Before we go too far down the road on the story of the movie, I want to talk about my own story for a moment.
It’s relevant. I promise. It’s really about Scotland anyway.
When I was 8 years old, my aunt and uncle spent a month touring Scotland. They brought back delicious treats, exotic presents, and incredible stories that fired my imagination; ignited something inside of me. Given the chance to visit Scotland in high school, I jumped. I was hooked on traveling and I was really hooked on Scotland. So I returned two years later as a college exchange student.
But what pulled me there? It wasn’t the scenery. Back then, I lived in Glasgow and I never even visited the Highlands.
The Highlands are unimaginably beautiful. One of the most stunning places on earth.
Glasgow is not.
So what was it?
I think that it is the national character of the place. It is a fierce and broad-shouldered culture that doesn’t tolerate bullshit. It has a wicked, aggressive sense of humor born and bred in the harshness of the land. And beneath that is a fundamental decency that is humbling and beautiful and just as much a child of that same harshness.
I love the place because of all of that complexity, but most of all I love the place because I love the people.
Recently, I received an email from JIM McEWAN, one of the featured distillers in our film, and he described whisky as “more that just a drink; it’s the blood of Scotland.”
It’s is not just from there, it is of there. It is the land. And the water (even the horizontal rain). And the peat. And the wind. It is strong and proud and fierce, yet also sweet, sophisticated, and delicate.
So when we tell this tale of whisky, we are really telling the story of the people. They are traditional artisans in a modern world. They’re inventors and artists and poets who love their past but refuse to stand in its shadow.