Whisky & Culture

What's New on the Shelf

What's coming up in the whisky book world
By Rupert Wheeler
We have seen a large number of new books coming into the office within the last few weeks and we are going to have a year’s roundup in the last issue of the year which publishes just in time for you to order before Christmas. Neil Ridley and Joel Harrison, who are regular contributors to the magazine, have just published their first book, Distilled, which is reviewed below. We wanted to review the new World Atlas of Whisky by Dave Broom, but as we went to press we had not yet received a copy, so this will be reviewed in Issue 124. The e-version of this book is, we are reliably informed, an all singing all dancing version of the book with many interactive features including tasting wheels.


Joel Harrison & Neil Ridley

ISBN 9781845339111

Bookclub offer: £12 plus P&P

(RRP: £14.99)

Today’s world of spirits is experiencing an explosive increase in craft distillers and pioneers of new distillates. It’s about men and women tearing up the rule books and creating new spirits with extraordinary personality. This book uncovers the best spirits that the world has to offer. These are not necessarily the best-known examples on the planet – though if they are good, they have a place here – but the best crafted and most interesting. Spirit by spirit, Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley explain everything you need to know to appreciate a distillate: its ingredients, its classic forms, and the choices made in creating it. They offer their picks of the ones to search out, the world’s best examples of their type. A very good read and very well researched with great interviews.

Let Me Tell You About Whisky

Neil Ridley & Gavin D Smith

ISBN 9781862059658

Bookclub offer: £13 plus P&P

(RRP: £16.99)

There have been a lot of 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 clearly explains the processes that go in to making whisky. In the opening sections, and using some lovely illustrations, the writers take the story of how whisky began and demystify some of the common myths about whisky. The writers also offer practical advice, useful when faced with a daunting shop full of malts and blends. There is advice on how to nose, taste and savour, how to organise a whisky tasting, which glassware to use, as well as a selection of classic whisky cocktails and advice on matching food and whisky. The book covers famous Highland malts, Irish pot still whiskeys and also other producing countries, ranging from Wales through to Taiwan.

The World Atlas of Whisky

Dave Broom

ISBN 97818455335410

Bookclub offer: £24 plus P&P

(RRP: £30)

If you only had one book on your shelf this would be the one; this is the one stop shop for information about the whisky world. This lavish tome is beautifully illustrated and written with the passion and clarity that many readers of Whisky Magazine have come to expect from Broom.

Shackleton’s Whisky

Neville Peat

ISBN 9781848093904

Bookclub offer: £13 plus P&P

(RRP: £16.99)

Ernest Shackleton is best known for his heroic expeditions and rarely consumed alcohol. On his expedition to the Antarctica in 1907 he took with him 25 cases of whisky and in 2010 three cases of the whisky were recovered. Three bottles were returned to Whyte & Mackay where they were sent for near replication. This is their story.

Canadian Whisky

Davin de Kergommeaux

ISBN 9780771027437

Bookclub offer: £12 plus P&P

(RRP: £15.99)

This is a well researched and passionate book expounding the intricacies of Canadian whisky; often overlooked and dismissed by people. Davin has exploded that myth and he takes the reader on a journey of discovery, delving into production methods, tasting notes and the histories of the great companies and brands.