Jan 6, 2013

five books to booze with in 2013...

Among all the books about booze I had the chance to read in 2012 I have chosen five to mention here if anybody needs a good book recommendation in the new year. I enjoyed them immensely and I hope you will, too...

"Canadian Whisky"
The Portable Expert
by Davin De Kergommeaux

Indisputably one of the the best books of 2012 about whisky. It is written by Davin De Kergommeaux who gave us canadianwhisky.org. It is a compact encyclopedia I learned something new from its every single page. Incredibly gripping, easy to read and stylishly designed. Great way to start to learn Canadian Whisky. Kudos and thanks to Davin De Kergommeaux.

"London's Best Pubs"
A Guide to London's Most Interesting and Unusual Pubs
by Peter Haydon & Tim Hampson

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that I got a little obsessed about the city's beautiful historical pubs during my long Summer in London this year. I purchased this book to accompany my daily evening visits and got hooked up pretty bad. A very elegant layout with beautiful pictures and very good writing. If you like old drinking establishments like I do you will love this book.

"101" World Whiskies to Try Before You Die"
by Ian Buxton

None of us will admit it easily but when Ian Buxton published "101 Whiskies Before You Die" in 2010 he put all the whisky geeks on an unspoken challenge. I have seen that book so many times with small check marks on its pages or with a small list hidden in it. Personally I go with checkmarks and always keep a pencil next to it... When I first heard that Ian was preparing this new volume I was expecting an extension to the first one but it is more than that. This time instead of giving the whisky drinkers a suggestion list it encourages us to try new whiskies and new distilleries from countries all around the world. Great work, a great read and more importantly a great new challenge... A must have...

"Malt Whisky Yearbook 2013"
edited by Ingvar Ronde

What can I say? My absolute favorite periodical whisky publication. It makes every November a month to be excited for... Amazingly well written articles by the most important whisky writers of our time, great tasting notes and everything you would need as a reference book about the malt whisky industry. Ingvar Ronde is setting up the bar higher every year right when you were thinking that he reached perfection with his previous edition. I love what Sam Simmons', a.k.a. Dr. Whisky said about this book a couple of years before and I totally agree with him: "If I could carry Charles Maclean around in my pocket then I probably would, but until then, The Malt Whisky Yearbook is the only crib a whisky enthusiast need."

"Grossman's Guide to Wines, Beers, and Spirits"
by Harold Grossman

Now, this is something different... It's not a contemporary book but I can say that it is the Holy Grail of alcoholic beverage guides. I found it during one of my regular visits to Argosy Books in New York. Grossman's Guide is first published in 1940 and revisited after periodically. This one is the sixth revised edition printed in 1977. Written like a text book it has the attractiveness of an old beautiful encyclopedia. A great look back in the old days of the industry. It's also not a rare find, you can easily spot one online for a reasonable price. Highly recommended if you are interested in near history.