I’m certain you will agree with me if I say that sipping on a great Malt and reading a book do not mix. Having to focus on a story line whilst savoring a glorious glass of your favorite whiskey is hard … unless it is a book about whiskey!
Here are some of the best whiskey reference books which should always be close by your side.
101 Whiskies to try before you die:
Definitely a must, if you want to buy a book then get this one!
Being one of the greats Scotland has to offer, this smooth beast comes from Islay and is on par with the best in the region. Sometimes referred to as the peatiest, smokiest, most complex single malt of them all. Yet it does not flaunt the peat; rather it gives way to the natural sweetness of the malt to produce a whisky of perfect balance.
Typically most whiskies are chill-filtered and reduced to a strength of 40% ABV. Ardbeg Ten Years Old, however, is non chill-filtered and has a strength of 46% ABV, thus retaining maximum flavour, at the same time giving more body and added depth. It is pure whisky with none of the goodness taken out!
Ardbeg 10 Year Old Malt Whisky:
Ardbeg 10 year old is a whisky that has a smooth taste followed by a slightly smoky aftertaste. Notes of vanilla, citrus and sea spray fill your nose, shortly followed by an explosion of tasteful lemon & lime and smoky flavour.
If the editor has any say:
My personal recommendation … try this, it’s gorgeous!
With South Africa being well known for their wine, we thought we should try out one of their most famous malts from the James Sedgwick distillery in Wellington.
Three Ships 10 Year Old Malt Whisky:
Three Ships Single Malt is a limited edition whisky filled with the heart and spirit of South Africa, and matured at the James Sedgwick Distillery. This is a full bodied whisky which has a long warm finish giving you the feel for a true African Summer day. The color is a warm copper shade and although it contains a hint of peat, it is not as smoky as you would expect. Its aroma is slightly sweet with hints of dried fruit and fudge. All I can say on this one is, if you can afford it, try it!
If the editor has any say:
Definitely something different from somewhere different … definitely worth a glass or two but nothing overly amazing!
This term refers to the amount of alcohol which is lost and evaporates from the casks during maturation. On average, it is at a rate of about 2% per annum depending on the country and conditions they are stored in.
If you have always wondered whether the amber nectar is referred to as whisky or whiskey, then put your thinking caps down for a moment.
Both are correct, even if we tend to prefer the spelling of whiskey, this is simply a matter of convention – and therefore boils down to a personal choice. Before the 20th century, Scotch whiskey used the whiskey spelling but since then, it is referred to as whisky. This therefore lead to the following terminology: whisky usually denotes Scotch whisky and Scotch-inspired spirits, and whiskey denotes the Irish and American spirits. Using whiskey to refer to Scotch whisky can get you in a spot of trouble in Scotland so be careful, as will using whisky as a spelling in Ireland.
We have had the great pleasure to taste test the various varieties of Chivas Regal so that you wouldn’t have to.
Chivas 12 Year Old:
Chivas is a blend of many different malt and grain Scotch whiskies, matured for at least 12 years. For it’s price, this is a lovely and affordable blend with a warm amber shade in color. Its aroma is an infusion of wild herbs, heather, honey and orchard fruits. Rich and fruity in taste, Chivas bursts with the smooth taste of ripe, honeyed apples, and notes of vanilla, hazelnut and butterscotch.
Chivas 18 Year Old:
Chivas 18 is a uniquely rich and multi-layered blend that includes over twenty of Scotland’s rarest single malt Scotch whiskies. With 85 flavour notes in every drop, each sip is a new discovery. The color is a darker amber and the aroma you get from this one is rich and indulgent with hints of dried fruits, buttery toffee and dark chocolate. The taste is a velvety, dark chocolate palate yields to elegant floral notes and a wisp of sweet, mellow smokiness.
Chivas 25 Year Old:
Chivas 25 is a rare and exclusive blend of the finest Scotch whiskies, which have all been aged for a minimum of 25 years and it is considered a limited release. Rich gold in color, the aroma is of enticing fruit of sweet orange and peach, followed by notes of marzipan and nuts. The taste has hints of rich, mild, chocolate orange, and a fondant creaminess. You won’t be disappointed.