Whiskypedia: A Compendium of Scottish Whisky

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9781616080761: Whiskypedia: A Compendium of Scottish Whisky

Individual distilleries give their whiskies unique characteristics. These characteristics do not arise magically (as was once thought), nor are they the result solely of the region (as is still thought, by some). They have their roots in the craft and custom of the distillery and of the district in which it is located, but the key influences upon flavor are the distilling equipment itself, how it is operated, and how the spirit is matured. For the first time, Whiskypedia explores the flavor and character of every malt whisky distilled in Scotland with reference to how it is made. Introductory sections explain the contribution made by each stage of production and maturation, to elucidate the detailed notes about how malt whisky is made at each distillery. The distillery entries also provide historical notes and quirky facts. Malt whisky is the quintessential “spirit of place,” and this element of the story has been captured by John MacPherson's camera in specially commissioned images which compliment the text.

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About the Author:

Charles MacLean has been researching and writing books and articles about whisky since 1981. He shares his enthusiasm and knowledge by giving talks and tastings around the world, by leading “whisky expeditions” in Scotland (The Whisky Train and Whisky Cruises), and by presenting training programs and classes for whisky companies, clubs, and individuals. His eight books on whisky include the standard work on whisky brands, Scotch Whisky, and the leading book on its subject, Malt Whisky, both of which were short-listed for Glenfiddich Awards. He is a member of the Judging Panel (Spirits) of the International Wines & Spirits Competition. He acts as a consultant to the whisky industry on a variety of matters, and was elected a Keeper of the Quaich, the industry’s highest accolade. He is a Visiting Lecturer to the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, and a Councilor of the Clan Maclean. He lives near Edinburgh.

From Booklist:

MacLean, who won a James Beard Award for Scotch Whisky: A Liquid History (2003), here provides an A–Z guide to Scotland’s most famous export, after golf. Noting in his introduction that differences in flavor are less the result of distilleries’ locations, as is usually thought, than of tradition, technique, and market concerns, he provides information about materials, equipment, and procedures for aficionados curious to make such comparisons. But the heart of these entries lies in the “historical notes” and “curiosities,” where the author’s research and enthusiasm are clearly evident. Buyers and collectors will find the list of “expressions” (commonly available bottlings) useful, while many users will jump straight to the informed, richly descriptive tasting notes (Dalmore smells “rich and sherried, with sweet malt, fruit cake, orange peel and marzipan.”) As Scotch’s popularity grows, its world changes surprisingly fast, and updated information is crucial. The untimely death of beer and spirits writer Michael Jackson in 2007 makes the eminent MacLean’s work more important than ever. Serious drinkers—this is not a book for beginners—can ask for no better guide. --Keir Graff

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Charles MacLean, John MacPherson (Photographer)
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