Perhaps the best whisky book out there about whisky and single malts. I reviewed the 5th edition
Really intructive with a very interesting section that analyze the flavor of whisky and where it come from. The book is very centered in Scotland and well it is now more than seven years old but if you are new to malt whisky and what to raise your education on the matter this is a must-read book.
First, Michael Jackson writes about new trends in malt whisky, with a really sighful vision of the future: microdistillerries, japanese malts, Islay whiskies, different kind of malts from the same distillery ( see Bruichladdich or Springbank ), wood finished whiskies, cask strength, vintages, single cask and unchillfiltered whiskies.
Then proceed to explains the possible origins of whisky, malt whisky and blended whiskies. Also how to read whisky labels and understand the different terms written like single malt, peated, sherry aged, cask strenght, single cask, etc…
Then Michael Jackson writes a full section explaining there flavors of whisky comes from: regional variations of Scotland, different kind of waters, peat, heather, types of barley, seaweed, shapes of the still, kind of casks. It is a most interesting chapter that everyone that want to know about whisky should read. The book also portraits maps of Scotland with its distilleries.
Michael Jackson writes about age statement on whiskies and discuss which age is better for whisky and the reasons behind most distilleries range of single malt whiskies.
Malt Whisky is centered in distillies of Scotland, it writes about its history and relevant facts, its house style and then some tasting notes of its most relevant bottles along with color reproductions of some of the whisky bottle labels. Michael Jackson use a five points score system: color, nose, body or mouthfeel, palate and finish. His recommendations are whiskies above 80 and very few are beyond 90. The tasting notes are more rigurous that Jim Murray’s and they also has recommendations about how to get the most of each whisky.
If you were going to buy just one book about whisky you better make sure it is this one. The best most complete malt whisky book I have ever read. Really recommended. There is also a new edition published recently where Dominic Roskrow, Gavin D. Smith and William C. Meyers update Michael Jackson’s work, as he passed away in 2007 of a heart attack. A huge lost for whisky world.