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Scotland's whiskies important part of its history

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Photographs by Cameron Hewitt, Rick Steves‚Ä

Workers at Scotland's Speyside Cooperage fashion oak casks for aging Scotch whisky.

When I was in Scotland recently updating my guidebook, I came to a sobering conclusion -- this is a land of booze geeks. Some of my favorite discoveries have been inviting whisky bars and historic distilleries, run by people evangelical about Scotland's favorite beverage. When it rains -- as it often does -- the showers elicit a cheery "That's tomorrow's whisky!" from the locals.

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The picturesque seaside town of Oban, on Scotland's west coast, grew up around its distillery, which was founded in 1794. + Enlarge

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