13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Malt Whisky Companion,
This review is from: Malt Whisky Companion (Hardcover)
I'm giving this book 4 stars for Michael Jackson's top notch knowledge and good descriptions of Scotch Malt Whiskies. In the late 90's, an earlier edition of this book was a fine guide for me as I explored the world of whisky beyond that which was available on the supermarket shelf.
Nowadays though, I don't really find his writing as relevant as it once was, as my tastes have branched out beyond the confines of Scotland. While the Scottish distilleries are still my favourite and are covered in this book great detail, other countries are given a brief mention at best (7 pages out of 448). The Japanese are currently producing some excellent (and award winning) whiskies, and I feel they merit more of a mention than a few paragraphs.
I also disagree with his 'scoring' of whiskies. One thing I've learned over the years is that everyone's tastes are different. While some are fans of the lighter Lowlands, others prefer a heavy hitting Islay, or maybe a rich and sherried Speyside. This is one of the things that makes malt whisky tasting so enjoyable - tasting all the different varieties and finding out what your preference is. I feel that by scoring whiskies, some people will be steered away from a drink that they might really enjoy. By all means present the reader with a description, but allow them to make their own judgement.
All in all, this book is a good beginners introduction to the world of Scotch Malt Whisky, but for the enthusiast or someone who fancies tasting something from beyond Scotland's borders I'm sure there are better books out there.