Tales of Whisky and Smuggling
Publishing, ISBN 0-948403-86-1, First Published 1991, 160 Pages, 23,5 x 15 cm,
This is the story of a war - between a hostile London government and
large numbers of cottage whisky-makers, mostly in the Highlands. Highlanders believed they
had a natural right to make whisky from their own barley, just as they made porridge from
their own oats. The Government, with little time for Highland culture and no appreciation
of it, wanted to raise as much tax revenue as possible from the distillation of spirits.
In so doing they exacerbated the problem of illicit stills and had to set about destroying
them. The stories in this book are all based on actual events in the "Peatreek"
conflict. They show the lengths to which Highland people went to defend their traditional
practices. In some skirmishes with the Excise Officers, lives were lost. These fascinating
stories are a mixture of humour and tragedy and illustrate the determination of the
whisky smugglers to thwart the London government.