I love books, whether they be actual physical books or e-books on my kindle, i love them. I especially love visual books, i think thats the photographer in me there, so books with well presented graphic content works well for me and the Whisky Opus does just that.
Whisky Opus by Gavin D. Smith & Dominic Roskrow with contributions by Davin de Kergommeaux & JÃƒÂ¼rgen Deibel is Guiness book of records sized tome of Whisky around the world. It begins to introduce whisky as not just a high alcohol volume spirit drink but also as something unique, something fun and something full of character.
A well researched and written introduction to whisky, along with a splattering of humour, meant i couldn't put the book down whilst smiling my way through the introduction pages, with information on how whisky is made, where whisky originated from and even the perfect way to drink it. And thats before the main course of the book which goes into great detail about some of the greatest whiskies out there.
Each area of Scotland, then Americas, Europe and Rest of the World are split up and catalogued. I don't know if they've got every distillery open in the world and legally making whisky or whiskey at the moment but it sure feels like it. Each region is talked about with general information about the regions whisky making history then the distilleries are listed.
For each of the big, or best known, distilleries in each region there is a 2 page spread detailing information about the distillery and some of it's bottlings and then tasting notes on three of the distilleries best known whiskies. It then details all the other smaller or newer or less well known distilleries inthe region, giving some information and a few tasting notes.
This works well for me as there are some distilleries with only one or two bottlings and it would be silly to try to fluff out the information on them, although one or two could maybe do with a bigger spread (e.g. Kilchoman).
The tasting notes included are objective and readable, there's no obscure "smells like night on the moon" or "tastes like caviar and truffles" the notes are all down to earth and identifiable which i think makes this "Opus" a great read.
The initial pictures in the introduction are very high quality, and well presented, the images of the bottles throughout are well done and very clean and consistent. The photographer in me is very impressed by this part.
The Whisky Opus will not only be an informative book about some of the worlds greatest distilleries and their whiskies but it's also a great reference guide to what is available on the market and is something i will turn to again and again over the coming weeks, months and years.
I think Gavin D. Smith, Dominic Roskrow and Davin de Kergommeaux & JÃƒÂ¼rgen Deibel need to be congratulated on a very well presented, well written book that is worthy of shelf space in any self respecting whisky drinkers home.
Released tomorrow (3rd September 2012) and available to buy now from Amazon or Waterstones (or your nearest book stockist) this book comes well recommended.