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A clever distillation of America’s favorite libation, by the New York Times best-selling authors of The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert Whiskey fever is sweeping the nation. Every day, craft distilleries are popping up in remote counties and urban centers, offering a wealth of great choices to consumers—and just as many puzzlements. Does the introduction of a simple “e” to go from whisky to whiskey mean anything? What’s the difference between Scotch and Rye? What’s Canadian whisky anyway? And what about the whiskeys of Scotland, Japan, and Ireland? Where's a humble Joe to start?
In this witty kid-style book on an adult topic, Richard Betts boils down his know-how into twenty pages, cooling our “brown-sweat” anxieties and dividing whiskey into three simple categories: Grain, Wood, and Place. While most whiskey tomes are about as fun as a chemistry lesson, Betts makes the learning slide down easy, reassuring us that this exalted spirit is just distilled beer and, through a nasal romp, helping us figure out which kinds we love best. Humorous illustrations and scratch-and-sniff scents (vanilla, sandalwood, grass, and more) help would-be connoisseurs learn their personal preferences. Language label and Map to Your Desires included.
|Publisher:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|Product dimensions:||7.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
RICHARD BETTS is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert. He has been featured in the New York Times, Wine Spectator, Food & Wine, Outside, GQ, and Details and speaks frequently on wine throughout the country. He is also the founder of two wine companies, Betts & Scholl and Scarpetta, which have won top praise from leading wine publications. He is also the founder and president of Sombra Mezcal and Tequila Astral, and his newest wine ventures include Saint Glinglin Bordeaux, My Essential Red, My Essential White, and My Essential Rosé.
CRYSTAL ENGLISH SACCA is an award-winning advertising art director.
WENDY MacNAUGHTON's work has appeared in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Sniffs Don’t Work But the Book Stinks By Bill Marsano. This book is aimed at the sort of person who believes he can become a whiskey expert--as the author glibly promises--simply by reading a 10-page book that is 95 percent pictures and (this is what's called the beauty part) without taking the trouble to actually TASTE whiskey. If you are that sucker, this is your book. But it’s hardly a book. It’s really what’s known in the trade as a “board book” because its pitifully few pages are pasted onto thick slabs of cardboard to make them suitable for children. If you think of "Goodnight, Moon," you've got the picture). Author Richard Betts says he is an MW, or Master of Wine, and his big idea, couched in gushing, cheerleader prose, is that if you smell the various grains whiskey is made from and decided which smells you like, you will then know which whiskey you’ll like. Well, that’s poppycock, but never mind: the scratch-sniff dots, of which there are a dozen scattered around the book, didn't actually give off much smell to me or to three friends who tried them. And there’s a weird inconsistency: there are smell dots for corn, rye and barley, but not wheat, for example. Then there’s a tendency to dumb-down to the point of actual error. Richard Betts MW says that single malts are made 100 percent malted barley, which is true, but critically forgets to say that each is made by a single distillery. THAT'S why they are called SINGLE malts. He notes that blended scotches contain other grains but entirely overlooks the category of Pure Malts (aka Vatted Malts), which are blends of single malts. In sum: the way to learn about whiskey is to taste it, preferably with friends, and to explore such far-better books as Fred Minnick’s “Bourbon Curious” and Lew Bryson and David Wondrich’s “Tasting Whiskey: An Insider’s Guide.” Both are worth reading, whereas Betts’s wasn’t worth writing.—The former wine & spirits editor of Hemispheres magazine, Bill Marsano posts fitfully to his blog, pouredwithpleasure.