This guy is kind of like the modern-day Alfred Barnard, only that he doesn’t travel round on a horse and cart, he goes by Vespa 50. I have to admit it is one of the few drinks books that I have read from cover to cover.
We follow Birdsall on his classic scooter from the Western Isles, up to Talisker, down through Speyside and along the east coast to Orkney. Each distillery is a mini-story on its own, engagingly written, entertaining, anecdotal, self-effacing, laugh-out-loud stuff at times, and I learned a bit about the distilling process on the way.
Birdsall likes to talk to production staff and find out the USPs and idiosyncrasies of the different distilleries he visits, but avoids giving his own pedantic -/100 scores for the whiskies he tastes, so don’t expect a Michael Jackson type reference book.
One to read as an amusing and informative travelogue narrative, complete with charming sketches and oil paintings done by the author during the trip.