The Water of Life

As the nights begin to draw in, and the temperature hints at frost, my mind turns to an image of myself warmed by a roaring fire with a nice glass of single malt in my hand. Perhaps Bartholomew shared a similar passion as the later part of the Printing Record was stored in large whisky boxes! Whisky also found its way into their maps, as this one, printed on the 18 September, 1895, shows.

Bartholomew produced many specialist maps with a distinctly Scottish flavour. Whisky, golf and tartan were all celebrated through Bartholomew’s maps. Maps like these were produced for an assortment of companies, each of which had a vested interest in promoting their products. This particular one was issued by Charles MacKinlay & Co.

Charles MacKinlay & Co. were wholesale whisky merchants and consequently motivated to promote an impressive image of Scotland’s whisky culture. The simple design neatly demonstrates the extent, and geographical diversity, of Scotland’s distilleries, hinting at the subtle nuances of flavour that results.

The border of the map is festooned with advertisements for a number of distilleries. Amongst the names are some that remain well-known, and others long since fallen into obscurity.

The map also reveals the extent of the industry at this time, now restricted to a few remaining pockets.

Two distilleries particularly caught my eye, the first being the Royal Brackla Distillery. They were apparently distillers to Her Majesty. The variety of companies and products lusted after and requisitioned by the monarchy never fails to astonish me.

The second being the product at the bottom of this advertisement.

Silent whisky? Any suggestions?