Peat and Whisky: The Unbreakable Bond

Mike Billett

As well as being a whisky connoisseur, Mike Billett is a leading peatland scientist with a background in geology, soil and water science. During his 40-year career in research and education – at the Universities of Edinburgh and Stirling and at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology – he researched and wrote extensively on the peatlands of the British Isles, Scandinavia and the Arctic, focusing on water quality, carbon, peatland management and environmental change, writing many research papers, book chapters, reports, and articles. In recent years he has immersed himself in the landscapes, taste and qualities of Scotland’s single malt whiskies and has applied his deep understanding of the science of peatlands to this passion. Peat and Whisky is his first non-academic book.

Peat and Whisky: The Unbreakable Bond

by Mike Billett

  • RRP: £12.99 (print)
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781913393908
  • Publication date: October 12, 2023


Buy Peat and Whisky: The Unbreakable Bond

Peat and Whisky: The Unbreakable Bond is, as one of the best-known aficionados attests, “among the most important books about whisky ever written.” Part travelogue, part popular science, and a love letter to Scotland’s most famous artisan product, Mike Billett’s account brings together landscapes, geology, ecology, history, people and their whisky, whilst also addressing an important current environmental issue: peatlands and their role in climate change.

The story of peat and its central role in the production and flavour of whisky is engagingly related through the author’s journey around Scotland and into its past – in ancient peatlands and bogs and the places where whisky has been made for centuries. It sheds light on a country and its history, especially through an oft-misunderstood component of the production of whisky. It looks back to a golden age of peat and whisky, as well as forward to a more challenging future.

As our natural resources and landscapes are increasingly contested, this is the essential read for all whisky lovers.

REVIEWS OF Peat and Whisky: The Unbreakable Bond

“An inspirational work, wonderfully engaging, educational and thought-provoking … a compelling read for any Scotch whisky enthusiast.” Iain J McAlister, Master Distiller, Glen Scotia, Campbeltown

“A must-read for any whisky fan.” Billy Abbott, The Whisky Exchange

“A timely book, indeed, long overdue.” Brian Townsend, whisky historian

“A unique work … a journey through ancient peatlands … Billett reveals the special relationship peat has had with the Scotch whisky industry … essential reading for anyone with an interest in whisky.” Neil Wilson, whisky historian

“Compelling and entertaining … essential reading for all whisky lovers.” Gavin D Smith, whisky writer

“This is an outstanding contribution to whisky literature, indeed I believe it to be among the most important books about whisky ever written.” Charles MacLean, noted whisky writer and connoisseur