Reviews are matters of personal opinion, so the other reviewer (only one as I write this) is welcome to his/hers. But I think he/she kind of missed the point of this book. This isn't supposed to be a Michael Jackson review of single malts, though I have to say I like Banksie's taste in whisk(e)y. It's not even supposed to be a tour guide of distilleries, though he does a nice job of calling attention to the most beautiful, warmest, most full-featured (those who still malt their own grains) distilleries and visitor shops. I'd certainly suggest having a wee dram of whatever Banksie recommends, and having personally toured a number of distilleries, I'd also follow up on his recommendations there.
That said, the point of this book is to talk about all of the above with wit and humor and a personal slant that no one else could really bring to the subject. And at that the book absolutely excels. The personal history this quintessentially Scottish author recounts brings these places to life in a way that no photograph ever could (despite the astonishing beauty of some of the places he writes about).
In Scotland, there's a complimentary observation one makes about people who know how to tell a good story, or entertain somehow by their mere presence -- such a person is said to have "great crack". It's fun to be around someone like this because they make things interesting by sheer force of personality. Iain Banks has great crack! And he waves it about in the pages of this book. It's just plain fun to read, from the humorous observations about friends volunteering to help him on his whisk(e)y trek, to the sadly accurate portrayal of the imperialist insanity of the Bush administration, to the wry, honest self revelations and deprecations regarding affectations and tastes in building climbing, motorways, and restaurants, to the beautiful homages to the Scottish countryside. Iain Banks loves life, writing, Scotland, whisk(e)y, science fiction, and a million other things, and despises politics and corruption (who doesn't!), and he shares these tastes in a clever, sweet, and funny way.
Obligatory full disclosure: I'm a great fan of the science fiction work by this author, under the name of Iain M. Banks, and quite love some of his non-science fiction work (sans M.) as well. I've also had the pleasure of meeting him once, through a mutual friend, Malcolm Crosbie, of Shooglenifty fame. I would have found the autobiographical notes throughout this book fascinating had I not cared one wit for single malt or Scotland, and I love both (well, all three, including Banksie, as his friends call him).
Buy this book for a good, fun read, akin to say, a Terry Pratchett book about a bizarrely recognizable Discworld known as Scotland.