While everyone reviews this book right when it comes out in October, I am usually a bit slower since my reading queue is quite long all the time. I am actually glad I got around to reading before the next one comes out, unlike last year.
Let’s do a quick review of the contents:
- The distillery info is ridiculously good, as always. Of course, no one actually reads all of this since there’s no way you’ll remember it anyway. But, when you want to check your facts before hosting a tasting, visiting a distillery or doing a blog post, this is the go-to book. No others come close.
- The financial data about the year that was is good too. If possible, this is even more stale. I don’t really care about which country in south-east Asia had one percent more growth by value. I read the overview but I just can’t focus on the specific details. But hey, I tried!
- The articles that are about whisky in general are really interesting. They are written by known whisky writers and those people can write. Kudos there too!
- In between all the distillery pages there are pages about ‘whisky around the world’, lots of information about blenders and their brands and other small interviews. While I find it very interesting to know about the world of whisky in all its aspects, I do regret that the questions for all interviews are the same. There is no depth and no ‘line of questioning’ that reacts to what’s been said before.
Now, how I generally feel about this book is a bit of a love and hate relationship. I’ve bought them for six years now and will most likely keep doing so for some time to come. But, my problem with it is that the actual reading I do is very, very limited.
The ‘whisky news’ is usually fairly old by the time the book comes out. It’s more like the annual overview of stuff that happened instead of an actual update. Print just can’t keep up with the internet.
My complaint about the interviews from earlier is something that annoys me after I read more and more of them. By now, it’s gotten to a level that I hope it’s changed before I even open the book for page one.
Having said all this, if you do tastings, visit distilleries and want some info beforehand, or just want to know more about distillery history in general, there is absolutely no substitute for the Malt Whisky Yearbook.
Get it from Master of Malt for € 17