The Malt Whisky Yearbook

Since we started to appreciate whisky and wanted to learn more about this intriguing amber spirit and the many distilleries the world has to offer, we swiftly learned about a book that would fit our needs perfectly, and was added to our collection. The Malt Whisky Yearbook was first published in 2006 and every autumn since, a new edition is released with new facts, interviews with seasoned industry people, statistics, in depth background stories and, as the core part of the book, a comprehensive one or two page resume of the many malt whisky distilleries throughout Scotland, the rest of the UK and many around the world.

Like every year’s edition, the 2017 release starts with a number of background stories covering the first 50 pages. A number of renowned whisky writers have written a exclusive contribution, each in their specialized field of knowledge. A summary of this years edition:

Going With the Grain – by Gavin D. Smith
A closer look at the history, evolution and styles of grain whisky. From the overlooked ugly duckling that has transformed into the versatile belle of the ball, and has deserved a place in the lineup next to its blended and single malt siblings.

Watch Out! The Millennials Are Coming! – by Neil Ridley
Neil takes you through the marketing and lifestyle transitions from Generation X into the Millennials and eventually muses about what the Centennials, who still have to become of a legal age, will have in store for us next.

Malts of No Nation – by Becky Paskin
Outside of the known restrictions, the desire for extended regulations is asked for, to grow alongside the quickly expanding ‘world whisky’ production, and better promote and protect the quality, but also to allow regional innovation, better preserve local knowledge and create a global stage.

Swan Neck Vapour Trails – by Jonny McCormick
A closer look at the copper works at some of the new kids on the block, getting to know them through their stills. Johnny traveled to the Torabhaig distillery on the Isle of Harris and the Kingsbarns distillery in Fife to learn all about the specifications of their brand spanking new still room equipment.

Global Giant – Diageo, the first 20 years – by Charles MacLean
Looking at 20 years of Diageo in this feature, going from the birth of the large spirits company that changed focus into a conglomerate with many different spirits, via the in-company education programmes to the re-birth of Johnnie Walker.

Whisky Pricing – the Elephant in the Room – by Ian Buxton
Whisky pricing is a hot subject for a long time now with people all over the world crying out that it has become insane and they feel the world has gone mad. Ian confronts this elephant in the room and talks about the rising prices of whisky, having done research on their development and the different market developments responsible for a possible industry change while looking at industry planning, strategies and the opportunities that might lie ahead in the coming years.

After these detailed articles, we have arrived at the core part of the book; the alphabetic listing of the malt distilleries throughout Scotland. More than 500 new photographs have been added to the summaries on each page, filled with updated information about the distillery history, technical details, tasting notes, pronunciation, location and other background information.

Malt Whisky Yearbook - Book review - WhiskySpeller - stack.jpg

Scattered throughout these one page summaries we find short items called ‘Six Burning Questions about the State of Scotch’, answered by Compass Box whisky maker John Glaser, William Grant & Sons Global whisky specialist Kevin Abrook, Highland Park Senior Brand Manager Martin Markvardsen, the Whisky Lounge whisky evangelist Eddie Ludlow, Duncan Taylor owner and chairman Euan Shand, Terroir distiller international sales manager James Robertson and the Whisky Exchange owner Sukhinder Singh.

New, closed and dismantled Scottish distilleries, a summary of the Japanese, and a selection of the ones around the globe get briefly looked at. A bonus article about the Single Malts from Japan – by Nicholas Coldicott and Stefan Van Eycken takes a closer look at the developments of Japanese whiskies and the world market, what the new developments over the coming years will be and where the spotlight will shine on next.

A book for whisky lovers hungry for details and information, impossible not to have on your shelf, to keep yourself informed about everything going on in the industry. Earlier editions are a treat of information from the last decade, and we are already looking forward to add next year’s edition to our growing collection.

About the editor

From Malmö in Sweden, Ingvar Ronde has been the editor of the Malt Whisky Yearbook since the start in 2005 and recently was inducted as Keeper of the Quaich. The first Malt Whisky Yearbook came out in 2006, and every autumn since a new edition is published.

Info on the book

Title Malt Whisky Yearbook 2017
Author Ingvar Ronde
ISBN 978*0-9576553-3-1/
Price £13,95/ €17,50/ $10,17
Distribution The Malt Whisky Yearbook shop
The Whisky Exchange
Masters of Malt
Website The Malt Whisky Yearbook
Copyright notice: Photo in the article and book photo by WhiskySpeller

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