The little brown book Whiskey: Instant Expert by John Lamond will fit perfectly into your purse and teach you everything you need to know about whiskey. At only 144 pages it's a quick read, filled with interesting facts, tips, and explanations, and well designed. You may find yourself skimming through more than half of the book which is filled with detailed but brief information about various distilleries. Lamond lists dozens of whiskey distilleries from around the globe for the reader to gain a snapshot view of whiskey producers history and best selling item.
The writing flows wonderfully for being a book that's cramming so much education into such a small space. It lacks the industry jargon that might confuse the average person who wants to know more about whiskey but who doesn't need to finish the book feeling like a master distiller. Lamond gives tangible examples of what makes great whiskey (the type of tree, quality of stave, yeast strain, storage conditions, etc.) and reduces the process of making whiskey to a few well-explained steps.
We loved the unique little sections throughout the book like "In the Details" and "Words from the Wise," but can't help but wonder why he couldn't get a woman or two into the mix of experts. The spirit world is clearly male dominated but there are enough women in the business to get at least one female perspective.
Overall, the whiskey novice or connoisseur will enjoy reading this book and having it around for quick reference. It will make a great gift for the man in your life or for any aspiring bartender who wants to know than about whiskeys than which ones taste the best.
Whiskey: Instant Expert Written by John Lammond Published by Princeton Architectural Press $16.95 Online