Whisky: The Water of Life - Uisge Beatha

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This lavish, richly illustrated book is a fascinating, leisurely journey through the world of whisky, from its history and how and where it is made, to how and where to enjoy the world's best wee dram. Read the histories of the world's most renowned distilleries, about how whisky earned its international reputation and its unique mystique, and how the culture of whisky has ...
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Overview

This lavish, richly illustrated book is a fascinating, leisurely journey through the world of whisky, from its history and how and where it is made, to how and where to enjoy the world's best wee dram. Read the histories of the world's most renowned distilleries, about how whisky earned its international reputation and its unique mystique, and how the culture of whisky has developed and played out in politics, crime and the big business of advertising.



A complete chronicle of the 'water of life,' "Whisky" looks at single malts and blends from around the world -- Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Canada, the United States, and Japan -- and includes :
- the history and romance of whisky -- from the early days of distilling to today's giant producers
- expert tasting notes on over 60 whiskies
- directory of the author's favorite whiskies, including tasting notes
- how whisky is made, the importance of water, malt, peat and climate
- an around-the-world tour of the world's whiskies
- whisky in advertising
- tips on how to choose and enjoy whisky
- where to buy whisky and pubs in which to enjoy whisky
- whisky societies to join and distilleries to visit.



A pleasure to read and filled with sidebars, panels and over 240 color photographs and illustrations, this handsome book is a stunning and impressive choice.


Author Bio: Helen Arthur has worked as a public relations and advertising consultant in the whisky industry for over 20 years. Her clients have included Seagram and Matthew Gloag & Sons Ltd., for whom she promoted Glen Grant, Highland Park and Famous Grouse whiskies. She organizes whisky tastings for The National Trust for Scotland's Malt Whisky Tasting held in London, England every two years. She is also the author of The Single Malt Whisky Companion.


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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Arthur, a veteran of the whisky industry, provides a wealth of information for the connoisseur of this popular spirit. She discusses the distillation process, how the drink managed to survive periods of taxation and prohibition, how various countries adapted their own resources and climate conditions to produce whiskies made from a variety of grains, and the culture of whisky, particularly advertising. She also offers the names of whisky societies, distilleries with addresses and contact numbers, and an alphabetical directory of selected whiskies. Extensively illustrated with 40 color and b&w illustrations. Canadian card order number: C99-932188-9. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552094259
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/7/2000
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 8.75 (w) x 11.25 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Read an Excerpt

Introduction

In my early years working as a public relations consultant in the whisky industry, my job was to raise the media and consumer profiles of particular brands and not necessarily to know the inner workings of the industry. The best thing about landing a whisky account, my business partner, the late Patrick Gallagher, would say was that "before anything else happened they sent you a crate of the stuff to try and whisked you off to a distillery to see how it was made." These visits to places as far apart as Highland Park on Orkney, Laphroaig on Islay or The Glendronach in the eastern Highlands of Scotland will linger forever in my memory.

Anyone who has visited a distillery knows the distinctive smell of malting barley and the reek of peat smoke. Crossing the threshold, I always feel a sense of wonder that something as wonderful as a single malt can be created by mixing water, barley and yeast.

Whisky has always been a sort of personal passport in this way, opening doors I would never otherwise have found. It sparks immediate discussion when I tell people that, among other things, I write books on whisky. The response is inevitably the same: "Which is your favorite?" I'm sure all whisky writers suffer this situation and the answer is never simple because of the range and variety of whiskies available. Will I be drinking whisky before a meal and, if so, what will I be eating? Or will I be drinking whisky at a cocktail party and will there be a selection of blended and single malt whiskies
to choose from? The questions can go on and on.

The second question often asked is, Which whiskies would you recommend to start a whisky collection?" This is perhaps an easier question to answer. A selection of several single malts from Scottish islands, Laphroaig or Lagavulin from Islay for a really peaty malt, maybe Talisker from Skye for a little less peat and Highland Park, which is a good after-dinner drink. I would then choose a Speyside single malt such as The Glenlivet and a Highland, possibly Old Pulteney. For a sweeter taste you could include The Macallan or Glenmorangie finished in port pipes. Finish the collection off with Jack Daniels and Wild Turkey from the United States, Bushmills from Northern Ireland and a couple of blends and then enjoy your armchair travels around the world of whisky.

It was with these and many other questions in my mind that I started to write this book. In my early work with the whisky industry, I was often unaware of the legislative and economic pressures forcing changes worldwide - some of them not for the better. I tried to fill the gaps in my knowledge while researching my first book on whisky, The Single Malt Whisky Companion. With this book I have taken my research still further and have made some interesting discoveries.

I have tried to gather as much material as possible from source, but with historical data there is bound to be some distortion over the years. I apologize for any errors or omissions which might appear, but I believe these are inevitable in a book with such an all-encompassing brief. Many of the comments are my own personal views and I hope readers won't find these irritating - there is absolutely nothing worse than reading a book and wishing you could wring the author's neck! Of course, a little controversy makes for interesting reading...

While working on this book, I have had the pleasure of tasting new whiskies, sampling some really old malts and meeting many people who share my enthusiasm, and dedicate their knowledge and skills to distilling, blending, marketing and selling whisky worldwide. One thing became clear very early on: whether cruising through the gorges of the Yangtze river, crossing the wilds of Siberia or lazing by a poolside bar in Barbados - no matter where you are in the world - where there's a bar, there's whisky, one of the greatest passports available.

So open a bottle of your favorite whisky, pour yourself a small dram and settle down with this book for a very unique journey.
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Table of Contents

Foreword / Introduction

1. The History of Whisky
- From the early days of distilling to today's giant whisky producers

2. The Anatomy of Whisky
- Creating the "water of life" from the ground up, literally.

3. The Geography of Whisky
- An inspiring tour of the whiskies of the world.

4. The Culture of Whisky
- This most influential spirit and its advertising worldwide.

5. The Enjoyment of Whisky
- Where to find the best wee dram of the best whisky you could want.

6. Directory
- The best whiskies produced today from around the world.

Acknowledgments and Picture Credits
Index
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