The Road to Craigellachie

The Road to Craigellachie starts with Hans sipping his first whisky in 1974 and falling in love with the spirit put in front of him. From this moment on, Hans’ adventures into the world of whisky starts with his first trip to the UK after his studies, not exactly knowing what to do next and getting himself entangled in the (then) rather new specialisms as a whisky connoisseur, expert and writer, to (hopefully) never stop again.

Autobiographically written over a timespan of roughly 30 years, he takes us on a trip through Scotland, which somehow always takes him back to his beloved Craigellachie hotel and bar, where he writes many of the present-day snippets connecting the core of the book and his adventure. We find out how Hans has to discover whisky without the aid of modern day online resources, taking us on a quest to find the next distillery and its whisky, making notes in his ever present notebook, building his own library of knowledge. We learn about his transference from an enthusiastic amateur to an acknowledged writer about the distilled Scottish spirit, with a deeply rooted love for the people, the country and its history.

This love makes him come back to Scotland frequently, where he gains a family and befriends many craftsmen and fellow whisky authors. Storyteller pur sang, Hans weaves a warm blanket made of anecdotes and his ever growing expertise, describing his successes, challenges and the unavoidable mishaps in detail. He concludes the book by giving a number of suggestions on trips to take when you find yourself in Scotland, and a list of literature to pick up and read before, during or after these trips. A catchy read, making us want to pack our bags and continue exploring immediately.

The Dutch version of the book (De Weg naar Craigellachie) originates from 2004, and in March 2017, an updated version was released, leaving the core of the book mostly intact. Hans has changed the prologue and epilogue, including an update of the travel suggestions and literature list. In 2011, the English version was released, to be followed shortly by semi-sequel Still Stories in 2014, in which he broadens his journey with Irish and American whiskies and introduces his wife Becky and himself as the Whisky Couple. A book we will review next, here on WhiskySpeller.

Hans OffringaAbout the author
Hans Offringa is an established bilingual Dutch and English author having published over 20 books in both languages and has contributed to, translated and edited many others. He has not only written whisky books and numerous articles in all well known whisky magazines, he has also written a handful of non-whisky related novels. Hans has been inducted as Tennessee Squire, Kentucky Colonel and Keeper of the Quaich, and is Dutch SMWS ambassador since mid 2016. He studied English, Business Journalism and has a professional graphical education with specialisation in electronic media.

About the book

Title De Weg naar Craigellachie /
The Road to Craigellachie
Author Hans Offringa
ISBN 9027497192 (Dutch)
9078668105 (English)
List Price $9,99/£ 9,36/€ 14,95
Distribution  Amazon /

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Copyright notice: Photos by Hans Offringa

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