30-Second Whisky – Edited by Charles Maclean (Ivy Press)

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A beautifully presented primer on the complex and wide-ranging topic of Whiskey. Editor Charles Mclean, described by the The Times as “Scotland’s leading whiskey expert”, has gathered some of the industry’s leading writers to provide a beginners guide to the topic, covering everything from the initial question of ‘What Is Whiskey?’, through its production, historical development, the drink’s regional and national differences, the Whiskey trade and finally the appreciation of the spirit – which for me as a relative newbie to the world of whiskey was the most interesting and informative section of the book, as not only does it discuss the olfactory elements of Whiskey appreciation but also the art of pairing different Whiskey styles with food.

The writing is concise and accessible, broken down into simple sections with associated 3-second and 3-minute facts about the processes and people behind the world of Whiskey. The accompanying graphics are impressive and add to the sophisticated presentation of the book. Each section opens with a Glossary which helps to clarify the often confusing variety of terms used in the Whiskey industry, making this the perfect book for those just dipping their toe into the subject, or for those wishing to learn more about this complex and intriguing sprit. Thoroughly recommended. Ian Pickens

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