Scotch: A Golden Dream

Scotch: A Golden Dream


Passion is our story.

Documentary exploring the origin of scotch whisky, how it's made, those who make it, and how the industry thrives today. Directed by Andrew... Peat (how appropriate).

Flicks Review

Known as Scotch: The Golden Dram in the UK, and directed by American Andrew Peat, whose surname practically obligates a dad joke, this documentary is an amiable introduction to a timeless industry.... More

Set mostly on the Scottish island of Islay, which is home to eight working distilleries, it features a series of scotch enthusiasts/pedants sipping against backdrops of windswept barley—although whether they’re piss artists or poets is up for debate. Happily, there are so many big characters on show it’s a deceptively smooth watch.

Richard “The Nose” Paterson looks like a 1970s gameshow host and talks with conviction about looking “into the soul of the whiskey”. But the star of the show is Jim McEwan, a six-decade veteran who took a summer job at Bowmore distillery aged 15 only to find “that six weeks turned into 52 years”. We join him as he bids goodbye to the industry, and performs his last ever tasting. His daughter pops up too, and contributions from Mortlach’s Georgie Bell (also a woman) stop it from becoming too much of a sausage-fest, and show how the industry is changing.

But part of scotch’s enduring appeal seems to be that it doesn’t change. It’s not about innovation, but local colour—something you’ll find plenty of here. A Golden Dream may sometimes feel like a promo film, or a very, very good DVD extra, but it really knows its audience. Those who already love scotch will lap it up. Those with no interest can just keep walking.Hide

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The Press Reviews

  • Over the long haul, it's all enough to drive you to hit the gin bottle. Full Review

  • There's some good material here, about the importance of the cask and the peat that smokes the barley. But the film ultimately has nothing significant to say about this $6 billion global industry. Full Review

  • Enjoy a sniff of this amiable doc about the ins and outs of the high-end Scottish whisky trade and you'll get hints of passion, tempered with wafts of fustiness. Full Review

  • Throw in some handy consumer advice along the lines of "whisky age isn't everything" and, like the alcohol itself, there's something for everyone in this documentary. Full Review