Whisky & Culture

An Entertaining Read

Recently published whisky related books
By Rupert Wheeler
Both lead books in this issue have been published in the US and are by American authors. Having been in book publishing for over 20 years it never ceases to amaze me how different the design of a US book compares to a UK designed one. I am certainly not going to come down on one side or the other but there is a very noticeable difference in the approach to layout and especially the use of typography.

Coincidentally one of the authors, Lew Bryson, author of Tasting Whiskey, has just started writing for this magazine and his first feature on Buffalo Trace will be in our next issue 137 publishing 15 July.


Tasting Whiskey

Lew Bryson

ISBN 9781612123011

Bookclub offer: £10.50 plus P&P

(RRP: £13.50)

Many factors contribute to the distinctive flavours and aromas of whisky – charred oak casks, the grain, local distilling traditions, the intricacies of blending and possibly the infusion of peat. If you are fascinated with whisky and all its subtleties and variations, let Lew Bryson take you though the great whisky producing regions and discover the unique characteristics of each spirit. The book is divided into 15 chapters and in turn the author takes us through all the whisky producing countries. As an American author, it is interesting to see that Scotch is the first covered, but what is also very useful is that he covers what goes well with whisky, collecting whisky and what to dilute whisky with. Lew Bryson was until recently Managing Editor of Whisky Advocate. He frequently presents tastings and lectures on whisky.


Michael Dietsch

ISBN 9781581573251

Bookclub offer: £14.00 plus P&P

(RRP: £17.50)

After decades of being seen as an old man’s drink, whisky is certainly booming. According to the author of this book, cocktail lovers have moved away from sweet and fruity flavour profiles to embrace the earthy, bitter, savoury notes of Scotch, Bourbon and rye. The author is a professional cocktail maker and whisky expert and offers a basic introduction to whiskies, as well as cocktail recipes both classic and original. Beginning with the colonial era drinks such as Cherry Bounce and Stone Fence, he then takes in early whisky drinks such as the Toddy and Julep. From there he enters the cocktail explosion of the Jerry Thomas era, the ‘lost’ recipes of Prohibition, and brings us right through to modern drinks with some very surprising elements. Michael Dietsch is a barfly, booze hound, book hoarder, jazz fiend, author and lives in Washington DC.


Craft Spirits

Eric Grossman

ISBN 9780241229682

Bookclub offer: £12.00 plus P&P

(RRP: £14.99)

With more than 250 top craft spirits from across the world, this book guides you through the producers to watch, the spirits to try, and the cocktail techniques to master. It will help you discover the most respected distillers through illustrated profiles on renowned craft spirits and how each spirit is produced.


Zen and Tonic

Jules Aron

ISBN 9781581573077

Bookclub offer: £13.50 plus P&P

(RRP: £17.50)

If you add fresh vegetables, herbs, fruit and other garden-to-glass ingredients to drink, is the resulting drink healthy? Everything is relative. It will be tasty and bartender Jules Aron reveals in this extremely well illustrated book some of her most requested recipes.


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.