The Water of Life Film launches in January 2021 with a unique virtual on-line celebration of Scotch Whisky and its craftsmen, chemists, and renegades who saved it, and in the process, ignited a single malt revolution.

There will be a weeklong on-line celebration of film, whisky, and the personalities who have made scotch what it is today to coincide with Burns Night Celebration from 22nd to 27th  January 2021.

Producers Blacksmith + Jones have announced this unique six-day Burns Night Celebration in January 2021 to launch the feature documentary focused on the people behind the whisky revolution that turned the stagnant scotch whisky industry of the 1980s into the titan it is today.

Starting behind the locked gates of an abandoned distillery, Jim McEwan and Mark Reynier – “the most unlikely partnership in the history of whisky” – share their personal experiences of the risk- taking and wild experimentation they used to turn Bruichladdich into a creative and financial powerhouse.

The film also takes you on the journeys of visionaries like Gordon & MacPhail, Billy Walker, Rachel Barrie and David Stewart, whose mixture of talent, chemistry, hard work, grit, and a little sprinkle of magic paved the way for the next generation of innovators like Adam Hannett, Kelsey McKechnie, Liam Hughes, Iain Croucher, and Eddie Brook.

Filming the documentary with Jim McEwan

The Water of Life is a uniquely personal perspective on the evolution of whisky by those who lived it – the story of those who played a key part in rediscovering the crafting of the ancient spirit.

Blacksmith + Jones are launching the film alongside Burns Night, which has long been a celebration of the life and poetry of the Scottish poet Robert Burns. Traditionally held on Burns’ birthday (January 25th), it is a gathering of friends celebrating good food, stories, poetry, and of course a few wee drams of whisky. What better way to celebrate all things Scottish then by celebrating all things whisky!?

Director Greg Swartz enjoying a dram with Jim McEwan

The Burns Night Celebration will kick off on the 22nd January and run through the 27th January and will offer whisky fans a unique way to experience Burns Night 2021. The virtual on-line program will include a screening of the film followed each night by a unique hour-long session featuring the stars of the film. There will also be an option to purchase a limited-edition one-off tasting kit specifically curated to accompany the film and take viewers on a taste journey while they watch the movie (where licensing laws permit).

“Our biggest challenge, as with any food or drink film, is you can’t taste the screen. When putting this event together it was important that we found a way to bring not just the story to the screen but to engage the audience in a way whisky does” Director Greg Swartz.

“When you take that first sip your senses are bombarded not only with the smell and taste, but it taps into your memories, feelings, and emotions if you let it,” Swartz continued. “Our Burns Night Celebration will bring all the senses together through watching the movie, pairing that with the tasting kits, and offering the opportunity to join the stars to hear them talk more about their passions.”

Billy Walker at his distillery

Executive Producer Brittany Curran said, “We shot, scored, and paced the film purposely to bring the audience on a sensory journey as they watch the story unfold. And we think that that’s pretty unique. We’re excited about it as filmmakers and as whisky geeks.”

“Burns night has always been a night for friends and family together. Since this year that is not an option for so many, we hope that we can provide an opportunity for communal experience.” Brittany Curran

Producer Brittany Curran setting up a shot

“You can watch the film, hear the amazing stories, incredible score and all while having the world’s best whisky. Even if you can’t be in the same room, you can share the same experience,” Producer Trevor Jones said.

For tickets, tasting kits and other offers please go to – below is the trailer:


About Blacksmith + Jones

Blacksmith + Jones is a media production company that puts story first. Their primary focus has been in documentary style television and short form projects. Principals Trevor Jones and Greg Swartz have decades of experience and have produced shows for NatGeo, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. They have been partners for more than 10 years. The Water of Life is their first feature documentary.

Gemma Paterson from The Balvenie with producer Brittany Curran

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