Ben Birdsall

Wittenborg's "Whisky Burn" Writer All Set to Embark Upon the Sequel.

Wittenborg's "Whisky Burn" Writer All Set to Embark Upon the Sequel.As a sequel to his well-received travelogue/guide to the distilleries of Scotland, “Whisky Burn”, published by Wittenborg University Press, Ben Birdsall is set to embark upon the ‘sequel’ – the distilleries of Ireland.

Where are you going this time?
Mid July, I am taking a clockwise, more or less coastal route from Dublin to Dublin, passing through some of the most important cities, like Cork, Limerick, Galway, Belfast, (are there any others?) and back to Dublin again. 1,600km, I think, which should take about three weeks.

How are you travelling?
The only way to travel – by Vespa! I’m shipping my trusty 1979 50cc to Dublin on a pallet, then flying in and collecting it the day I start the trip.  I often get asked why I don’t just hire a car, well, the answer to that is it wouldn’t be the same.  I’ve been making Vespa trips like this for years now, in Italy, Switzerland, last time in Scotland, and now Ireland, so it has become a sort of tradition. Also, I paint landscapes along the way and the Vespa suits me in two ways for that – I can park up pretty much anywhere, and it goes so slowly (max. 42 kmph) that I don’t miss anything.  I always bring along a tent, so accommodation is never a problem.

How successful has the first book been?

Wittenborg Whisky Book Attracts International Media Attention

Wittenborg University Press’s latest publication has been attracting coverage in the international press.  Ben Birdsall’s Whisky Burn – Distilleries of Scotland by Vespa was released last year at a gala launch at the Amsterdam campus, in the heart of the city’s business district, and has been ‘flying’ off the shelves ever since.

Wittenborg Whisky Book Attracts International Media AttentionWhisky Burn tells the tale of one man’s quest around Scotland on a classic Vespa 50 to explore the whisky distilleries: camping, 'soaking' up the atmosphere, and doing a spot of oil painting along the way.

The Glasgow Herald magazine’s article entitled Do the Ride Thing, opens with a conversation from the book on the Isle of Islay:
Birdsall arrived on his loaded-up Vespa and met a couple of strangers sitting outside a hotel. They fell into conversation, Birdsall explaining that he had arrived from Switzerland to tour the distilleries scattered across the Highlands and Islands.  The strangers’ curiosity was, perhaps understandably, stirred. 
“Are you an alcoholic?” one asked. 
“No,” Birdsall replied. 
“Are you wanted by the police?” asked the other.
To which Birdsall could only reply, “Not yet.”

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