on December 5, 2005
Jackson's "Definitive Guide" lives up to its name. For the dilettante, the book provides enough background for one to converse with whiskey's most haughty connoisseurs (several of whom can be found adopting pretentious poses among the beautiful and informative photographs that cover the the book, cover to cover, as it were). Those connoisseurs, however knowledgeable, will find the seemingly exhaustive encyclopedia of distilleries, arranged by region, an unparalleled reference, and perhaps discover a few to add to his shopping (or in my case, wish) list. Contrary to the previous reviewer's delightful analogy about enjoying the book in small doses, the half devoted to the processes of creating whiskey provided a sufficiently engaging read for me to spend two straight hours with it at the local bookstore amidst increasingly less congenial "are you going to buy that" looks from the management. The book, however, is not for the parsimonious, because as with any specialty items, good whiskies don't come cheap. There's no sense inspiring expensive yearnings for delicacies one didn't previously know existed.