Whiskypedia: A Spirited Sort of Education

When cracking open ‘Whiskypedia: A Compendium of Scottish Whisky,’ by Charles MacLean, the new book from Skyhorse Publishing, I’m reminded of the time I was forced by a female companion into a small perfume shop in San Francisco. While there’s little about scents that interest me, the proprietor had me hypnotized as he guided her through their selections of perfume and cologne, speaking with equal parts passion and knowledge. I couldn’t help but be fascinated.

Even in subjects I have little interest in, I often find having such an expert guiding you can prove mind-blowing.

Now, whisky (yes, referring to the Scottish kind is without the “e,” thank you) is something I’m very interested in, but author presents so much compelling information regarding Scottish whisky that I think anybody could enjoy it, not simply we beverage enthusiasts. To boot, its production value is lovely. Were it not undersized for such, I would call it a coffee table book. It certainly looks good on a nightstand. The full-color interior has glossy pages rife with pics of cool bottles, crazy facts about 134 Scotch whisky makers, and the goods on explaining labels, the distilling process, and even worldwide market data.

Again, super interesting. This book is a ticket to becoming a bit of a whisky connoisseur. The profiles of the 134 distilleries make up the bulk of the book, so unless you intend to take up whisky as a hobby, or plan to travel to Scotland on a whisky swilling trip*, it may not be a purchase for you. Nonetheless, if you know someone with such aspirations, it’s a fine gift (about $18). Plus it looks great on a bookshelf, and you never know when you’ll luck into a bottle of Cardhu, Jura, or Mortlach. On such occasion, there’s not a better book to have handy.

(And should you plan such a trip, this book has advice on that front as well).

Whiskypedia‘ will be available in stores on September 22, 2010.


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