People who love whisky and are also absolute bibliophiles, are always on the lookout for books that have something to do with liquor-- whisky in particular. We try and find books that have been published fairly recently, and books that have been around for a while. (Ultimately, this hardly matters.) In each book, you may discover not merely a new brand or pairing, but also understand the basis of one expert’s opinion on a particular whisky, as opposed to another’s.
It is also whisky books like the one we are going to talk about here, that people who are new in the world of whisky get some direction on how to go about this great journey. Where to start, for instance, is by and large a huge question. Before that however, we think you should know the author. He should be able to sufficiently interest you and most certainly win your trust, else it just becomes hard believing what you read, let alone implementing them in your life.
Introducing John Lamond—a leading authority in the domain of scotch whisky, who has won several accolades for being the whisky expert that he is. (This includes the prestigious title of “Master of Malt” in 1987.) While the Malt Whisky File is one of his later works, he has written other books on whisky like The Whisky Connoisseur’s Book of Days, Le Snob Whisky, and The Whisky Connoisseur’s Companion. These apart, several other liquors hold his interest, so he is a regular columnist for multiple publications across the world. He maintains his own website and a blog, informing all who are interested about what is happening in the world of whisky.
John Lamond is part of the elite society, Keeper of the Quaich. Having created “The Scotch Whisky Trail Certificate Course”, he also tutors people who sign up for the course, which is the world’s first scotch whisky class conducted in the evening. “The Advanced Whisky Course,” a follow-up course for students who have already completed the basic course, had also been introduced by him. He lectures at the Wine and Spirit Education Trust Intermediate and Advanced Certificate, primarily around Scotland and also heads the jury of the Scottish Licensed Trade News Awards to award organizations Malt Whisky Bar of the Year and Restaurant of the Year Awards. For this, he takes a few weeks off during the fall when he also carries out a number of whisky and wine tasting sessions for hoteliers, restaurateurs, consumers who are interested, as well as for corporate events. Lamond, being a member of the Association of Wine Educators acts as a refreshing change for him and makes him more insightful when it comes to assessing the industry.
Now that we have established that John Lamond can be trusted when it comes to whisky, let’s look at what the Malt Whisky File is all about. The book, first published in 2001 and now in its fourth edition, is a comprehensive guide to distilleries both popular and well established, and new or little known in Scotland and Ireland. From the Highlands to the Islay, from the Lowland to Speyside, from Tullibardine to Aberfeldy, the book tries to map hundreds of malt whiskies. Malt Whisky File also brings to light those barely recognized distilleries that produce phenomenal whiskies.
However, the fourth edition of the book also talks about rather rare drams from around the world. Imagine holding a dram of The Glenlivet and reading about beautiful, peculiar drams from New Zealand and Japan. We bet you will end up buying one. What’s more, the book guides readers with very opinionated ratings for each whisky that features in it, based on the malt’s peatiness, sweetness, and also availability and cost. This is very helpful, for often, we plan on buying a bottle of malt and get disappointed at the price. By knowing the cost, one can always plan better. That aside, the book offers facts about regional whiskies and historical whiskies which makes for a very interesting read— and we think all whisky enthusiasts must own a copy of John Lamond’s Malt Whisky File.