (M) Banks my eye caught the cover of the 'Raw Spirit' book, of which the store had two. I'd never heard of the book, but when I read the back cover I immediately bought it. An avid whisk(e)y drinker for years, I couldn't resist digging into a book about Scotch whiskeys from one of my all-time favorite authors.

    I had to laugh so much the first few chapters that my mate went back and bought the last copy of the book so he could read it right there and then as well.

    'Raw Spirit' manages to combine nearly all the things I find important and worthwhile in life - whiskey, cars, friendship, politics and travel. It's wonderful to read, thick with Banks's customary wit, and it allows us a glimpse into his regular life. I found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable read and it made me crave a long trek through Scotland, mapped out according to the distilleries I want to visit. Alas, I've never been to Scotland (yet) but Banks's book at times made me feel like I was there in person.

    Additionally, I owe Mr. Banks a personal debt for encouraging me, through his words in Raw Spirit, to give Laphraoig a try, regardless of the opinions of my peers (who unanimously condemn it as too harsh and smoky). I find it to be one of the very finest whiskeys I've ever had the fortune of sampling.
    ...and whistled for a baboon!

  2. #2
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    Ahh yes an excellent book indeed.

    Personally I'm totally not into cars, so I could have done with out so much detail there. But I love Scotland & Whisky even more.

    In fact a friend of mine, who is no reader at all, but who is also into Scotland & Whisky; borrowed Raw Spirit off me a few years back & loved it.

    H-man off this very forum & myself knocked up an index for it, but (apart from a hard paper copy) I don't seem to be able to locate it at the moment...
    "Just have fun"

  3. #3
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    I too owe TMH a great debt of gratitude for getting me started on appreciating malt whiskies. When this book came out it didn't really grab my fancy, but then we booked a holiday on Islay so I thought I better do a bit of research. There was no looking back...
    Oh wait, you're serious. Let me laugh even harder.

  4. #4
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    I hate whisky, but this is a fantastic read about TMH and what it must be like to be a man of leisure. I've been on a few boring distillery tours and stayed in hotels with nothing to do but get drunk and stoned, the bit where the three buddies have to split up and become a twosome is particularily poignant.
    My Dad loves whisky, travelling and the Islands of Scotland but couldn't get into this book after I'd lent it to him. I think it's only because he knows I like Banks, and he thinks I'm a bit 'of centre', therefore anything I like must be weird. I bet if one of his hillwalking/golf buddies reccommened it to him he would of lapped it up.
    Life is good when you're happy.
    www.jaglives.weebly.com

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jag View Post
    My Dad loves whisky, travelling and the Islands of Scotland but couldn't get into this book after I'd lent it to him. I think it's only because he knows I like Banks, and he thinks I'm a bit 'of centre', therefore anything I like must be weird. I bet if one of his hillwalking/golf buddies reccommened it to him he would of lapped it up.
    Really? Jeezo, whatever gave him that idea?
    Drink, but very carefully...

  6. #6
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    Default Raw Spirit

    I have not heard of the RAW Spirit Festival, What part of California is it held and When? I live in L.A. County, North of Pasadena.....Thanks...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.Brada View Post
    I have not heard of the RAW Spirit Festival, What part of California is it held and When? I live in L.A. County, North of Pasadena.....Thanks...
    Are you some sort of bad Turing Project? 5 posts out of 5 that are almost random collection of words, some going...
    Lurker at the threshold

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Ta for the links, though that Soliloquy website link is now out of date.

    The band's still going, though I'm not in it & they (currently) only have a myspace site
    "Just have fun"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilarity Unit View Post
    I too owe TMH a great debt of gratitude for getting me started on appreciating malt whiskies.
    i'll second that. i was always a whiskey bloke until raw spirit, and whilst i still favour the irish over the scotch i've learned to appreciate both. one caution though - though the book itself may be reasonably priced it can lead you off into some pretty spendy endeavours. not the least buying the gran reserva on tmh's recommendation and finishing the bottle all by yourself in a little over 24 hours. just don't tell the missus.
    A kiss on the cheek may be quite continental, but tactical thermonuclear weaponry is a boy's best friend.

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