on December 3, 2010
This book is amazing in every aspect. It's not only a stunning design (cover and page spreads) - but it's clever, witty, entertaining and informative. I've purchased 2 copies as gifts, and one for myself. Thanks Ian for putting in the research and effort to produce such an amazing book!
When I got this book, I was a little disappointed. It's small, about the size of a paperback, and the entries are alphabetical with no ratings. Then I read the introduction and a few of the entries and changed my mind. Ratings, as the author points out, are too subjective, and in a subject like whisky where an individual's tastes vary so much, entirely meaningless. The alphabetical order makes sense then, because there is no "best". Instead, each entry has a brief description of the whisky, the distillery, some author's notes (such as how good the food at the distillery's café is!), and some comments about the whisky smell and taste. The end of the book has a one-page guide to actually tasting and enjoying whisky.
I ended up paging through this book to compare the notes Buxton has with some of my own observations. I usually have a dozen or so whiskeys on the shelf (not all opened at the same time) so it was nice to read his comments about a whisky before I opened and tasted: and that set the benchmark of my tastes against his. There's a few reviews I don't agree with, but the vast majority I find I agree completely. Now, I end up having a glance at a new whisky I haven't tried before I go buy a new bottle, and that has broadened both my knowledge and enjoyment of whiskey. Not bad for a reasonably priced book! Recommended!