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Books > Food & Drink > Whiskey

Blatant stereotype notwithstanding, it seems you can't get two Irishmen together without a bottle of whiskey making an appearance. The word originates from the Gaelic phrase uisce beatha, or "Water of Life." Aficionados of fine Irish whiskey each have their favorite brand - whether it's Black Bush, Jameson, Powers, Midleton Very Rare, or a lesser-known label - and regard it with a near-religious reverence. Read entire Whiskey article here.

Don't miss our Gifts for the Whiskey Connoisseur.

Recommended Irish Whiskey Books

Jim Murray's Classic Irish Whiskey

Classic Irish Whiskey
by Jim Murray
A world-renowned expert on whiskey, Murray evaluates each whiskey in terms of nose, taste, finish and balance. This is a book bursting with entertaining stories, tips and lore.

+ Review

Rating: 5 out of 5 Shamrocks for Classic Irish Whiskey by Jim Murray A Top Notch Account of Irish Whiskey
I received my edition from the chief distiller in Cooley Distillery while doing an operations project in college. Anyway, I wasn't much of a whiskey fan before that but when I gor this book my whole outlook on the "water of life" changed. From start to finish its expertly put together. He gives a grading in verbal terms (not the usual out of ten rubbish) to each whiskey and tells of the strong and and not so strong characteristics of each whiskey. Murray gives excellent background information on the distilleries and the history of the different brands. Its hard not to love whiskey after reading this book especially when Murray has such a poetic passion for the stuff. Maybe you still won't like the taste of whiskey after this but you'll certainly have a greater sense of what you are drinking id you decide to do so. Anyway, maybe it's enough to know there is more than just taste to a bottle which is enough to read this book. Top Stuff.

The Whiskeys of IrelandThe Whiskeys of Ireland
by Peter Mulryan
There is a wealth of lore – historical, economic, and cultural – surrounding the fastest-growing export coming out of Ireland. Learn the details of how whiskey is made, and about the differences between varieties of whiskeys; in addition, Mulryan includes tasting notes on 60 renowned Irish brands.

Whiskey: The Definitive World GuideWhiskey: The Definitive World Guide
by Jim Murray
From grain to glass, Whiskey tells you everything and anything you'll ever want to know about whiskey, from storing and serving whiskey, whiskey cocktails, to pairing whiskey with food. Whether interested in the story behind aromas and flavors, what makes certain distilleries unique or how weather and environment influence taste‹this is the most fascinating illustrated examination of whiskey on the market.

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Recommended Scotch Whisky Books

Michael Jackson's Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch: The Connoisseur's Guide to the Single Malt Whiskies of ScotlandMichael Jackson's Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch: The Connoisseur's Guide to the Single Malt Whiskies of Scotland
by Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson is renowned for his pithy wisdom and a remarkable ability to evoke aromas and flavors. This fully revised and expanded edition of MICHAEL JACKSON'S COMPLETE GUIDE TO SINGLE MALT SCOTCH is the definitive guide to single malt whisky and its producers worldwide. The completely new introduction incorporates Jackson's most recent research on the origins and evolution of the water of life, the nature of aromas and flavors, and regional differences. The book's core is the comprehensive A-to-Z of single malts, arranged by distillery. Each entry offers a new introduction and key information, and features Jackson's evocative, highly regarded tasting notes and ratings. This edition features a refreshed design, specially commissioned photographs of distilleries, and more than 1,000 tasting notes.

+ Review

Rating: 5 out of 5 Shamrocks for Michael Jackson's Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch: The Connoisseur's Guide to the Single Malt Whiskies of Scotland A welcome update of a classic guide

Many of us have learned to appreciate the variety within the world of single malt whiskies with a wee dram in one hand and an opened copy of Michael Jackson's guide in the other. The new 1999 edition of this classic work on single malts is a welcome update. It includes all of the information from earlier editions and adds reviews of many even more whiskies than were included in the last edition. Jackson's descriptions and opinions are accurate and they are fun to read. Running Press has done a first rate job in publication of the material; it is a beautiful book.

If you are new to the world of single malts and want a single reference, this is the place to start (although you should also seek out the writings of such authors as Charles MacLean and Jim Murray). If you already have an earlier edition of this book, the 1999 edition is still worth getting for all of the new reviews.

Thanks to Michael Jackson for his outstanding work.

Scotch Whisky: A Liquid History by Charles MacLeanScotch Whisky: A Liquid History
by: Charles MacLean
This is the definitive history of whisky, written by Scotland's leading writer on the subject and Editor at Large of Whisky magazine. Superb illustrations and entertaining anecdotes bring to life storied names such as John Walker and Sons, Glenlivet, Macallan, and many others. From the origins of distilling in China to the temperance movement of the 1800s to the modern-day operations of a thriving national industry, this is a treasure trove for the whisky connoisseur or anyone interested in a seriously good read.

+ Review

Rating: 4 out of 5 Shamrocks for Scotch Whisky: A Liquid History comprehensive guide
Scotch Whisky by Charles MacLean is a comprehensive guide about the different single malt and blended Scotch whiskies available. It starts with a short history about Scotch whisky and goes on to the making, the regional differences and how to appreciate this very traditional Scottish drink. This is followed by a listing of all the different single malt whiskies and blended whiskies. Each of them is listed by category, distiller and owner. There is also a description of the history of the whisky as well as tasting notes. This guide to whisky is excellent reading for those interested in whisky from the connoisseur to the enthusiastic amateur. And, of course, this book is always a superb gift which is usually very much appreciated.

Scotland and Its Whiskies: The Great Whiskies and Their LandscapesScotland and Its Whiskies: The Great Whiskies and Their Landscapes
by Michael Jackson
Famed master Michael Jackson devotes a chapter to each of Scotland's ten premier distilleries, explaining the influence of environment and geography on the finished product. Lavishly illustrated with the gorgeous photography of Harry Cory Wright.

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