101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die

Book Review by Franz Scheurer


Whisky writer, consultant and whisky afficionado Ian Buxton has written the desert island list of whiskies in his new book 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die. There are not many people on this planet (if any) that know more about whisky and the whisky trade. Consultant to more distillers than you can shake a nulla nulla at (funny, they call it a stick in Scotland whereas here a stick is just a boomerang that doesn't come back) Ian Buxton also instigated (and still runs) a major, annual Whisky Industry Conference and apparently bought a derelict distillery... when he was sober. 

This new book is both a terrific reference and a 'journal' for anyone who is game to take up the challenge. Showing 101 whiskies with an image, description and tasting notes and facts like owner, distillery, availability, price and whether they have a visitors' centre or not. There is also a space at the bottom the description page that allows for the owners of the book to make notes as they taste their way through Ian's selections. The selections are both thorough and quirky. All the expected whiskies are there, but also some very obscure (and hard to get) examples of Ian's wide ranging experience and seasoned palate. I must admit I have tasted most of the whiskies in the book, which confirms to me that the selection is very thorough, but where the hell do you find Green Spot? 

I totally concur with Ian's sentiments, and I quote: "101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die is a whiksy list with a difference. It's not an awards list. It is not a list of 101 best whiskies in the world. It is simply, as it says in the title, a guide to 101 Whiskies that enthusiasts really should seek out and try - love them or hate them - to complete their whisky educations. What's more, it's practical and realistic."

All I can say is: Sláinte!

Published by Hachette (Scotland)ISBN 978-0-7553-6083-3