Whisky Advocate

Recommend a book you like

April 27th, 2010

Keeping in the theme of yesterday’s post, what book have you read on whisky that you really like and can recommend to others?

And why? Is it entertaining? Informative? Comprehensive? Ground-breaking?

23 Responses to “Recommend a book you like”

  1. There are so many books out there which consist of 1) Intro to whisky, 2) Listing of distilleries. While these books have their place, I think there are some other really great reads out there. Two I have really enjoyed:

    Whiskey & Philosophy: A Small Batch of Spirited Ideas

    Beer Hunter, Whisky Chaser: New Writing on Beer and Whisky in Honour of Michael Jackson

  2. Marco Nijholt says:

    Whisky Dream: one man’s battle to resurrect an Islay jewel. The story of Mark Reynier and the new management at Bruichladdich distillery.

  3. B.J. Reed says:

    Peat, Smoke and Spirit – Best captures the people, culture and nature of what makes the whisky industry so unique. I am sure there is an equivalent book to the Bourbon industry but PSS sets the standard for scotch whisky.

  4. Red_Arremer says:

    Wort, Worms, and Washbacks– John McDougall’s memoir, cowritten by Gavin Smith, is a pretty fun read. It’s a little disjointed but it has a lot to say about the gradual modernization of scotch production over the past 50 years.

  5. brian bradley (brian47126) says:

    perhaps the longest title ever:

    99 Drams of Whiskey: The Accidental Hedonist’s Quest for the Perfect Shot and the History of the Drink

    Kate Hopkins is quite a good writer, and does a lovely job of weaving history and humor into what is an excellent read.

  6. Nonjatta says:

    Bit of an odd one this one but at the moment I am reading “Scotch-The Formative Years” by Ross Wilson. I was published in 1970 and is a hefty 500 pages. A bit hard-going at times but what I am really enjoying is that it avoids all this “way back in the mists of time” romantic nonsense about the whisky industry and just sticks to some pretty dense but very interesting (and relatively recent) history.

  7. bgulien says:

    Bit of a hefty tome, but worth the investment: The reprint of Barnards Whisky Distilleries of the UK and to read how it all went wrong for some distilleries, please read Scotch Missed: Scotland’s Lost Distilleries by Brian Townsend.

    BTW John, I tried to order a book from the Advocate shop about Buffalo Trace but I was shocked at the shipping: a whopping $125 for UPS. And it sounded like a nice book. ;-)

  8. MrTH says:

    Agree with “Peat Smoke and Spirit”, an absolute must-read for anyone considering a trip to Islay, or Scotland, for that matter. I’m always a little dismayed when I read of someone’s trip there, and all it consists of is distillery visits…but then, I’m someone who loved Scotland before I loved whisky. The book puts it all in its proper context. (On another forum, someone said he’d read all the distillery chapters and skipped over “the boring stuff”…I’d have dope-slapped him if he’d been within arm’s length!)

    • B.J. Reed says:

      Love your comments – The history and culture of Islay is what makes its distilleries so special.

  9. Kevin says:

    Chuck Cowdery’s “Bourbon, Straight” is a fantastic read to learn about the history of bourbon, and as a bonus you get a nice dose of Cowdery’s humor.

  10. two-bit cowboy says:

    Ian Macilwain’s Bottled History. A bit of nostalgia in the images and the tales told by workers in the distilleries. Wonderful views into the lives of the people who made the magic. Heartfelt and most entertaining.

  11. Patrrick says:

    Distilleries Catalogue:- Scotch Whisky Distilleries of Misako Udo
    Historical catalogue. Scotch Whisky Industry Records C. Craig
    Technique: Whisky Technology by Russell and Manufacture of Whisky, Nettleton (reprint classic expression).
    Photographs: Bottled History, Ian Macilwain
    General; one would not be enoug

  12. PM says:

    For insight in how whisky is made: “Appreciating Whisky” by Phillip Hills

    A great history of the industry: “Scotch Whisky – A Liquid History” by Charles MacLean

  13. T Comp says:

    Being primarily still an American whiskey guy, without a doubt the most valuable read for me has been Chuck Cowdery’s Bourbon, Straight. It perfectly balances the many aspects of the bourbon story including history, myth busting, brand styles and taste. I was able to fine tune my palate and get through all the marketing and retail BS that still prevails.

  14. Evan Eckersley says:

    For a more of a just the facts reading, check out the annual Malt Whisky Yearbook. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this for three years running now. It is Scotch-centric, but its coverage of the rest of the whisk(e)y world has been growing yearly and the supplementary articles are good reading as well.

    On the entertainment end of things: The Whiskey Rebels by David Liss was an exciting novel. It is fiction and only tangentially whiskey related – but a fun read nonetheless.

  15. Alex says:

    Peat, Smoke & Spirit is fab. An annual must have is Malt Whisky Yearbook.

  16. John Hansell says:

    There really are a lot of good books on the market. And I know that Dave Broom has a very comprehensive one coming out later this year: I wrote the foreward. :)

  17. maltakias says:

    Whisky (ISBN 978-0-7513-4434-9) by Michael Jackson,the definite bible of Whisky.

    Whiskypedia by Charles McLean,very comprehensive and understandable

    And of course i can’t but agree that Malt Whisky Yearbook is a great info to stay in touch every year.

  18. Whisky Girl says:

    Thank you all for the lovely suggestions. I just purchased Bourbon Straight, Whiskey & Philosophy and Michael Jackson’s Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch. Any thoughts on ‘Whiskey: the Definitive World Guide’ by Michael Jackson? Thanks for this post John, really interesting to hear other people’s thoughts.

  19. maltakias says:

    “Any thoughts on ‘Whiskey: the Definitive World Guide’ by Michael Jackson?”

    @whisky girl

    As i have already said it is the definite bible of whisky lovers.You will love it and your friends will also get interested.Just leave it on the table….

  20. Chap says:

    I’d really love a collection of Jackson’s columns, particularly the autobiographical ones.

  21. oh3 says:

    Richard Grindal’s Over the Sea to Die, and The Whisky Murders combine whisky lore with a good story. He also wrote Return to the Glen: Adventures on the Scotch Whisky Trail.

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