I consider myself something of a whisky fanatic and I've drunk my fair share and more. Initially I was impressed by the density of this book, you'll need good reading glasses and a strong light to make it out. Having delved deeper however there seem to be several problems,
The quality of the information for each whisky varies hugely from a complete dissection of the character to the flippant: "I say! Sherry anyone?" as a complete review of a particular bottle. Whilst the author may think it adds character and levity to the book it also makes it frustrating. When one looks up a potential purchase and finds less helpful information than might be found in any random novel opened to a random page it does make the reader wonder why he bothered to buy the book in the first place.
The scoring is also bizarre the author appears particularly hung up on sulphur and occasionally caramel additions. But any whisky which manages to avoid these pitfalls is guaranteed a good score. For example, Sainsbury's Basics Blended Scotch Whisky, a whisky I was unfortunate enough to try and I can guarantee is neither pleasant nor much like whisky, receives a score to indicate it is "Average and usually pleasant though sometimes flawed". This habit pushes most the remaining whiskies into roughly 10% of the possible 100% scale. This in turn means there is, according to the book, little difference between a great Speyside and a mass produced under-aged bottle at a fifth the price. If that were true any whisky drinker could save himself a fortune by buying bottles of Tescos value single malt for the rest of his life. I won't be.
Finally despite the book being apparently dense there are many notable omissions from the new 2010-2012 bottlings. The space is filled largely with rare if not non-existent bottlings from years ago. Most of which are impossible to source unless you have some particularly good contacts. A good use of space? I think not.
All this aside though when the author does provide useful information it is very good. And if one sticks to the high-high-high end of the scores you are guaranteed a nice dram. Just a pity, with a little more thought and discrimination this could have been so much more.