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The Instant Expert's Guide to Single Malt Scotch Paperback – June 1, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Instant Expert's Guide to Single Malt Scotch is just what its title implies, a quick and often fun read.... -- Richmond.com

The Instant Expert's Guide to Single Malt Scotch is well-written, painstakingly researched, and comes from a true love of Scotch. -- Liquor Snob

This book is a gem: a power punch of facts and information but presented in a total twaddle-free manner. -- Dominic Roskrow - Editor, Whisky Magazine

From the Publisher

This new edition of what has been described as "the single best introduction to single malt whisky ever" has been revised and expanded, and includes an introduction by Dominic Roskrow, editor of Whisky Magazine.

Written by Kevin Erskine, who also writes the very popular The Scotch Blog, a whisky industry news and commentary site which is required reading around the world by whisky insiders and whisky fans alike.

Scotch whisky is seeing something of a renaissance these days, but there's no place to go for someone with an interest in trying single malt scotch. The author has taken years of experience giving tastings to novices and teaching bar & restaurant staff, and distilled it down into a slim volume. There is no extraneous information here - just what a new scotch drinker needs to get up to speed with all of the basic essentials. Enjoy!

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Doceon Press; Updated & Expan edition (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977199118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977199112
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #914,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Neil Burton on January 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am a true beer lover who is constantly on the hunt for new and exciting flavors in beverages. However after trying what seems just about every type of alcoholic beverage out there I realized that there was one frontier I truly had not experienced, which is single malt scotch. After receiving a bottle of single malt scotch from my father-in-law I realized it was time to get educated.

In comes Kevin Erskine's smooth read for such a complex beverage that quickly had me knowledgeable on how to properly enjoy this amazing spirit. This book is very concise (at only 67 pages) with lots of information that will quickly turn a novice into a pro. I highly recommend it if you too want to easily learn the marvels of single malt scotch.
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Format: Paperback
I work "in the Industry" and I must say this is a fantastic introduction for someone who has no clue about where to start.

I don't believe there is another book of this sort, which boils it down to only the most essential basics.

Neat little book.
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Format: Paperback
Recently I found myself becoming more and more interested in whisky. Yet the more web sites you visit, the more the information becomes a bit of a sensory overload. Trying to decifer between opinions and hype can get puzzling. Kevin Erskine cuts through the fog with a welcoming tone, keeping his opinions to himself, and inviting you to plot your own adventure. The book is concise, yet crammed with information. It leaves you ready to strike out on your own while it rests in your back pocket if you need a quick reminder.

Fun and fast with loads of information yet a kind tone that does not make you feel like a latecomer to the party.

Matt Jablow (Wannabe Whisky Gourmets- Yahoo group)
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Format: Paperback
Let me first say that I don't care much for Scotch. Actually let me refine that statement a bit-- Up and until recently I didn't care much for Scotch, due in large part to my utter and complete ignorance of the subject. That and the fact that my impressions of Scotch drinkers was one of boorish stock brokers bellied up to a bar pouring money down the drain faster then they could the whisky into their over fattened gullets.

In short I was constrained by ignorance, and quite frankly intimidation. The glistening row of top shelf bottles were as mysterious and as impenetrable as any exclusive country club. My head spun with questions. How does one even start? Should I simply order the most expensive one, and assume its the best? or should I start with the least expensive and work my way up? Over Rocks? Neat? Single malt? Blends? What's with the missing 'E' in Whisky?

Clear, concise, and to the point (and slim enough to carry on your person whilst traipsing about the local waterholes), this book provides the foundations for a beginner, defines the mandatory nomenclature, and dispels many myths.

Mr. Erskines book has been almost wholly responsible for an eye opening education on the subject, and a growing appreciation of the drink, culture and history. Two thumbs up, 5 stars and a solid purchase.
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Format: Paperback
I got my first bottle of whisky as a gift about 3 years ago. Since then, I've been slowly learning more and more about single malts. Mr. Erskine's book is an excellent starting point to the wonderful world of single malts. Most books offer tasting notes (which matter very little to most novices), and he doesnt. Rather, he instructs the reader on how to pick up the specific notes in each whisky. To be honest, I've yet to meet a single malt I really didnt like. Another helpful part of his book is the guide to proper pronounciations of each whisky (its Glen-fid-ick, not Glen-fiditch!). Lastly, the author is a very helpful; I've emailed him a few times with questions and he has always answered graciously. This book is a must-read, regardless of your level of "expertise".
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone coming in with zero knowledge, by the time I was done with this book
I not only was confident to buy my first bottle of single malt--Knockado--and knew exactly the perfect treat to have with it. More importantly I understood why all the sips I had of other single malts from "helpful" male friends was totally not up my alley. Not because I was a "dumb girl", but because I had different tastes. Now I have the courage to simply smile and say--give me a Knockado--no ice, water on the side. I know exactly why to order that way. Major coolness almost achieved.
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This is a tiny book to begin with, so when around half of it is full of fairly useless and redundant information (drink recipes that have nothing to do with single malt) it leaves precious little space for valuable information.

The author's style is very dry, very factual, rather pedantic and completely lacking in personality or color. Which is not to take away from some rather valuable information in the first few chapter. However, reading this book is a lot like reading a legal contract - it contains facts and information, but it's hard to get excited or any pleasure from the process.

Drinking single malt is a source of great pleasure for me, but I don't get the sense that the author has the same experience. After a lot of dry and colorless detail of the scotch preparing process, he wanders off into details that have little or nothing to do with single malt.

For this slender a book - even if it was loaded with fascinating information and written with great style - a price point of $8.95 would still feel a bit high. But with around half the book being unrelated to the subject, it's value is significantly less. At under $5, I would have felt that I got my money's worth.

Hope this helps you make an informed decision.
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