Whisky & Culture

The Very Best Reads

Some of the whisky books recently published
By Rupert Wheeler
Our lead title for this issue is Scotch Missed now in its fourth edition. It details many of Scotland’s lost distilleries and is beautifully illustrated throughout.

However, with the ever increasing popularity of Scotch whisky it cannot keep up with developments. For instance, it has just been announced that Bladnoch Distillery which was founded in 1817, has just been bought and needs a substantial investment in production before the spirit can flow again.

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

Scotch Missed

Brian Townsend

ISBN 9781906000820

Bookclub offer: £16.00 plus P&P (RRP: £19.99)

Now in its fourth edition, in full colour throughout, it has many Victorian map location vignettes, a full list of modern OS map references and many new previously unpublished archive images. The book is a tribute to not only those that struggled against great odds and were finally beaten, but also to those who survived and prospered. The detailed research brings to life much unique Scottish industrial heritage which otherwise would have been ignored. For the casual tourist there are gems to be found among these lost distilleries just as there are many substantial remains lurking in the undergrowth among the hidden glens for the serious whisky historian. The author first went in search of Scotland’s lost distilleries in the early 1990s when he travelled the length and breadth of Scotland in search of these memorials to our industrial heritage. He has covered Ireland in the same way.


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, it is now, since 2002, back in the hands of a Scotsman. The distillery is loved by visitors and whisky fans from around the world.

Whisky: The Manual

Tim Hampson

ISBN 9780857337641

Bookclub offer: £18.00 plus P&P (RRP: £22.99)

From the publishers of Haynes Car Manuals this book takes a very analytical approach to the subject. Whisky appreciation is explored in detail, providing guidance on how to taste whisky – whether you want to learn the difference between a whisky and a Bourbon or a single malt versus a blend. This book covers all the basics.


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. This book uncovers the best spirits that the world has to offer.

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 whisky process.