Whisky & Culture

Great Summer Reads

Some of the best whisky books recently published
By Rupert Wheeler
I am delighted that two of our regular contributors, namely Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley, have recently won The Fortnum and Mason Drinks Book of the Year award. This is for their book Distilled (detailed below). My hearty congratulations, and although not covering whisky alone, it’s an extremely well written and well laid out book.

The aim of the Whisky Magazine Bookclub is to offer our readers the very best in whisky books, but if you know of one that we have not yet reviewed then please get in touch at editor@whiskymag.com

I am always looking for new titles published in English both here and throughout the world. Go to our website for the best deals.


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 well researched with great interviews. Very well laid out and beautifully illustrated. Winner of The Fortnum and Mason Drinks Book of the Year award in 2015.


Andrew Cameron

ISBN 9781784621872

Bookclub offer: £7.00 plus P&P

(RRP: £8.99)

The Edradour Distillery is the smallest, longest running distillery in Scotland and receives 50,000 visitors a year from all over the world. As the last remaining distillery of its size, visitors get a true sense of how a distillery worked in the 19th Century. This small and very compact book, illustrated in full colour, gives a full history of the distillery from its inception in about 1837. The book, subtitled ‘The Myth, the Mafia and the Magic,’ tracks the history of the distillery from the days of illicit distilling in the 18th Century and how it got involved with the New York Mafia. The book has been thoroughly updated since it was first published seven years ago and much has changed. The distillery is also unusual in that after a period of 69 years the distilery is now, since 2002, back in the hands of a Scotsman. The distillery is loved by visitors and whisky fans around the world.


Let Me Tell You About Whisky

Neil Ridley & Gavin D. Smith

ISBN 9781862059658

Bookclub offer: £13 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 processes that go into making whisky.


The World Atlas of Whisky

Dave Broom

ISBN 9781845339517

Bookclub offer: £22.50 plus P&P

(RRP: £35)

Whisky Magazine’s Editor at large Dave Broom, explores over 200 distilleries and examines over 400 expressions. Descriptions of the Scottish distilleries can be found here, while Ireland, Japan, the Rest of the World, USA and Canada are given exhaustive coverage. Beautifully illustrated throughout.


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. This is their story.