October 20, 2005

Instant Expert's Guide to Single Malt Scotch Review

The Instant Expert's Guide to Single Malt Scotch
Vital Stats: 68 Pages of information on single malt scotch, from malted barley to mouth
Author: Kevin Erskine
Publisher: Doceon Press
Typical Price: $8.95 at Amazon

Instant Expert's Guide to Single Malt ScotchInitial Thoughts: When it comes to the world of scotch, we've always been on the outside looking in. Because of our scotch inexperience we never felt confident enough to go out and buy a bottle of the good stuff, and because we weren't confident we remained inexperienced. That's not to say we didn't enjoy a nice glass every once in a while, on a recommendation or a whim, but single malt scotch wasn't something we were comfortable buying.

That's why we read Kevin Erskine's book from cover to cover the moment it arrived in our mailbox. It's a slim book, but chock full of all kinds of information, including things you would expect like whisky basics to how and where scotch is made. The book is filled to the rim with interesting facts we'd never encountered before about the origins of scotch, and a discussion of distilleries by region. One of our favorite pieces of trivia was about the symbiotic relationship between scotch and bourbon (here's a hint: it has something to do with the barrels they're aged in).

All that is interesting enough, but Mr. Erskine doesn't stop there. The book moves right on to more practical information like what to look for when you taste scotch, and more importantly how to tell what you'll like. Another interesting difference between this book and others we've glanced at is that it doesn't only talk about scotch in terms of region. There is an entire section devoted to breaking scotch down by flavor, not by locality, so once you find a scotch that tastes right for you, you'll be able to explore other drinks that reside in the same flavor "cluster."

There's a lot of information about how to read the label on your scotch, and copious notes on the most popular types of scotch in the world, in the US and in Scotland. One of our absolute favorite aspects of the book is that while it arms you with the knowledge about how to make informed decisions about single malt scotch, there is no attempt to tell you what you should like. Don't open the book looking for an exhaustive (and boring) list of the author's tasting notes designed to dazzle you with how much scotch has coated his tongue. Instead the book focuses on giving you practical information to help you learn how to get the most enjoyment out of the "water of life."

Cocktail Recipes: There are a few good recipes included in the book as well, including our favorite drink in the entire world, the Old Fashioned. We usually make ours with bourbon, but blended scotch will do in a pinch. The version of the Old Fashioned included in the book is extremely close to the one we use here in the Liquor Snob offices, and we recommend it very highly.

Other recipes included in the book include the Hot Toddy, the Manhattan, the Rusty Nail, the Whisky Sour, and another personal favorite of ours, the Boilermaker. One thing to note - single malt scotch should NEVER be used to mix a cocktail...stick with blends if you're mixing.

Finishing Thoughts: The Instant Expert's Guide to Single Malt Scotch is well-written, painstakingly researched, and comes from a true love of scotch. One of our favorite aspects of the book is the "If You Remember Nothing Else..." page at the end of each chapter, which summarizes what you've read and distills it down (get it?) to the most important facts. This will be especially helpful when you take your copy to the liquor store to pick out your first bottle by something other than price.

Plus, since the book clocks in at under $10, you can pick it upfor less than the cost of buying a single glass of single malt in a bar, and as an added bonus you'll learn why scotch and chocolate chip cookies go hand-in-hand!

Read More in: Drinking Advice | Reviews | Scotch

Share this Article with others: social bookmarking

Related Articles:

Came straight to this page? Visit Liquor Snob for all the latest news.

Posted by Jake Jamieson at October 20, 2005 6:35 AM


Recent Comments

Complete nonsense.
Have a nice day.

Posted by: hgfuyu udd at December 20, 2008 2:59 AM

I am looking for a single malt scotch with a name that sounds like uesqadora. I can not locate it, but at one time had a bottle and it was really good. Can you help?

Posted by: john at September 15, 2008 6:25 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Please enter the letter "p" in the field below:
Please press Post only once. Submission of comments takes up to 20 seconds because of Spam Filtering.

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Instant Expert's Guide to Single Malt Scotch Review:

» Potpourri from The Scotch Blog
I haven't posted in a few days due to some recent travel. I had the pleasure of staying at the James Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona. Not a large Scotch selection, but has a couple of plum choices, which can be[Read More]

» Lagavulin Single Malt Scotch Review from Liquor Snob
Lagavulin 86 Proof, 16 year old Islay Single Malt Scotch Typical Price: $40 plus for 750ml Initial Thoughts: We've said it multiple times that all scotch tastes the same to us, and it just so happens that we like that...[Read More]

» Whiskey: The Definitive World Guide from Liquor Snob
Title: Whiskey: The Definitive World Guide Author: Michael Jackson (not that Michael Jackson) Hardcover, 336 pages Typical Price: $40, but currently available at Amazon for $26 - Buy It Now There's a whole big world of whiskey out there, and...[Read More]

Join the Mailing List Mailing List
Enter your Email

Powered by FeedBlitz
Subscribe - RSS

facebook_badge.jpg twitter_badge.jpg

Recent Comments

Von P commented on Jello Shots Today...Pudding Shots Tomorrow: I've got recipes for a variety of pudding shots which include Reese's Peanu...

Morris commented on Jello Shots Today...Pudding Shots Tomorrow: In referrence to the article "Jello Shots Today...Pudding Shots Tomorrow"; ...

Sandy commented on Jello Shots Today...Pudding Shots Tomorrow: Done this one more than once - 2 cups heavy cream - whipped 1 sm. box inst...

sam commented on Jello Shots Today...Pudding Shots Tomorrow: when making pudding shots... use a box of pudding... 1 cup of milk and anot...

Liquor Snob commented on Jello Shots Today...Pudding Shots Tomorrow: Here ya go, Junior......

Visit our other properties at Blogpire.com!


This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
All items Copyright © 1999-2017 Blogpire Productions. Please read our Disclaimer and Privacy Policy