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The World Atlas of Whisky: More Than 350 Expressions Tasted - More Than 150 Distilleries Explored Hardcover – October 18, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Broom, a leading writer in the field, believes that “we are living in the most exciting period in whisky’s long evolution,” and readers who regularly patrols the aisles of a quality liquor store will be inclined to agree. After perusing this book, however, they’ll be boggled at how much they have yet to sip and sample. But this is no mere mapping of distilleries. Yes, there are country maps, with significant regions and distilleries indicated, but there are maps of flavors, too—the first indication of Broom’s creative approach. Writing succinctly and sometimes scenically, he profiles distilleries and shares his tasting notes, then offers suggestions of what to taste next. In teaching how to taste, he proffers sensible “flavor camps” that avoid the kind of over-adjectival rhapsodizing that makes so many people leery of drinks writing in the first place. The whole approach is sensible, informed, encouraging—and beautifully illustrated, too, for those who may prefer pictures to prose while browsing. Though it is a world atlas, 169 pages are devoted to Scotland, leaving 12 for Ireland, 18 for Japan, 37 for the U.S., 10 for Canada, and 29 for the rest of the world. Whiskey drinkers with no interest in Scotch are forewarned, although perhaps this book can cure them. --Keir Graff

About the Author

Award-winning author and whisky expert Dave Broom has been writing about whisky for 20 years as a journalist an author. A four-time Glenfiddich Award-winning author, Broom is editor of the Scotch Whisky Review, editor of Whisky Magazine: Japan, consultant editor to Whisky Magazine (UK, USA, France, Spain) and writes for a number of other publications including The Spectator, Mixology and Imbide. In addition, he regularly appears on television and radio, and is actively involved in whisky education, acting as a consultant to major distillers on tasting technique as well as teaching professionals and the public.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley (October 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845335775
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845335779
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Sitting in Seattle on December 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is not what I expected, so I want to help you decide whether it's what you want.

This is a large, heavy, coffee table sized book with beautiful printing and photography, an overview of whisky production of several kinds (single malt, bourbon, etc), and 1-2 page spreads on selected distilleries and their whiskies in Scotland and worldwide. Besides discussing each distillery, it has tasting notes for a few whiskies from each one, plus a recommendation of what to try next for them (i.e., if you like this one, go try that one). That's all good if it's what you want.

What is it NOT? First of all, it is not really an atlas in any sense, either literal (maps) or figurative (conceptual). There are a few maps but they are not comprehensive or detailed enough to count as an atlas in my opinion. Figuratively, it provides a conceptual "map" of whisky with two dimensions (vanilla vs. grain plus peat vs. clean, as I see it, although the author uses different words) but it is not really terribly informative for several reasons: it leaves many whiskies uncategorized, it explicitly takes no account of quality, and it doesn't even map all the whiskies in the book. Perhaps most strangely, the whiskies in the book are explained not with the map but with an unrelated other method of categorizing that uses different sensory terms ("fruit", "floral", etc.)

Second, it is not comprehensive. Not all scotches are there, certainly not all bourbons are there, and so forth. I have seven generally available whiskies on my shelf right now, and the book has tasting notes for 3 of them (of which one is from Japan, so it's 2 for 6 from Scotland and the US). So it is not at all a comprehensive reference.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tokyo Resident on December 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The photographs are worth the book's price in themselves, but this book has a lot more to offer than that. I live in Japan and kid myself I know a bit about the country and its whisky, but the chapter on Japan taught me something on every page. Broom is absolutely sure in his knowledge of Japanese whisky but writes lyrically in a light easy-to-read style. The "flavor camp" classifications are a great idea, dividing whiskies according to simple, easy to understand characteristics (peaty and smoky etc.) and allowing the reader to cross reference whiskies of those types from across the world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jaime on February 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Getting interested in whisky, I wished for a book that would cover it all, explain the history of regions and distilleries, and give me the general gist of what flavors and characteristic I might expect from different brands. Here it is. Nicely laid out, big, beautiful photography of lonely peat bogs and such – it's an armchair traveler book, for sure, informative and much more relaxing to read than clicking through a bunch of blogs. It's not up-to-the-minute on the latest releases, but that's OK. Mr. Broom and editors did a great job here.
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Format: Hardcover
"The World Atlas of Whisky" was the first whisky book I ordered after recently re-discovering this intriguing spirit. The author does a very nice job explaining how to nose and taste whisky as well as providing a "flavour map" for single malt Scotch which helps the novice and more experienced whisky enthusiast navigate towards taste profile(s) that suits their personal preferences.

Broom walks the reader thru a well constructed, easy to follow/understand "flow chart" of how various whisk(e)y's are made throughout the world, provides numerous facts and anomalies about individual distilleries in each of the major whisk(e)y producing countries as well as descriptive tasting notes on some of the various expressions offered at the referenced distilleries.

Another very helpful tool included with the tasting notes is the "Where Next" feature. After using the "Flavour Profile Map" and tasting notes to help provide direction on what bottle of Scotch to buy, if you find that you enjoy that particular style, Broom suggests another distilleries expression to try next in a similar style that will likely be enjoyed. This feature has really helped me find my bearings and led me down a well defined path as I explore this wonderful world of whisk(e)y.

Reading thru "The World Atlas of Whisky" while sipping on a dram of your favorite whisk(e)y is truly what the journey and experience is all about!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SpecialT on January 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very informative on a broad range of whiskies from around the world. Well organized & well written. Beautifully illustrated. I've enjoyed it a great deal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn M Hughes on January 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was given as a gift and was loved and appreciated. It was informative and interesting. The pictures were very colorful.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lo_Meister on January 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you enjoy a fine Scotch or Bourbon like I do, then this book is for you. Packed with information and reviews on whiskey distilleries and their unique styles from around the world for your reading enjoyment. Most of us have purchased a bottle or two of whiskey, only to discover it was not to our liking. This book will help point you along the right path by use of flavor camps to help in selecting a whiskey you will enjoy. The flavor Map section shows you where the majority of Scotches fall in a grid, from Light to Rich and Delicate to Smokey. The flavor map associates a given whisky with one of five primary flavor profiles; Fragrant and Floral, Fruity and Spicy, Malty and Dry, Rich & Round and Smokey and Peaty. The distillation process and distillery choices are shown for Malt, Grain, Irish Pot-Still, Kentucky Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey. Whisky reviews with nosing and tasting notes from numerous distilleries are provided by Dave along with whisky suggestions to try next if you like a particular one you have tried. My book arrived within 3 days from Amazon.

P.S. I also purchased the set of four Glencairn whiskey glasses from Amazon. They really do improve your ability to nose, taste and enjoy whiskey over ordinary tumbler glasses.
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