Bluffer's Guide to Whisky, Revised: The Bluffer's Guide Series by David Milsted
Like all the best things, whiskey is a fairly simple business that can easily be made to sound exclusive and impressive by a judicious application of the arcane and by a liberal sprinkling of jargon. If you keep in mind that no two whiskies are alike, while bearing in mind that 99% of whiskey drinkers cannot tell the difference, you cannot go wrong.
You would be better advised to try cracking the formula of Coca-Cola than attempt to discover what has gone into a bottle of your usual brand of blended whiskey.
There are dozens of Speyside distilleries, mostly clustered about the line from Elgin to Dufftown. Be sure to quote the old Speyside jingle: “Rome was built on seven hills, Dufftown on seven stills.”
Irish whiskey tastes sweeter because no peat is used to kiln the malt; this is odd for a country that has virtually more bog per hectare than anywhere else on the planet.
As one of the principal variables of whiskey, water should enable you to anatomize the contents of your glass in terms that leave the average wine enthusiast eating your dust. Enthuse about its unique “Highland qualities,” that is to say ready-infused with mystic trace elements of peat, granite, heather, midge, tweed, damp, and Roman Ninth legion.
For fifteen years Sussex-born David Milsted lived in the Scottish islands of Orkney, Islay, and Skye--which is as near to heaven as any whisky fancier could get. He claims that he would choose to work in a distillery if he ever had to get a proper job--which, fortunately, he hasn't. A professional author, his greatest pleasure besides writing is to run whisky tastings. He now lives in England.
Read an Excerpt
Like all the best things, whisky is a fairly simple business that can easily be made to sound exclusive and impressive by a judicious application of the arcane and by a liberal sprinkling of jargon. If you keep in mind that no two whisky's are alike, while bearing in mind that 99% of whisky drinkers cannot tell the difference, you cannot go wrong.
Table of Contents
(1) The Basics - Varieties; (2) Blended Whisky - What's in It?, De Luxe or Premium Blends, Super De Luxe Blends, Supermarket Blends, Single Grain Whisky, Miniatures; (3) Name Your Bluff - Common Names, Silly Names, Phoney Names; (4) Characteristics; (5) Malt Whisky - The Bluffing Elements, The Pay-off, Types of Malt, The Ultimate Bluff, Regions; (6) Whisky Notes - Labels, Mixers, Glasses, 'Scotch': A Warning; (7) Glossary - The Process, The Product