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13 Best Books About Whiskey: Must-Read (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on November 21, 2022 by Lydia Martin

There are plenty of books on whiskey for every type of drinker, from those who prefer a particular type of whiskey to those who prefer various styles. 

Whether you’re looking for a book about Irish whiskey, bourbon, or rye, a wide range of titles will keep you up-to-date with the latest trends in the whiskey world.

But regardless of what whiskey lovers are looking for, here are the best books about whiskey every fan should read. 

Top 13 Whiskey Books You Need To Read

13. Whiskey Women By Fred Minnick

Whiskey Women By Fred Minnick Book with decanter and glass

Average Price: around $16-$20 

Why We Like It: One of our favorite books is Fred Minnick’s “Whiskey Women,” which explores the various women behind Maker’s Mark and Bushmill’s. 

We were unaware of the existence of women in the world of whiskey until we read this book.

The main character is Bessie Williams, who took over the iconic Highland distillery of Laphroaig.

This book explains the stereotypes about women in the alcohol industry and showcases the individuals who paved the way for today’s world of whiskey.

12. Whisky Dictionary By Ian Wisniewski

Whisky Dictionary By Ian Wisniewski Book and a glass on top of table

Average Price: around $20 

Why We Like It: Ian Wisniewski’s “Whisky Dictionary” has everything you need to know about all things whiskey. 

This book, written by Wisniewski, covers everything from whiskey making, like the aging process, to the Japanese, Kentucky, and Scotch scenes.

Also, you can learn the notable events in history, such as the Kentucky Bourbon Festival and the Keepers of the Quaich ceremony. 

Overall, this book is a great beginner’s guide to the whiskey world. 

11. Whiskey Master Class By Lew Bryson

Whiskey Master Class By Lew Bryson Book and a glass on top of a table

Average Price: around $19 

Why We Like It: Lew Bryson’s “Whiskey Master Class” is a must-have for anyone interested in learning more about whiskey matters. 

This book is a well-written and concise whiskey guide for whiskey enthusiasts and even for a bonafide whiskey connoisseur.  

Besides, it’s an easy-to-digest book providing the most comprehensive overview of all aspects of whiskey culture and production. 

It’s also a great resource to learn more about the various factors that make tasting notes of whiskeys unique.

10. Vintage Spirits And Forgotten Cocktails By Ted Haigh

man holding Vintage Spirits And Forgotten Cocktails By Ted Haigh

Average Price: around $12-$30 

Why We Like It: We highly recommend this book by Ted Haigh for whiskey lovers who love old-fashioned drinks.

It features over 80 classic and unique cocktail recipes and provides a glimpse into the industry’s rich history.

Ted Haigh, a historian and whisky advocate, takes a look at the past popular drink recipes that you might not have known about. 

9. The Terroir Of Whiskey By Rob Arnold

The Terroir Of Whiskey By Rob Arnold Book with glass and liquor bottle

Average Price: around $19-$26

Why We Like It: Rob Arnold’s “The Terroir of Whiskey” is a great read for anyone who works in the whiskey industry.

This book explores the concept of the Terroir of Whiskey, which refers to the various factors that influence a whiskey’s flavor. 

“If you don’t like a taste of the whiskey, it doesn’t mean you don’t like whiskey. It means you haven’t found the right flavor for you.”

— Dave Broom, Award-Winning Glenfiddich Writer

It takes a deep dive into the multiple steps involved in making a good whiskey. This book artfully uses science to show how many factors affect the final product.

Arnold shares his passion for wine [1] and his inspiration for whiskey and connects with master distillers and whiskey pioneers worldwide. 

8. Whiskey Distilled: A Populist Guide to the Water of Life by Heather Greene

Average Price: around $18-$28 

Why We Like It: One of the best whiskey books we recommend is this “Whiskey Distilled” by Heather Greene

New York City’s first female whiskey expert, Greene, provides a fresh perspective on the nation’s favorite spirit– whiskey. 

This book is a must-read for anyone looking for tips and guides when buying whiskey and everything in between.

It features informative data with colorful photos. And you can greatly enjoy this book while you consume whiskey.  

7. Whisky, Wit, And Wisdom By Gavin D. Smith

Average Price: around $7.23 

Why We Like It: If you’re a whiskey lover looking for something entertaining to read but full of learnings, “Whisky, Wit, And Wisdom” by Gavin Smith is for you. 

It combines stories with quotes and jokes about the wonderful world of spirits. Besides, it features stories from some of the industry’s biggest names.

But aside from entertaining anecdotes, this book also gives you a glimpse into the culture of whiskey.

6. The Complete Whiskey Course By Robin Robinson

Book of The Complete Whiskey Course By Robin Robinson on top of a table

Average Price: around $12-$30

Why We Like It: Robinson’s “The Complete Whiskey Course: A Comprehensive Tasting School in Ten Classes” is both entertaining and informative. 

Robin does an incredible job covering all aspects of whiskey– from making to tasting whiskey, describing the whiskey experience, and more whiskey facts. 

It has a collection of chapters that will help new and experienced whiskey drinkers learn more about the various types and taste of whiskey– with flow charts and vintage artworks.

Some chapters cover the American whiskey and Irish whiskey histories, as well as Canadian whisky, world whiskies, and more, making it a complete tasting course.

This is one of those commendable whiskey books that a new whiskey enthusiast will benefit from significantly.

5. Proof: The Science Of Booze By Adam Rogers

Proof The Science Of Booze By Adam Rogers Book on Top of a Glass Table

Average Price: around $11-$49

Why We Like It: This whiskey book explores the history of whiskey and how it has evolved over 10,000 years. It talks about the various biological responses that go into making a great drink.

It is a comprehensive whiskey guide looking at the process of making spirits, including how to make whiskey and properly age bourbon. 

Roger took a leap of faith visiting distilleries and wrote this book backed by the actual happenings within the spirits’ facilities. 

4. Le Snob Guide To Whiskey By John D. Lamond

Average Price:  around $30 

Why We Like It: This book is a tongue-in-cheek take on the definitive guide to whiskey, with a high-end approach aiming to transform readers into experts in the art of drinking. 

It wraps everything from whiskey literature to the proper ways to taste whiskey. Both hard and soft-cover versions are available. 

The main selling point of this book is its comprehensive world atlas of the most prestigious and exclusive whiskeys in the world.

3. Imbibe! By David Wondrich

Imbibe! By David Wondrich Book on top of a wooden table

Average Price: around $17 

Why We Like It: “Imbibe!,” by David Wondrich, is an appealing book and a great gift for the history-inclined and whiskey nerds.

This book traces the ventures of Jerry Thomas, known as the father of the American bartending scene. It features over a hundred cocktail recipes and Thomas’ colorful story.

It is a must-have for fans interested in learning more about the evolution of the art of making drinks, specifically on American whiskey history.  

2. Hacking Whiskey By Aaron Goldfarb

Hacking Whiskey By Aaron Goldfarb on top of table

Average Price: around $17-$20

Why We Like It: This book is not just your average whiskey education guide. 

Aaron Goldfarb takes us on a journey through the spirits’ world, mixing up a wide range of recipes such as bourbon punches with milk cereal to Pappy-based gelatin shots, marijuana smoke-infused whiskey, and other cigar pairings. 

You can choose from many of the best whiskey books, but this one has a wealth of knowledge. 

“Hacking Whiskey” is an informative read that brings a lot of fun to the reader’s imagination about experimenting with spirits.

It covers all you need to know about the culture of whiskey, including how to smoke, fat-wash [2], blend, and drink whiskey.

1. Bourbon By Fred Minnick

Bourbon By Fred Minnick Book with liquor bottle

Average Price: around $9.99-$12.99 

Why We Like It: In 2017, “Bourbon” was named the Best New Spirits Book by the Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards.

It was also one of the “Best Books About Food” by Smithsonian Magazine in 2016.

This book tackles and explores the origins of bourbon in the modern world. Also, it clearly explains how it became ingrained in American history and impacted pop culture and politics.

For those looking for something more in-depth, informative, and relevant, this book by Fred Minnick is for you.  

Note: Other good books to read that didn’t make this list include:

  • “The Annual Whiskey Bible” by Jim Murray
  • “The North American Whiskey Guide from Behind the Bar” by Chad Berkey
  • “Dead Distillers” by Colin Spoelman and David Haskell 

FAQs 

What’s the best book about distilling whiskey?

The best book for distilling whiskey is Adam Roger’s “Proof: The Science Of Booze.” This book discusses the various steps involved in making whiskey and aging spirits. 

What’s the best whiskey book for beginners?

The best book for beginners is Robin Robinson’s “The Complete Whiskey Course.” It covers all aspects of whiskey, from making it to tasting it and insights into the experience of whiskey drinking.

Is there a book about whiskey cocktails?

There’s a book about cocktails written by David Wondrich. “Imbibe!” details everything you need to know about the evolution of cocktails and craft bartending.

Key Takeaways

With the guide and information from any of the books above, you’ll be a step closer to knowing how to properly sniff and savor the water of life. 

Any of these books is a concise manual that explains everything about whiskey in a way that’s easy to remember and digest. 

Whether you’re looking for a history lesson about whiskey or a book about recipes, these books have so much to offer. 

And since the holiday season is approaching, any book can be a perfect gift to your friends, family, and colleagues.  

References:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/wine
  2. https://www.denverpost.com/2022/10/19/fat-washing-cocktails-denver-lady-jane-tamayo/

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