Charles MacLean

Charles MacLean is a writer based in Edinburgh who specializes in Scotch whisky and has published more than a dozen books on the subject.


MacLean is one of the U.K.'s most celebrated Scotch whisky writers and experts. He was the founding editor of Whisky Magazine and is a member of the judging panel for the International Wine & Spirits Competition. He works as a Scotch industry consultant and educator. Several of his books have been shortlisted for or won spirits book awards. His seminal book, "Malt Whisky," was translated into multiple languages.

Awards and Publications

Books by MacLean include "Scotland's Secret History: The Illicit Distilling and Smuggling of Whisky," "Spirit of Place: Scotland's Great Whisky Distilleries," "Whiskypedia: A Compendium of Scotch Whisky," "Malt Whisky," "Whisky Tales," and "Scotch Whisky: A Liquid History," which was named Wine and Spirit Book of the Year by the James Beard Foundation in 2005. He was elected Master of the Quaich, a rare Scotch industry accolade, in 2009.


  • Art history degree from the University of St Andrews
  • Law degree from the University of Dundee
  • Trained at the Scotch Whisky Research Institute


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