A DAY IN THE LIFE OF…
Ian Buxton has been working in and around the whisky industry for rather longer than he cares to remember (close to 30 years, but who’s counting?) but was drinking professionally well before that.
In a career marked by both incident and accident, he has been Marketing Director of a world-famous single malt; consultant to more distillers than you can shake a stick at; built several award-winning distillery visitor centres; written a variety of articles and about a dozen books; created a major industry conference; and, apparently without noticing, once bought a derelict distillery.
He is a Keeper of the Quaich and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Distillers; has been rectified by the Gin Guild and appointed a Grand Ordinary Member of the von Poser Society of Scotland, indicating that he continues to fool some of the people at least some of the time.
I’m not sure what my typical day brings, or if you’d really want to be part of it. While occasionally great whiskies (and other spirits) fall on me like a gentle rain I can also spend all day staring at my computer screen or pacing round my library doing ‘research’ (also known as displacement activity). Sometimes I don’t speak to anyone all day and then I get grumpy, Other days – because I’m on a deadline – I’m grumpy anyway. An article, or worse still a complete book, is due with an Editor and I’m running late, I’m usually running late. In fact, turns out that until I’m late I hardly run at all. It’s a very bad habit that writers pick up. But at that point I’m an anti-social bastard and don’t want to speak to anyone all day especially PRs, Until the next time I need some information in a hurry that is, then they’re briefly my best friend. Then again, on another day I might be visiting a distillery I’ve never seen before or being handsomely entertained at a tasting and flattered by the discreet attentions of a PR who is of course definitely my new best friend. Or trying some of that great whisky which has mysteriously found its way to my desk. Or I might even be sending out an invoice for an article or looking at a royalty statement, in which case I’ve been known to smile. In the words of the immortal Dr Samuel Johnson, “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.” You didn’t imagine we do this for fun do you?
Writing is a serious and solitary business. I should get out more. But then I wouldn’t get very much writing done. You see the problem. Apart from working on revisions and updates of 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die (for the 3rd edition!) my most recent project has been to prepare a new edition of “the finest whisky book ever” (according to Dave Broom, and he should know), Whisky by Aeneas MacDonald. First published in 1930 it’s as fresh, relevant and appealing today as ever. I’ve aimed to respect the text while providing insights for the 21stCentury reader and whisky fan with a commentary, annotations and period illustrations.
If you like history and love whisky then please order it now on Amazon UK.
I would like to thank Ian for taking time out of his busy schedule to take part in this feature and for giving us an insight into the life of a professional writer.. Most of us have read his books so to have him write a piece for the blog has been a great privilege.. Thanks Ian..
Yes! It’s here: 101 Gins to Try Before You Die.
“All the tonic your gin will ever need!”
Ian can be found on Twitter at