Documentary Review: ‘Scotch: A Golden Dream’ And Interview With Director Andrew Peat

By James Lindorf

In 2017 the Scotch industry raked in nearly 6 billion dollars and the liquor only continues to grow in popularity. As more people are giving the rich variation of whiskey a try, it is only natural that they look to learn more about the beverage. Enter Director Andrew Peat with his first feature-length documentary Scotch: A Golden Dream. Peat walks viewers through the major steps of productions without getting bogged down in the details, making it perfect for newcomers.

Peat and Cinematographer Arjun Kamath traveled to Scotland, more specifically to the island of Islay, to explore Scotch from its birthplace. Islay is the southernmost of the Inner Hebrides islands, off the west coast of Scotland. It is the home to many well-known distilleries, including Bruichladdich, which has been around since 1881. The chief distiller and blender for Bruichladdich is James McEwan, who essentially became the film’s main character. McEwan has been part of the world of scotch for 52 years, and the journey through his past is how Peat introduces the different aspects of Scotch production.

Peat breaks up the production steps with personal stories from Jim and his other characters, including my personal favorite Dr. Bill Lumsden. Bill has a particularly entertaining story about the first time he tried scotch with his best friend that involved Led Zeppelin, a guitar and a very angry older brother. If the personal stories and educational aspects aren’t enough, the glimpses of the country and seaside of Scotland, as well as the occasional caber toss should help pull in viewers. Peat created a fun and educational documentary that may not blow anyone away, but will leave any level of Scotch enthusiast entertained.

Peat opens the film with a quote from McEwan about passion making any product better. I recently had the chance to talk with the director about his film, and I think it’s best you get a sense of his passion in his own words. (There may be a few technical hiccups as the conversation was had half a world apart.) Hopefully, you’ll enjoy it and check out Scotch: A Golden Dream after its VOD release on May 7th.

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