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Whiskypedia: A Compendium of Scottish Whisky Paperback – 21 Nov 2012

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Paperback, 21 Nov 2012

Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; Reprint edition (21 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620871076
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620871072
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 14.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 706,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jozef Van Kerrebrouck on 1 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover
really a very modern and well documented book on the enjoyment of good whisky. Although i have been reading many books , this style gave still some new insights to appreciate.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 25 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Helpful Guide to Scottish Whisky 19 Jan. 2011
By Katawampas - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a lovely book about Scottish whisky. MacLean starts by giving a quick history of Scottish distilling; this is helpful in understanding and appreciating the industry of today and it's also very interesting. Then he moves on to "Understanding the Label" with a color photo of a Scotch whisky label and a numbered explanation detailing what each part means. Next is the "Taxonomy" of Scotch and "Regional Differences". He also discusses where flavor comes from, the raw materials in making scotch, malt & the "Plant"/physical parts of a distillery: Mash tun, Washbacks, Stills, Condensers, Casks & Warehouse styles. This is the first 37 pages of the book.

Then on to the part of the book you will use most often: The alphabetical listing of each Scottish distillery, including the new ones who have not yet released a bottling & the silent. There is a color photo of at least 1 bottle from each distillery which I find very useful when going shopping. I also really enjoy seeing the various labels & bottle styles.

MacLean gives a history of each distillery going back to the earliest days, even the illicit days of the distilleries, describing various owners/investors. Each entry (distillery) has:
-Expressions - The current bottling of the distillery owner (proprietary) not the independent bottler releases.
-Raw Materials - Source of the distillery water, peat & malt. For all you "peat heads" (I like peaty whisky), he gives the maltings' phenolic content ppm. For example: Ardbeg - Port Ellen maltings at 55 ppm; Laphroaig- Port Ellen & mainland maltings at 35-40 ppm, peat from Machrie Moss.
-Plant: Description of the mash tun, washbacks, stills & condensers.
-Maturation: Type of barrel used & warehousing description.
-Style: Describes the style or character of the new-make spirit, not the mature whisky. These descriptions are mainly provided by the distillery owner.
-Mature Character: MacLean's opinion and description of samples usually in the 12 year old range. He does not use a point system or ranking; just his overall tasting description.
***This is NOT the book to buy if you are primarily looking for specific bottling tasting notes.

Each distillery listed has its address, phone number, website, owner, visitor information & capacity listed on the left side of the page.

The end of the book contains "Facts & Figures" which include a breakdown of who owns whom, the top ten single malts with liters sold in 2007 (I assume although it doesn't state liters on the page) & a pie chart visual of their market share. Next is a breakdown of the major consumer countries of malt whisky. Also a listing & description of the 18 leading independent bottlers.

This book has a very nice layout & is printed on heavy paper. It's not a pocket book but it's also not huge and heavy. I've carried it in to the liquor store and I find it very helpful in learning about Scotch whisky.

Do yourself a favor and buy a whisky glass; it really does enhance the flavor and enjoyment!
Stolzle Glencairn Whiskey Glass Boxed
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Excellent sourcebook for the Scotch Whisky industry. 21 Mar. 2011
By Scott Baker - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Charles MacLean's Whiskypedia is a well written, comprehensive look at the Scotch Whisky industry. The book begins with a short but insightful history of Scotch, followed by a detailed explanation of how to understand a label on a bottle of Scotch. Then he gives you an explanation of the recognized regional differences that make Scotch Whisky so unique.

The meat of the book is the "Gazetter of Distilleries", which takes up the largest portion of the book. Here MacLean shows off his vast knowledge of all things Scotch. Each entry is listed by the name of a Distillery, with a brief history of the brand, a listing of their range of products, information on the plant (stills, washbacks, etc.) how the spirit is matured (bourbon or sherry casks, etc.), and the style of whisky made there. MacLean finishes each listing with his personal tasting notes.

The entries are very inclusive, listing all known distilleries that are currently in operation, those that are now closed, and a handful that are back in operation but haven't released anything yet. The historical notes and "curiosities" make each entry an enjoyable read that gives special insight on each distillery,their founders, and their current owners.

This a very well researched and enjoyable resource book that I know I will return to often. I doubt this book will have time to collect dust on my bookshelf!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Good stuff 19 Aug. 2012
By C. Goff - Published on
Verified Purchase
Love that this is a hardcover. And even though it is bargain price it is still printed on high quality, thick paper. This is a great way to break into understanding Scotches, their distilleries and historical background. There is a good introduction and just enough information about each distillery. It would be nice to have a little more on the tasting notes, as other reviewers have called out, but this is totally worth the price paid and a great place to start out learning about Scotches.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Focuses on distillers more than individual bottlings 12 Feb. 2014
By sph - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While it's fun and fascinating to read the history and technique of the various famous distillers, don't expect much detail between bottlings. For example: you'll read a few pages about the Glenlivet distillery, but not a lot about the (rather significant) differences between a 25 and 12-year-old bottling. It's a good read if you want to get the general sense of a particular malt, but don't expect a comprehensive breakdown between the variants from the same distillery.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent, But Could Be A Bit Better 18 Nov. 2012
By R. Cuccia - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is well worth the money. It contains interesting history and lore regarding each distillery. However, I wish that it contained a bit more in the way of facts. Also, the grammatic syntax, that is, the writing is sometimes a bit confusing.

All in all, buy this book if you are interested in Scotch whisky and Scotch whisky distilleries. You will not be disappointed.
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