Today I don’t review a whisky but a book about Whisky: “The Science and Commerce of Whisky” written by Ian Buxton and Paul S Hughes ( and you can guess which part has each of them has written :P ).
If you come to me and ask me a good book about whisky this won’t be my first recommendation but once you have read Michael Jackson’s Whisky book and you start wondering how whisky is done, how whisky became what it is nowadays and what is its future then this book is a great reading.
First the book has a history of whisky in different whisky producing countries as Ireland, Canada, USA and, of course, Scotland. It has a wonderful history of Scotland and whisky on chapter two that let you understand why whisky is like it is now .
Then we have two chemistry intensive chapters explaining the chemical processes from barley to new make and what happens once new make enters the oak casks. It is a deep reading but you will be rewarded with the understanding of how barley can be turn into whisky.
Then a very interesting chapter about how blended whisky is create and how quality control is done on the final product. And to complete the book a few case studies of whisky marketing and brand development. And another chapter for new whisky players like Mackmyra, Kavalan or Kilchoman.
Finally you have an analysis of how whisky market is today and how bright the future looks like.
Personally I think that, after re-reading about Scotland distilling history, we are just watching the end of a cycle. Get yourself a good dram, get this book and enjoy watching how the whisky bubble does pop! while you learn how to create your own whisky.
An interesting reading nonetheless.
You can buy it at Amazon right now.