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The Legend of Laphroaig, Marcel van Gils and Hans Offringa, Still publishing, 2007

The cover page reflects the quality of the work done by Van Gils, alias Laphroaigcollector, and his Friend Offringa. The book is like a work of art, with superb photographs illustrating a huge collection of Laphroaig bottles and a very exhaustive research of the Laphroaig distillery archives to be able to deliver the details on how Laphroaig became such a legendary whisky. The layout is beautiful, the book reads smoothly, like a Laphroaig flowing down your throat. Enjoy and savour it!
PS: Even if you do not like Laphroaig very much, have a look at this book. This book can ordered at

Rating: 5/5


Malt Whisky Yearbook 2008, Ingvar Ronde, MagDig Media Ltd, 2007
Since the 2006 edition, the Malt Whisky yearbook has matured quickly and what was lacking in the first edition have been corrected. The 2008 edition is captivating reading, with very good articles from the most famous whisky writers and an excellent new section about blended whiskies. In addition to facts and news, it includes a large section on distilleries from Scotland and Japan. The work done by the author on the Scotch distilleries is quite impressive, since nothing is more static than the history of a distillery, but he managed to write it in such a way, that even if you read it two years ago, you will want to read it again.  Well done and lets wait for the 2009 edition!
Rating: 5/5


The independent bottlers (Malt Whisky: unabhängige Abfüller), Ralph Warth, 2007 (German)
The aim of this book written in German was to provide information about the history of the different bottlers, the way they store and select their whiskies and their brands. After the profile of each independent bottler (between 1 and 3 pages), a short summary is provided. The presentation of this book is simple, but clear and concise (maybe sometimes too much) and I regret that the addresses and/or the contact details of the companies were not provided.

Rating: 3/5


The Scottish Whisky Distilleries: For the Whisky Enthusiast by Udo Misako, Black & White Publishing, 2006.
This is the new edition of the “blue bible” written by Misako Udo (click here to see the comments about the 1st edition). It received a new and more modern hard cover, a new and more elegant layout, and the content updated. This book contains all what you ever wanted to know about any Scotch distillery.

Rating: 5/5

The whiskies of Scotland, R.J.S, McDowall and W. Waugh, John Murray editor, 4th edition (1986).

A very informative book about the whisky industry in the middle of the 1980s, including tasting notes and a non-exhaustive description of distilleries. It is detailed and the authors did a very good investigation before writing this book. Anyone reading this book will learn something out of it, even if it is 20 years old. It also includes tasting notes of the whiskies bottled during that time. I really enjoyed it.

Rating: 5/5

The Whisky Bible 2008, Jim Murray, Carlton books.

The first versions of the Whisky Bibles were interesting and provided a convenient pocket sized book to aid when choosing whiskies. With time, the number of references has increased quite considerably and this is causing a problem as Jim Murray is just adding new references on top of the previous ones, without updating the old ones. In the version of 2008, you will still find many out of date references such as "not to be released before July 2006". The amount of out of date information is significant, including also misplaced references (e.g., a Bunnahabhain in the Bruichladdich section), to a level not acceptable for a commercial book. In addition, for many whiskies the tasting notes are only one line long, without indicating the taste and there is a certain bias for certain brands (e.g., Provenance Kockdu 10 ans “The nose is nothing short of amazing”). The quality of the 2008 version is thus poor.

Rating: 2/5

Great Brand Stories Scotch Whisky. Creative Fire: The Story of Scotland's greatest export, Stuart Delves, Cyan books, ed. 2007.This book is part of the Cyan’s book serie “Great Brand Stories” and I was expecting to discover a book about whisky branding, as well as to get some information about label design, marketing strategies, and so forth. It turned out to be more like another whisky book describing the foundation of the whisky industry and whisky making. I found the section about whisky branding rather succinct and limited. It would have deserved more attention to my opinion. The writing style is however more dynamic and lively than many books and this make it a pleasant book to read.

Rating: 4/5

The original Scotch : a history of Scotch whisky from the earliest days

The Original Scotch, Michael Brander, Clarkson N. Potter inc. Publisher, ed. 1975.

This is an interesting and well-written book about the history of the whisky distillery and its evolution over time. Relatively detailed, it will appeal to the whisky enthusiasts interested in the historical development of that industry. However, I regret the absence of information about the life of the whiskyman and stories surrounding the distilleries.

Rating: 4/5

Collecting Malt Whisky, a price guide, Martin Green, Green Blake enterprises, 2nd edition, 2007.

This book is a reference guide for the evolution and trends in collectable whisky bottles. The layout is clear and pleasant, but more photographs and more precisions about the entries would make this book more appealing. Looking at the evolution of the price over the last few years is quite informative about the trends of some brands.

Rating: 3/5

The Malt Whisky Guide, David Stirk, GWPublishing, ed. 2002.

A compact guide about malt whisky, with a very pleasant layout, which has very likely inspired the Malt Whisky Yearbook. Concerning the indoor photographs, the abuse of the flash prevents them from becoming as nice as the outdoor ones. The presentation of the whisky making process is clear and concise and the information about the distilleries allows a smooth reading. Unfortunately, the book starts to be a bit out dated and does not cover all distilleries.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading this book.

Rating: 4/5

Whisky Tales, Charles Maclean, Little book Ltd, ed. 2006

Whisky Tales is the big brother of “Whisky Miscellany” written by Charles McLean, up to date, on a larger format with nice and high resolutions illustrations. As written by the author “This book is an expanded version of my Whisky Miscellany”.

If you haven’t bought the later one, then don’t hesitate  to buy “Whisky Tales”. It is a well written and diverting book about whisky and stories.

For a quiet, nice evening at home or travelling lecture.

Rating: 5/5

Rare Malts, Facts, Figures and Taste, Ulf Buxrud, Quiller Press, 2006

Ulf was interested in Rare Malts bottling produced by Diageo very early. Rare Malts were limited whiskies bottled at cask strength coming from Diageo’s distilleries. His website contains a lot of information on the Rare Malts and I was expecting to discover even more information about these whiskies. The photographs are very nice, the layout very pleasant, information about the distilleries interesting, but unfortunately not so much new information. Some bottles are missing from the book, no information about the number of bottles produced, spelling mistakes (e.g., Pittyvaich spelled 3 times differently) and tasting notes describing the general character of the distillery instead of each bottle. In conclusion, a good and pleasant book, but not a “must have” one.

Rating: 3/5

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