Whisky & Culture

The Very Best Reads

Some of the whisky books recently published
By Rupert Wheeler
I very recently came back from a week in Kentucky attending the Kentucky Bourbon Festival and it’s very appropriate that I have just received two books focusing on Bourbon. I also happened to meet both Fred Minnick and Michael Veach when I was in Bardstown and was able to talk to them extensively about their books which are both reviewed below.

The aim of the Whisky Magazine Bookclub is to offer our readers the very best in whisky books and I have received a large number of titles that would be suitable for Christmas presents. I will be doing a full review of these books in the next issue which comes out on 5 December. This will include an extraordinary tome called The Scotch Whisky Treasures at £40.

 

Bourbon Curious

Fred Minnick

ISBN 9780760347409

Bookclub offer: £10.50 plus P&P

(RRP: 14.99)

In Bourbon Curious, award winning writer Fred Minnick creates an easy-to-read, interactive tasting journey to help you choose the right Bourbons for your flavour preferences – and take the next step in expanding your palate. The book groups Bourbon into four main flavour profiles – grain, nutmeg, caramel and cinnamon. While many Bourbons boast all four flavour notes, one delicious sensation typically overpowers the rest. This books uncovers more than 50 brands’ dominant tastes and suggests cocktail recipes to complement them. In addition, the author spends some time busting Bourbon myths, unravelling its mysteries, exploring distiller secrets and disclosing the recipes you won’t find on a bottle’s label. Bourbon is becoming more ingrained in the culinary world with foodies and drink enthusiasts alike looking for a basic understanding of America’s favourite spirit. Job well done.

 

The Bourbon Tasting Notebook

Susan Reigler & Michael Veach

ISBN 9781942613039

Bookclub offer: £10.50 plus P&P

(RRP: 14.99)

This is an essential logbook for any Bourbon enthusiast. With a record amount of Bourbon whiskey ageing in warehouses and visits to Kentucky’s Bourbon distilleries topping 500,000 annually, it is obvious that Bourbon is enjoying unprecedented popularity. This logbook will give the Bourbon lover the perfect way to track their samplings, with over 200 featured brands. The authors sampled every brand featured, documenting the flavours, tastes and smells they experienced, along with the proof, age, type, style, mash bill, colour, price, nose, taste, and finish for each Bourbon and full colour photos of each bottle for easy reference. They did not assign ratings, letting readers make their own decisions. The Bourbons are indexed by proof and style, along with a checklist so each person can keep track of what has been sampled and record his or her preferences.

 

The Knowledge: Whisky

Dave Waddell

ISBN: 9781849496254

Bookclub offer: £7.00 plus P&P

(RRP: £10.00)

This guide delivers a working knowledge of whisky in all its aspects. Outlining the history of drink, it shines a light on the best examples in each category, as well as revealing how to get the most from every nip. The book details from whisky’s complex distilling techniques to breaking down the the key differences between the styles.

 

The Malt Whisky Yearbook 2016

Edited by Ingvar Ronde

ISBN 9780957655324

Bookclub offer: £9.50 plus P&P

(RRP: £13.95)

Whisky enthusiasts all over the world really do look forward to receiving this annual publication. It is written by people who really know about whisky, it’s fully revised every year and has become the best guide of its type on the market. An essential read for any whisky lover.

 

Let Me Tell You About Whisky

Neil Ridley & Gavin D Smith

ISBN 9781862059658

Bookclub offer: £13.00 plus P&P

(RRP: £16.99)

Written by two well known whisky writers, this book is probably the best primer out there. There have been many primer books about whisky in recent years, but not one with such detailed and all encompassing scope. The book assumes that the reader has no prior whisky knowledge and explains fully the whisky process.