A YOUNG Barrhead woman’s taste for a good dram has inspired her to write a book about Scotland’s national tipple.

Maria Murphy, 28, is the toast of her family and friends after penning a novel set amid the lure and mystique of whisky.

‘Barley: A Whisky’s Journey’ tells how a boy called Archie and Barley the grain set out together on a journey towards maturation.

Maria told the Barrhead News: “I set out to write a truly heartwarming story about growing up, friendship and whisky and the book follows Archie and Barley from field to bottle and beyond.

“Most books about whisky are non-fiction but mine is unique.”

Maria has gleaned her knowledge of the whisky industry through her family’s connection with the famous Bon Accord malt bar, in Glasgow, which is owned by her dad, Paul McDonagh.

She said: “I set myself a target to write the book in time for my dad’s 60th birthday, as he has shared a lot of his knowledge with me.

“I was very focused and am glad to say I achieved that target.

“The book is a humorous whisky story, unique to the market. It’s different from the dry, factual whisky books out there already. It’s ideal for anyone who loves a dram.”

Maria, who lists Tamdhu 10, Glendronach 15 and Highland Park 18 as her favourite tipples, added: “It’s great to be a young woman in the whisky trade. I think a lot of people still think of it as an old man’s drink.

“I know a lot of women in the industry are challenging that, which is great.”

Maria, who is mum to two-year-old daughter Aria, is now ready to publish the first two novels in her children’s book series later in the year.

She said: “I write for adults and kids, so you can expect lots more from me.”

Barley: A Whisky’s Journey is available to buy on Amazon. Maria will also be selling copies at the indoor market to be held at the Barrhead Foundry on Saturday, October 12.