Which river has half the distilleries in Scotland found along its length and in its surrounding glens? Why were monks at the forefront of developing whisky? Which Speyside distillery has an annual migration of toads? How did Glenrothes distillery expel its ghost?Robin Laing – singer-songwriter, author of The Whisky Muse, and chair of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s Tasting Panel – set out to visit every distillery in the Speyside area, from Benromach to Tomintoul, and presents a guide to each of them here. There are descriptions of over 50 distilleries in Speyside, including The Macallan, The Glenlivet, Cardhu, Aberlour, Glenfiddich and Glengrant.Each entry is part history, part travelogue and part commentary on the changes in the whisky industry. Includes personal musings by the author, stories associated with the distillery and snippets of poetry and song. Laing’s ‘spirit’ guide in his journey is Alfred Barnard, author of 1887’s The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom. Barnard visited many of the same distilleries that Laing visits now and similarly left his impressions of the state of the facilities and the beauty of the surroundings. Much of this present book compares what Barnard found with what exists now, and the differences – and similarities – are often fascinating.