Over the years, I probably have accumulated and read more whisky books than any other kind of books #NeurosisFTW – And reading was and still is a very important part of my malted discovery journey. Since a few years though, not a month passes without a new spirited book appears on the virtual shelves of Amazon. It has then become more and more difficult for the whisky noob to find its way into this sea of new and old titles:”best whisky”, “A-Z of whisky”, “whisky guide” …
Stop bitting your fingernails and/or rage quitting Amazon because you’re in luck today as I – almost – read them all, and here’s my top picks for newcomers!
The Whisky Tube Map – A pocket Guide to Whisky
As new as it can be (released a few months ago), this pocket guide has become one of my favourite whisky tools when introducing newcomers to the magic of whisky. Its pocket size makes it quite handy but don’t get fooled by this short format, it still contains essential information and a much-needed lighter and fresher approach than many whisky books trying to implement some supposed “rules” of whisky appreciation.
Blair and Nikki have come up with a new kind of flavour wheel, basically a tube map of an imaginary city where different coloured lines correspond to different flavour profiles, which doesn’t mean you can’t take a leap from one to another ! It’s a very visual tool that would help you try new malted horizons instead of sticking to what you already like, so be sure to have it in your bag next time you visit this crowded whisky bar with 500+ bottles on display!
If you’re still looking for a rather classic A-Z guide of whisky with tasting notes it has to be Iconic Whisky. I myself am not particularly a huge fan of books mainly made up of a list of drams and distilleries with “boring” tasting notes… But bare with me because with this one, you don’t get the way-too-geeky and sometimes too poetical side of tasting notes but a great overview with illustrated aromas, making this guide quite a go-to for me!
Other interesting sections include some ideas of whisky-themed itineraries for your future malted travels and a focus on terroir (maybe because it’s been co-written by a French boy? ;))
Malt Whisky Yearbook
It may not come as a surprise for you as the yearly “Malt Whisky Yearbook” is the book we’re all waiting for every Autumn. And for good reasons! Ingvar Ronde has managed to come up with the real industry bible, including in-depth articles, facts, statistics reports and opinions from the wide world of whisky, encompassing the diversity of the whisky landscape and the current issues at stake.
A real must-read whether you’re a newcomer or a connoisseur!