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Good whisky book for a passionate beginner?

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@Flokke
Flokke started a discussion

I know there are a lot of books about Whisky's, but which one is a good one for a passionate beginner?

14 years ago

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@jeanluc
jeanluc replied

@flokke welcome to Connosr. Its a good question, I've moved the post into its own discussion (connosr.com/wall/discussion/…) and under a new category (called Whisky resources: books, blogs, sites etc..).

14 years ago 0

@Cragabus
Cragabus replied

My fave book are "Appreciating Whisky" by Philip Hills. It's out of print but you can pick up on Amazon or ebay. A really open refreshing read from a talented individual. There is also the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2010 which has up to date information on all the Distilleries as well as comments from the trade.

14 years ago 0

@markjedi1
markjedi1 replied

Hi Flokke, I see you are Belgian, so I'm sure Jean-Luc will not mind me pointing you to my (Flemish) Blog at www.whivie.be. It's got most of the basic info on whisky as well as several book reviews of books in our language (Dutch) that can easily be found in the local library. Having said that, I would also suggest the Malt Whisky Yearbook and several of the books by Bob Minnekeer from Ghent.

14 years ago 0

@jeanluc
jeanluc replied

There is always Jim Murray's Whisky Bible. I think the 2010 edition will be in my Christmas stocking this year.

14 years ago 0

@Wim
Wim replied

@fokke, As you I'm a passionate beginner from Belgium. Yesterday I stubled across 'Schotse Whisky / The Box' in the Standaard. I's a box containing 3 books (+/- 80 pages each) : 'Malt Whisky', 'Blended Whisky' and 'proeven van Schotland. The first 2 books contain info on the history, the distilling and blending process and a short overview on some of the distillers. The third book contains info about Schotland and some recepies with Whisky. The interesting thing is that it contains also a 'professional' ClenCairn christal tasting glass. The books are dutch and written by Hans Offringa, a writer and, apparently, whisky conaisseur. They do not go in to much detail and thus, in my opinion, interesting enough for absolute beginners like me. However, I'm looking to expand my library with whisky literature also.

14 years ago 0

@cave
cave replied

Flokke : there is a good book by Bob Minnekeer from the Glengarry Whisky Club in Ghent. It's called 'Whisky Puur' .. very interesting book ! more info here : davidsfonds.be/publisher/edition/…

14 years ago 0

@BigPeat
BigPeat replied

A great book to have on hand when tasting whisky is "Whisky Classified" - choosing single malts by flavour, by David Wishart. This book is almost as necessary as the glass you drink from. It's organized like an encyclopedia so knowledge of your favorite whisky is easy to find. Plus, there is a good sized chapter on history.

14 years ago 3Who liked this?

@TommieJones
TommieJones replied

-'Whisky Puur' is not always that reliable. For example, it states that coastal influences in the taste of whisky are a fairytale for naïve tourists. The warehouses on Islay do tell other stories! Furthermore, this is a rather high priced book. -The Hans Offringa kit looks beautiful but is more like a christmas gift for dads who don't want to know thàt much about whisky. -David Wishart has designed, in his urge to classify whiskies, some software to do so. You can find it easily on the web. Both his site and this software can not convince me. I think he's lost what whisky tasting is all about: recalling memories (through associations from nosing aroma's!), sharing opinions with friends, a warm night by the wooden fire after a cold walk,... in short: the poetry of the whole thing. -So now I have to speak out: I'm a Jim Murray man. But the biggest whiskywriter EVER is Michael Jackson. His guide is so well written and eloquent that you'd better spend your money on that book instead of 'Whisky puur'. The translation to Dutch/Flemish is very good!! -For myself I FNAC-ordered 'Whiskypedia' from Charles MacLean. I can't judge the book beforehand. It's not translated, but if you have to wait for that, it will be out of time. Charles is a Maltmaniac Award jury-member and I think I spotted him on the Diageo-video from Classic Malt Selection, where he hosted a tasting at Cragganmore tasting room. For him, it seems all about smelling your memories of the heart.

14 years ago 0

@olivier
olivier replied

@Big-Peat I also have "Whisky Classified" - choosing single malts by flavour, by David Wishart, and it is a gem. All the people that I have lent it to have ended up buying it, even those who speak little English, as it is so graphical and informative. A real must in anyone's library.

14 years ago 2Who liked this?

@Beelzebozo
Beelzebozo replied

I just ordered the David Wishart book off Amazon on the advice in this thread. Cheers!

14 years ago 0

@jeanluc
jeanluc replied

@scribe I didn't know that book existed, I love his cartoons.

14 years ago 0

@Beelzebozo
Beelzebozo replied

My copy of “Whisky Classified” arrived yesterday, and I’ve had a look through it. It looks fantastic! I can’t wait to dive in. Thanks again to those who recommended it.

14 years ago 0

@Andrew
Andrew replied

Scribe I was going to suggest still life too.. I would love to find one of those prints for sale..

But for actually tasting notes I think I prefer the michael jackson books ( he also wrote a number of beer books which are very worthwhile)

14 years ago 0

@Fawny
Fawny replied

I think for a beginner the Michael Jackson books are very good, quite simple and straightforward. The Jim Murray Bible is way more in-depth, but I like MJ for someone starting on the great journey to whisky heaven!

13 years ago 0

WmRamsey replied

Yes, the Michael Jackson book is fantastic for beginners! It's helped me tremendously. I highly recommend the 2010 version. Printing is by DK -- maker of those lovely visually inclined travel books. Design makes the book a joy to use. For a summer read, I like "Peat, Smoke and Spirit" about Islay malts. You can read a chapter at a time with a dram in front of you.

13 years ago 1Who liked this?

@pr0mille
pr0mille replied

I realy liked Michael Jacksons "Whisky Encyclopedie". Translated in Dutch. Not realy a book but very nicely told and nice images.

13 years ago 1Who liked this?

@nikkaman
nikkaman replied

Whiskey and Philosophy is a great read - search for it on Amazon

13 years ago 0

roberto replied

Thierry Benitah "Whisky Enciclopedy" it's a good book...

13 years ago 0

@markjedi1
markjedi1 replied

Just finished David Wishart's book 'Whisky Classified', mentioned in this thread several times. I think the classification system is not infallible, but it's a very good book indeed, certainly for beginners. It allows you to easily access the flavour style of whiskies and can thus help you choose your malts.

13 years ago 0

@ProsperoDK
ProsperoDK replied

@WmRamsey I also like "Peat, Smoke and Spirit" by Andrew Jefford that you mentioned, that is the book I'm reading now. What's more special for me is that I bought it on Islay this summer when visiting Scotland. Another book I bought on that trip is Iain Banks "Raw Spirit - in search of the perfect dram", but I haven't read that yet. Another book I have but haven't read is Charles MacLeans "Whisky Tales".

But all those books are more tales about whisky than books about the distilleries and whisky production in general.

I also have the danish edition of Michael Jackson's "The world guide to whisky", although I guess its a bit dated, the english copyright are from 1987.

Then there's Jim Murray's "Whisky bible", my edition is the 2009 but there's a new one every year with the 2011 just out, I think that one will be in my stocking this christmas.

And the last book I have about whisky is a new one from Gavin D. Smith and Graeme Wallace called "Discovering Scotland's Distilleries". It has a double page about each distillery and is good for when you are planing a visit to Scotland. It's sorted in three main categories (with visitor center, without visitor center and closed) and in each category the distilleries are sorted by region.

13 years ago 0

@LeBudfrumHull

I've read "99 Drams of Whiskey" by Kate Hopkins, a mix of social , historical and interpersonal stories of whiskey ... from Ireland, Scotland, U.S. & Canada. It's quite enjoyable , but if you're looking for a lot of tasting notes , it's not the book you're looking for. I did learn quite a bit about the history though....

13 years ago 0

@KHvonLoman
KHvonLoman replied

David Wishart's book Whisky Classified' was firts whisky book I bought and it has been very usefull.

13 years ago 0

@drinix
drinix replied

I agree with @KHvonLoman on Whisky Classified. It' sa very useful book, even though only the signatory expressions of each distillery are taken into consideration. I would also suggest the "Malt Whisky Companion" of Michael Jackson. This book contains down-to-earth tasting notes of several expressions for each Scottish distillery (plus some Blends, Irish whiskeys and World whiskies). These two books, imo should be the two first book to buy in order to get an overview.

13 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Dunderland
Dunderland replied

For me getting to know Whisky is much about getting to know the distilleries, the istory behind and the expressions - so for me the top choise is The Malt Whisky Yearbook. Contains a lot of information about what goes on in the industry and about each one of the distilleries, both in Scotland and in other countries. Check www.maltwhiskyyearbook.com

13 years ago 0

@alcoholreviews

I guess it depends on what sort of book you are looking for, and how much coverage you seek.

Speaking to the latter---do you only want discussions of Scotch? Or do you want the whole of the whiskey world, including Irish, Bourbon, etc.

Speaking to the former---I think learning style is an issue to ponder. Some folks enjoy thumbing through books that are basically collections of tasting notes. They don;t want much history, they just want to know what brands are out there and what they taste like. Other students of whiskey want a narrative, something that tells them the stories of whiskey.

And I would suggest not forgetting the matter of length. Do you want a light amusing read that you can finish in 4 or 6 hours? Or do you want to tackle a dense book that will take 50 hours to get through?

Jim Murray's Whiskey Companion is a very useful book. Andrew Jefford's Peat, Smoke and Spirit is a great book on Islay Scotches. On the shorter side, my Whiskey: A Global History covers all sorts of whiskey and does it in narrative format (a chapter on what is whiskey, a chapter on the history of scotch, then one on the history of Irish, etc.) Details at alcoholreviews.com/whiskey/

Happy reading!

-Kevin

13 years ago 0

@Wodha
Wodha replied

Jim Murray's Whisky Bible. Without a doubt. Go to whiskybible.com and order a copy ( and be sure to fill in the box for the dedication from the author)

I have every edition since it started. I carry it with me whenever I enter a liquor store. I hope they make an app for my iphone.

13 years ago 0

@johnmccheyne
johnmccheyne replied

The Malt Whisky Yearbook is also a good reference point for everything about malt whisky.And if you're a member of SMWS the member magazine 'Unfiltered' is a great information piece about tasting and all things mlt whisky

13 years ago 0

@HP12
HP12 replied

I find Dave Broom's "The World Atlas of Whisky" to be a very well written and educational book. One thing I really like is the "where next" feature. At the end of his tasting notes, if you like that distillery/expression, he provides a reference for a different distillery/expression that you will likely enjoy.

Also, the book provides a nice flowchart of how various whisky's are made, how to nose, taste and nice overviews of the distilleries and how unique they are in their processes. Oh, and the pictures are very enjoyable as well.

13 years ago 0

@p_elliott
p_elliott replied

A good beginner book on bourbon is Bourbon, Straight by Chuck Cowdery.

12 years ago 0