Top critical review
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A good book for novices; little interest for aficionados
on November 10, 1998
Daniel Lerner's primer on Scotch whisky (no "e" allowed!) is a useful book primarily for those with no knowledge of the subject- as Mr. Lerner admits he himself was when he embarked on this project. As a single-malt enthusiast but by no means an expert, I bought this book for its promised survey of and tasting notes on more than 100 whiskies. I regret to say that I was disappointed.
The greatest liability of the book is in the tasting notes, which are often vague, frequently simplistic, and rarely informative. Part of this is doubtless due to the rather scattershot tasting methods employed, described in an appendix by the author; however, if you're looking for detailed information on which whiskies match your personal tastes, this is not the book to buy.
For the beginner, perhaps, this manual, with its glossy color photography and useful general overview of the process of whisky production, is a decent buy; next time, however, I'll spend more money to get a more detailed book.