If you’re intimidated by the world of whisky appreciation and want a whimsical crash-course, or if you’re trying to think of a fun gift (Last-minute Christmas gift? Yes!) for a whisky lover who doesn’t take it all too seriously, this is an excellent purchase. If you think this will teach you about whisky via scent, you may be disappointed.
The book, as its introduction insists, is not a “best of” list, nor any kind of awards show in print. Mr. Buxton has chosen whiskies that he believes every lover of brown spirits should, at least once in their life, sample.
…that makes it my “desert island” whisky book, and the one I would recommend anchor any whisky lover’s library. If Dave Broom’s World Atlas of Whisky were a dram, I would definitely award it with a “Must Have” rating.
It is also not a deep-dive in any area of whisky appreciation, and thus will not appeal to enthusiasts who already know a good deal about the making and enjoyment of whisky. However, as a coffee-table book or introductory text about Scotch whisky, it is an excellent resource for beginners or casual drinkers, and the photography alone is a good reason to flip through the book a few times.
At its best, “Wort Worms & Washbacks” gives you the impression that you’re sitting across a table from John, sharing a few drams and talking about the “good old days,” and who could ask for more from such a book?