The success of today's whisky industry was based largely on the commercial drive and foresight of a select group of whisky merchants who took the business world by storm in the late-18th and early-19th centuries. As the manufacture of blended whisky took off, the likes of Tommy Dewar, Thomas Buchanan, John Walker, Arthur Bell and Peter Mackie all established brands that have remained amongst the top-selling whiskies in the world. These men had much in common: they were all Scots from humble beginnings, served long apprenticeships and ultimately set out on their own to build their own companies. This is the story of how these Scots changed the face of the world of whisky for ever, and in doing so became incredibly wealthy. The industry that they took by the scruff of the neck has never looked back and many of the sales techniques and the business culture they created are still in place today.

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