The Kindle edition of Whisky Tasting: Over 100 whiskies tasted, rated and curated is available for free, normally $3.99, and it’s certainly worth picking up at that price. 🙂
If you don’t have a Kindle, you can always read it in the Kindle Cloud Reader via your browser.
The book begins with some basic stuff, how to taste whisky, and glassware (he recommends a Glencairn) but the really fun part, and what I enjoyed, was when he organized whiskies into “flights,” as wines are often presented in restaurants. The book finishes with matching whisky with food.
So, onto the flights, which I find is the more interesting part of this book. His general approach is to move from sweet to dry, fruity to smoky, young to old, blend to single-malt, and standard to cask strength. Personally, this is how I prefer to drink my scotch. If you go in the reverse, you bring along some baggage that really does impact your enjoyment of scotch. It doesn’t take a genius to know that if you start with an 25 year old, then even the 18 seems a little rough (and a 12 seems rougher still!).
I just like the general idea of a flight. When we had Scotch Nights, we all just brought a bottle we liked and tried each one with no organization. With just a little planning, I think we could’ve done a much better job with it and creating flights isn’t difficult. I want to highlight just one flight, especially since it’s a question I get asked a lot – the newbie flight:
- Glenmorangie 10 Original
- Dalwhinnie 15
- Adbeg 10
- Lagavulin 16
Four single malts from varying regions, you really get a nice who’s who of single malt scotches from this flight. You get a Speyside in Glenmorangie (at a very affordable price), Highland with Dalwhinnie, then the one two punch of Islay – Ardbeg and Lagavulin. I like the move of putting Lagavulin last because there’s a bit of a medicinal taste in Lagavulin, good for a final stop.
Here’s another aspect of the book I like – Mazur isn’t afraid to tell you to skip something. In this case, he says to avoid Johnnie Walker Blue Label. He doesn’t like it and he says, it’s overhypoed, overpriced and bizarrely aspirational.”
Worth a look, certainly at that price!