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Let Me Tell You About Whisky: Taste, Try and Enjoy Whisky from Around the World, Neil Ridley,Gavin Smith, Pavilion Books, 2013

The initial contact with the book is pleasant, with a good weight, high quality (and weight) paper and many coloured photographs. The layout is professional made to facilitate the reading of the content. The book covers all aspects related to whisky, from history to tasting and tasting notes, including histories of distillery. The text is also very clear, rather simple, “classic” and concise and reads well. This book was written for the whisky novice and the target reader should be pleased with its content. For the initiated whisky enthusiast, the amount of information will limit is value.
As a general comment, this is a good book but it does not offer any new information compared to other existing whisky books.

Rating: 4/5 for the quality of the book and the target reader. For the more advanced whisky enthusiast, value of this book: 1/5


C.ask Whisky, the N°1 Whisky Experience in a book, Rory Mhor Nicoll and Peter Columbia, John McKeever editor, 2013

With the main author, Rory coming from the Music industry and Peter, a writer of comedy, the book is a mirror of the authors: a slightly blurred structure, a large dose of British humour and an entertaining reading. After reading the first chapter of the book about the whisky history, I was as disorientated as after a wild run on a rollercoaster. I pushed the reading further, got used to the style and progressively enjoyed more and more this book, covering succinctly the whisky history, the whiskies of Scotland and the world, nosing, the science, “whisky go hoard” (my favourite section of the book) and tipple tour. Since the authors do not consider themselves as specialists, several references are made to whisky websites (including, thanks guys) and contain many interviews, which might be sometimes too marketing (by the interviewees) orientated to my opinion. Somewhat surprising, there is almost nothing about the Diageo products (Johnnie Walker, J&B, Lagavulin, etc)
In terms of layout, it is simple, with some black and white images on plain paper, some typographical errors. The book reads generally well, if you are not allergic to the British humour and contains about 250 pages of rather useful information that should appeal to both the beginner and the experience whisky enthusiast. The 350 other pages? A collection of whisky bottles coming from a few selected UK online retailers somewhat of limited value, since the information is not sufficient to discriminate the bottles from each other (e.g., the Port Ellen 19 YO Sherry Cask Old Malt Cask 70 cl 50% vs Port Ellen 19 YO Sherry Cask Old Malt Cask 70 cl 50%) and a list of blend (that should have a least contained the name of the producer as it was done by Philip Morrice in his Whisky Schweppes Guide).

This is a rather long book review considering its unusual style. Whisky enthusiasts and writers coming from the music industry are bringing a new funny and entertaining style (fun) to the whisky community and this book is a reflection of this new wave, similar to John Glaser with the Whisky Industry.

Rating: 4/5

Whisky: the Islay edition; postorgasmickitchen; 2010
The preview of the movie was promising and I could not resist purchasing one copy. Inside you have two discs, one DVD and one Blu-Ray. Having no Blu-Ray player, this review is thus based on the DVD version. The movie is in English with subtitles in English or in Dutch. The movie lasts for about 1 hour and the quality of the images is very good, modern, and the story flows wells, as the speed of the Islay life. It provides a good introduction to the whisky production process and reviews all the 8 distilleries on Islay, their distillery managers and the standard malt from each of these distilleries.
All in all, it is a good movie, with images and sound of very good quality and providing an 1-hour of welcomed entertainment.  I wish they would continue this serie further. The DVD can be purchased here:
Rating: 5/5

Canadian Whisky, Davin de Kergommeaux, MCCLELLAND & STEWART 2012

This is the first whisky book dedicated only to Canadian whiskey. The work of Kevin de Kergommeaux is remarkable by the level of details provided about the history of each Canadian whisky and distillery, and their production process.  If you are looking for a book about Canadian whisky or interested about this product, you will find attracted by Canadian whisky and you will taste it differently next time. The book reads well, unfortunately illustrations are very limited and printed in black and orange-brownish colour of the worst effect, giving the impression it was printed 20-30 years ago. Some efforts on the printout and graphic layout would have been much appreciated to match the quality of the textual content.
Rating: 4/5


The Angels' share, Ken Loach, 2012 (DVD)

As with one of his previous movie (My Name is Joe), the movie starts in the poor suburbs of Glasgow and involves youngsters (offenders). Robbie, judged for several crimes, escapes jail because his girlfriend if pregnant and is given a community service sentence instead. Under the guidance and supervision of Harry, a whisky enthusiast, Robbie becomes interested in whisky and following a whisky tasting in Edinburgh and distillery visit (Deanston and Glengoyne),  he learns about a cask of Malt Mill stored in a Highland distillery (Balblair). With the complicity of his friends from the community service, he managed to safely bring home two bottles of Malt Mill and sold one to a whisky collector he met previously. For £100,000 and a position in a distillery.

The movie starts on a social realist theme before moving to a more humoristic style, making the movie appealing to a wide range of spectators and more entertaining than most previous movies directed by Ken Loach.

In conclusion, a good and entertaining movie, where whisky plays a key role. Of note, for most people, the subtitles are advised since the Scottish (Glaswegian) accent might be difficult to understand.
Rating: 5/5


Malt Whisky Yearbook 2013, Ingvar Ronde, Mag Dig Media 2012.

Even if you try to keep up to date with all the whisky news by reading whisky magazines, websites and other blogs, you will miss some news and more importantly, changes that are no actively communicated by some players of the whisky business. Ingvar Ronde and the Malt Whisky Yearbook provides this type of information and makes this book a must have for any serious whisky enthusiasts, as well as for any reader wishing to get a better oversight of the whisky world.

Even if you bought the previous editions, I strongly recommend you to read this book from page 1 to 298. I will not be disappointed!

This year, a new feature “The People working on the frontline” was added. This is a set of questions asked to various people involved in the whisky trade (e.g., retailers, organisers of whisky events).

I really enjoyed reading the diverse articles written by several well-known whisky writers, including articles on new flavours, scientific approach to whisky, branding, or the changes in the industry from 1945 to nowadays. The quality is at least as good as last year and I was left with the impression that they were slightly more technical and scientific than previously, a trend that I can only support since the education of whisky enthusiasts is continuously improving.
An excellent read.

Rating: 5/5

Available at:


 A Wee Guide to Whisky, Euan Mitchell, Goblinhead 1999.

The first section (approximately 30 pages) covers the history and the process of whisky making, while the second part is a short and partial description of the distillery open to visitors. The second part is thus mainly a guide for visiting distilleries.  The problem with all these information about visiting distilleries is quickly out of date and to my opinion, of limited use. The first section is however well written, accurate, detailed. A very good introduction to the whisky process for the beginner. In conclusion, a nicely written book, but with the main section partly outdated.

Rating: 3/5 (4/5 for the first section).

Whiskybrani, Svatopluk Buchlovský. 2012 (CZE)

This is the most monstrous whisky book that I have had between my hands. The Whisky Encyclopaedia from Peter Hofmann with its 600+ pages was already impressive, but this book is split in 4 volumes totalising 1200 pages corresponding to 7.5 kg of pages only dedicated to Scotch Whisky.
The first two volumes are dedicated to the base ingredients (yeast, waster, barley and peat), the entire production process, from the barley to distribution, including labels, cork stoppers, cask manufacturing, and more. The last two volumes are a presentation of the existing malt and grain Scotch whisky distilleries, including their products, copies of the Scotch regulations, diverse information about the blends on the market, etc.
It is richly illustrated, with an abundance of high quality photographs, diagrams, etc. The page layout offers a pleasant reading and the amount of information is impressive. Unfortunately, since this book was written in Czech (which I do not speak), I cannot comment about the quality of the writing.
An impressive piece of work written by a passionate whisky enthusiast, who spent 14 years researching for the book including about 7 years spent on writing it.  I only hope that this book will be once translated into English. The book is very reasonably priced and available here:

Rating: N/a


Picturing Scotland: Distinguished Distilleries,  Penny Ellis, Ness Publishing, 2012.

This small booklet of a size comparable to the old photographs format (9x13 cm) pictures about 50 malt distilleries from Scotland. Each distillery presented is illustrated by one photograph of average to very good quality, contact details, a very succinct text about the distillery and 1 tasting note. Not a bad book, but I am having increasingly more problems with this type of book trying to cover several aspects at one, but without proving much relevant information.

Rating: 3/5


The Glenlivet, where Romance and Business meet being the Annals of The Glenlivet Distillery, the Glenlivet Distillery, 1966

This is a small book (40+ pages) retracing the story of the Smith Family and of the Glenlivet distillery from its foundation in 1824 at Upper Druming until its publication date. This edition was published initially in 1959 and reprinted in 1964 and 1966 to celebrate the 100 years of production at the current site. It contains a few photographs as well as some nice line drawings. The text reads well and rich in information, suggesting that the archives of this distillery were well preserved over time. A good book for anyone interested in the Glenlivet distillery.

Rating: 4/5

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