There are a lot of books about whiskey on the market these days, as the ever rising popularity of this spirit type brings more authors in to write things about it. Though you can easily use the Internet to educate yourself on this topic, sometimes nothing beats a nice book in hand that you read while sipping a glass of Scotch or bourbon at the same time. What follows is a suggested reading list of whiskey books that can make good gifts for yourself or a loved one any time of year. All of these are linked to Amazon for easy online ordering.
If you are looking for the mother of all whiskey review books that is updated yearly, Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2015 is your must have. Murray is considered the god amongst whiskey reviewers as he basically spends all his time tasting and reviewing Scotch, bourbon and every other whiskey type under the sun for his book. He rated over 4,500 world whiskies this time around, making considerable waves in the whisky world for this edition by rating a Japanese whisky as the best overall, much to the shock of the Scots.
Not a lot of comprehensive books have been written as of yet about American whiskey, which is why American Whiskey, Bourbon & Rye: A Guide to the Nation’s Favorite Spirit by veteran spirits journalist Clay Risen is a must if you love the domestic version of this liquor. Risen dives into the history and tastes of over 200 whiskies from around the US, tackling both large and craft offerings alike. Included as well is useful information on subjects like reading a whiskey label and how to buy whiskey.
Much like the yearly Jim Murray offering, the just released Malt Whisky Yearbook 2015 is considered a yearly reading requirement by hardcore fans of whiskey. This book, now in its 10th edition, brings together some of the best whisky writers to contribute unique feature pieces. What really makes this one interesting though is the up-to-date information provided on more than 300 whisky distilleries from all over the globe as well as a summary of affairs of the whisky world in general.
Whiskey isn’t always meant to be enjoyed as a standalone spirit, and if properly used as a quality ingredient in a cocktail it can really make for a wonderful libation experience. Whiskey Cocktails: Rediscovered Classics and Contemporary Craft Drinks Using the World’s Most Popular Spirit aims to help you become a great whiskey cocktail maker, with cocktail expert and author Warren Bobrow providing information to help you make over 75 quality drinks that “bring out the subtle notes and flavors of any good bourbon or scotch.”
If you are looking for a solid overall whiskey reading experience providing a quality overview of this spirit, Heather Greene’s Whisk(e)y Distilled: A Populist Gide to the Water of Life is worth a glance at. I’m reading this book currently and I have to say as a whiskey writer myself it is quite refreshing to read a female voice in an industry dominated by male authors and distillers. Greene, director of the world famous Whiskey School at Manhattan’s Flatiron Room, offers a no-nonesense voice aiming to make even the most complex whiskey ideas easy for the novice to understand. Her focus on nosing whiskey to get at its flavor profiles, for example, is extremely useful, no matter your level of experience and worth the price of the book alone.
Editor’s Note: All of the items in this list were chosen in part based upon average Amazon customer reviews and include Amazon affiliate links which, if purchased, will help fund the running of this blog. Thank you in advance for your consideration of the costs of making The Whiskey Wash a top destination for whiskey news and information.
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...