Whisky is a complex topic. Enthusiasts would educate themselves in all means to better their understanding of this fascinating spirit. Sampling various expressions would strengthen the nosing and tasting skills whereas reading whisky books would provide invaluable information about the history of the spirit and distilleries,
Some of these books act as references providing unbiased information about different distilleries and their products. On the other hand some books evaluate and rate whiskies to act as a guide for the enthusiasts in selecting their expressions. Other books write about niche topics, providing information about certain whisky types or specific whisky producing regions.
Below is my list of top three whisky books for 2016.
Malt Whisky Yearbook 2017
From my point of view, this is ‘THE’ reference book for all whisky enthusiasts. Written by Ingvar Ronde, Malt Whisky Yearbook provides up-to-date information on whisky distilleries, old and new, from all over the world. This includes general info about the distillery along with its history, most popular expressions and tasting notes.
This year’s edition includes sections from contributing authors. In ‘Watch Out, The Millennials are coming’, Neil Ridley examines the whisky industry’s latest buzz word and attempts to understand its impact on a new generation of whisky drinkers. Becky Paskin talks about the new whisky producing countries in ‘Malts of No Nation’. ‘Whisky Pricing, The Elephant in the Room’ discusses the ever increasing price of whisky all around the world by Ian Buxton
Malt Whisky Yearbook also includes information about ‘Websites to Watch’, ‘Independent Bottlers’, ‘ Whisky Shops’, and ‘Tables and Statistics’ about sales and forecasts about the industry.
You can order your copy from www.maltwhiskyyearbook.com
Whisky Japan – The Essential Guide to the World’s Most Exotic Whisky
The popularity of Japanese Whisky is on the rise, even to a point where Japanese Distilleries are facing the danger of running out of stock and facing closure. They take radical action by replacing their age statement editions by NAS products.
This book, written by the whisky expert Dominic Roskrow, documents the journey from the first distillery in 1930s through the Torys bar culture of 1950s and on to the highballs and cocktails served in bars worldwide today. The book also contains detailed tasting notes for a variety of expressions, whisky-making techniques, profiles of leading distilleries, interviews with key figures, and reviews of top whisky bars in Japan and overseas. This book explores the traditions, innovations and philosophies that shaped the development of this much sought-after spirit.
Whisky Japan – The Esential Guide to World’s Most Exotic Whisky is available from Amazon
Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2017
Arguably the most popular and controversial book of my list. Jim Murray, a legend in the Whisky industry, tastes, evaluates and rates more than 4,600 expressions. Each whisky is given a rating out of 100. Twenty five marks are given to each of four factors; Nose, Taste, Finish, Balance and Overall complexity. That means that 50% of the marks are given for flavor alone and 25% on the nose, often an overlooked part of the whisky equation. The area of balance and complexity covers all three previous factors.
In its 2015 version, Jim Murray named ‘Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry 2013’ as the ‘World Whisky of the Year’ creating a shock-wave in the industry and skyrocketing the popularity of Japanese Whisky. It also created a storm of discussions about his impartiality.
Whatever the reason may be, Whisky Bible is the most anticipated publication of the annual whisky calendar. (You can find this year’s winners in my previous post here)
For more information and ordering, you can visit Whisky Bible Website