The joy of philosophy. Of whisky.

I recently read a whisky book written by Billy Abbott. Some of you may know him from his exploits at The Whisky Exchange. Others may know him from his frequent but-not-so-punctual visits to Maltstock.

Of course, I wanted to review said book, but when my friend Jason B. Standing did, the need for me to write my own was gone. He sums things up nicely, and I agree with every point made, except the reference to Peter Jones and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s not even that I don’t agree, but I simply have no clue what he’s on about.

Anyway, with permission:


The challenging thing about when one of your best mates publishes a whisky book is how is it possible to review it with any sense of objectivity?

Well, the beauty of this being a personal blog is that I don’t HAVE to be objective – and can just get on with espousing my enthusiasm for what Mr Billy Abbott has done with his first foray into the published word, “The Philosophy of Whisky“.

Billy describes this as more of a pamphlet than a book, and weighing in at a slender 112 pages it’s clearly not the in-depth scholarly work you might expect from someone with such dedication and knowledge on the topic. As an introduction or primer, however, it’s truly an exemplar of the class.

Being able to – ahem – distill the topic of an overview of the main facets of whisky down to a book this slim is an artform in its own right… With neither Billy or myself being predisposed to brevity, I’ve marvelled at how he’s achieved it here: and all in a light and easy tone which my brain chose to self-narrate in the voice of Peter Jones as the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

The book is easily consumable, but full of quality, well-researched information alongside a healthy dash of opinion – geared toward providing people with what they need to get on with the business of exploring and enjoying whisky. It’s welcoming, non-excluding, and practical. If you’re looking for a grimoire of arcane minutiae with which to impress your whisky nerd buddies next time you see them, this ain’t it.

I think Billy really has done a magnificent job on this, and I hope it helps him establish the momentum to bestow us with another book in the not-too-distant.


If you want to know more about, or read more of Jason, check out his blog!

The book is for sale through any place that sells books, if you order it. The big online sellers have it also, of course.

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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