While some people dabble in their love for whisky merely as a recreational activity, some people pursue the hobby with the tenacity of a vocation. That is merely a fancy way of saying some people only prefer to drink and collect whisky, whereas some make it a mission to know the subject inside and out.
Books about whisky are written on a variety of topics, including the run-of-the-mill cocktail recipes, to the more entertaining facts and stories. There are even books written by experts who continue to pursue knowledge over everything.
Whisky is a type of liquor with centuries of history, important personalities and some truly era-defining events that make for a rich tapestry of information. Some people prefer to know more about a subject before sticking their toes into a vast world, whereas many simply wish to know more about something they truly love.
Books about whisky are a lot similar to great cookbooks and other culinary literature that educates young chefs and food enthusiasts about things that aren’t too easy to come by. We have compiled a list of the five best books about whisky currently available worldwide to help you know whisky more intimately, helping you familiarize with things only an expert could spot. So whether you are looking for a gift for a loved one, or wish to enrich your library with more whisky related literature, here is your chance to do it well.
Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
An annually released edition, this is one of the most anticipated releases for whisky connoisseurs all over the world. One look at Jim Murray tells you how much this man loves whisky! Seriously we dare you to find picture of him where he isn’t holding a glass of whisky, or isn’t thinking about whisky. That’s right – it’s impossible.
Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible sells like hot cakes each year, and is only rivalled by whisky itself. He published the first edition of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible in 2003, and has since published it each year without any exceptions. So if you wish to know which Chivas Regal to drink, or which The Glenlivet expression should you invest in? Jim Murray is here to help.
The Whisky Bible is an extensive publication with an in-depth exploration of thousands of whisky brands, rating them comprehensively on a scale of 100 points. Jim Murray considers the four different components of a whisky’s tasting notes, rating each out of 25 respectively. He is one of the few experts writing exclusively about whisky as a vocation. The Whisky Bible is one of the most reliable works of literature about whisky, with valuable information and insights from a man that quite possibly lives and breathes for whisky itself.
Gavin D. Smith’s Whisky, Wit & Wisdom
Murray’s Whisky Bible explores the purely hands-on experience he has with as many whiskies as he can, picking his favourites each year. On the other hand, Gavin D. Smith explores a completely different side of the spectrum that is not often written about.
Smith focuses on a primarily overlooked subject that can often prove to be a valuable reservoir of information. Small-talk and anecdotal stories to share with your fellow whisky enthusiasts are always a great idea, and Whisky, Wit & Wisdom brings a lot of those to the table.
While most non-whisky people might imagine a book about whisky to be serious, drab and quite complicated, this one definitely proves them wrong from the get-go. Whisky, Wit & Wisdom gives you chance to be armed some fantastic factoids and ‘did-you-know’ quips to use at parties and any whisky-tasting congregations you may have lined up. If not, it’s quite a solid and entertaining book for people that love whisky, and everything about it.
Dave Broom’s The World Atlas of Whisky
New to the confusing yet fascinating world of whisky? Looking forward to brushing up on your whisky facts to impress your Scotch loving father-in-law? Or is it a Boss that leans towards Bourbon? Or are you simply looking to turn your partner towards something you love?
Don’t worry because Dave Broom covers pretty much everything you would require from a book that prefers to call itself an Atlas. An Atlas it is, since there are detailed maps and references to single malts sampled from numerous distilleries across Scotland whether they’re single malts from the Speyside like The Glenlivet, or houses of blended whisky like Ballantine’s or Chivas Regal. It is extensive, and spans beyond Scotland, into Ireland, Japan and America too.
This is a great whisky book for beginners, and people looking forward to understand the spirit better. You will truly learn to appreciate whisky more, and even gain a far deeper understanding into whisky by the time you are finished with The World Atlas of Whisky!
Fred Minnick’s Whiskey Women
Whiskey Women explores the oft overlooked influence women have had on the whisky industry throughout its history. The pivotal role played by strong women that have contributed to making whisky what it is today is not talked about nearly as much as it should, and Fred Minnick explores this very well.
A prolific and decorated writer, Fred Minnick has written nearly seven published books, and has been working as the editor-in-chief of Bourbon+ magazine. All of this, in addition to his previous work in numerous magazines, appearances in television shows and more show an experienced writer at the helm of an important subject in the world of whisky.
Whiskey Women narrates the interesting stories of women and the important role they played in developing, nurturing and refining distillation, brewing and modern-day whisky-making. Since the first brewers in the ancient world, to the bootlegging outlaws of America during Prohibition to the women like Bessie Williamson, the first female distillery manager in Scotland.
Kurt Maitland’s Drink: The Ultimate Cocktail Book
A cocktail book is just a necessity, and pretty much every sane person will attest to the fact. For the people that are visibly expressing their displeasure at the mention of cocktails, relax, we are not talking Pina Coladas and Margaritas. Whisky cocktails have a lot of potential to work with new flavours, whiskies, and ingredients.
Mixologists and bartenders have developed some truly magnificent cocktails over the years, and some classics have been revived too! There are whisky cocktails with the utmost respect for the spirit, and they are an elevating experience.
Kurt Maitland’s Drink: The Ultimate Cocktail Book is exhaustive, comprehensive and has been repeatedly cited as easy-to-follow. Who needs a complicated cocktail guide right? Kurt Maitland covers a vast majority of spirits like Whisky, Vodka, Gin, Tequila, Mescal, Wine and so much more! Maitland even takes care of the teetotallers by including an entire section for non-alcoholic mocktails. If there is one book about whisky you must buy, let it be this one.
With that, The Whiskypedia concludes our list of the top five books for aspiring whiskyheads to give you a unique insight into a vast, and fascinating world.