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Book Review: 101 World Whiskies to try before you die

17 November 2012 1,365 views Written by: Gal Granov

101_worldBefore i dive into the book, I just wanted to share a lovely inscription that i found on the first page of this book (sent to me by Ian Buxton the Author) : “Stop at 100, live forever” – lovely isn’t it?

Now, this is yet another interesting book, that is a sequel to the very successful 101 whiskies to try before you die, written by the same author (Ian Buxton, which needs no introduction i think, one of the premier league whisky writers , at the top of his game) , and very similar to the original one, with a twist: going international. It’s true World whisky is a very hot issue now among whisky lovers aficionados and geeks, and very justified. It’s no longer a Scotch, Bourbon and Irish whisky game, but many interesting whisky distilleries pop up on every point of the globe, from India, to Taiwan, Australia, Europe, Africa, you name it.

This book really has to enter the big shoes of its sequel, which gained popularity, and was well written, unassuming, and a great reference for people who wanted to try whiskies they can afford and experiment. Same goes here, you won’t find whiskies they you can not afford, however hard it will be to to actually get hold of some due to the small batches or import issues in some regions.  Ian does not claim those are the best 101 whiskies in the world, nor does he score each whisky, he merely points out interesting whiskies you might want to check out, some for their extraordinary quality, and some because they are plain interesting examples. so do not think about this book in terms of “best of”. but rather as: you should really try out those whiskies, they are cool.

The book is organized by country of production starting with some lovely Australian whiskies : Lark, Bakery hill (which i samples not long ago), then off to Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany , India, Ireland and so on according to the ABC. What really did catch my eye, was that scotch whiskies do appear, in the book, where when i was thinking about world whiskies, it usually means “out of Scotland” whiskies. Some would oppose to that i guess claiming that including Scotch whiskies in a world whisky reference takes up the room of lovely world whiskies when scotch is not really that *world* whisky. I guess Ian was aiming at creating a book with best whiskies to try, even if you did not read the first book, and was using this as a reference for all whiskies you should try.

Each entry is well written, with some background about the distillery, the owners, and very useful details, as well as the inevitable tasting notes. It’s a lovely read i must say, very entertaining, and enriching, and i did learn some new things about distilleries i knew, and some about those i was not ever aware existed.

The book also contains a few pages regarding how to taste whisky (for the novices) , some further references to whisky, and also places to buy and find those whiskies in shops worldwide.

A lovely book , that is a great read, for any whisky lover, if you are making your first steps in the whisky world, and also if you are a big whisky lover/geek. Good Work by Ian B. very enjoyable. I think you can happily add this one to your Xmas wishlist, for you or a friend / family member who’s into whisky.

Lovely.

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  • Zeke

    Howdy!

    Any idea why Red Stag was included? Do you “really” need to try it before you die?

    • http://www.whiskyisrael.co.il Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

      No idea . i guess you will drink it and then die. ;)
      let’s ask Ian …

      • Joshua Feldman

        LOL! Excellent review, Gal! Zeke – Ian puts Red Stag in because it’s the first (and, in my opinion the best) of the flavored bourbons that are popping up like honey weeds. I, personally, really enjoyed it and reviewed it pretty highly myself – because it puts the taste of bourbon forward. Flavored whiskies are getting huge in Canada. I wager that segment will keep growing. As a huge whisky snob I’m not all over it – but it’s a big force in the whisky world, love it or not.

        • http://www.whiskyisrael.co.il Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

          Thanks for Clarifying things Josh. Don’t care for it myself, but if people are willing to pay good money for it, Let them ;)