Smuggling in the Highlands. An Account of Highland Whisky with Smuggling Stories and Detections - Ian MacDonald I.S.O. (Late of the Inland Revenue) 1914 - Eneas Mackay, Stirling - First Edition First edition of this seminal volume of whisky history, with illustrations. The author was a highly regarded and long-serving excise officer, who spent much of his career in the Scottish Highlands where he came to know the people and their whisky-related 'ploys' very well.

There can be no doubt that 'good, pious men' engaged in smuggling, and there is less doubt that equally good, pious men - ministers and priests - were grateful recipients of a large share of the smugglers' produce. Some of the old lairds not only winked at the practice, but actively encouraged it.’

As described in the introduction to Ian Buxton and Neil Wilson’s
Classic Expressions facsimile of this work, ‘MacDonald had a keen eye for a good story, and many of the enthralling anecdotes recounted in the chapter entitled Smuggling Stories and Detections have never subsequently been published.

Despite his ability to tell a good smuggling story, however, there is no doubt that MacDonald had little sympathy with the law breakers whose activities he chronicled. Indeed, it is typical of the man, and his era, that an entire, and wholly fascinating, chapter is devoted to
Moral Aspects of Smuggling.

Much of the material in
Smuggling in the Highlands was first read before the Gaelic Society of Inverness during the late 1880s, at a time when whisky smuggling was resurgent in the north of Scotland. It was subsequently printed in the Transactions of the Society and was published as a series of articles in The Highlander and Celtic Magazine.’
  Small octavo (18.5 x 12.5 cm) pp. 124. In publisher’s blue ribbed cloth, lettered in gilt to the spine, and blind-stamped lettering to the front board, top edge gilt, foredge untrimmed, lower edge trimmed.   Condition: Near fine, light rubbing to spine edges and corners, some modest fading, potting and offsetting to front and rear endpapers.   Ref: 109310   Price: HK$ 3,000