One book we annually purchase to make sure we are up to date on our statistics concerning existing and new distilleries, is the Malt Whisky Year Book by Ingvar Ronde. Every year, he single handedly sets out to update these stats and self publish them. Enriched with interviews, behind the scenes stories, colourful pictures and useful lists of statistics the most snobby connaisseur swears by, if there is need to cheat during a whisky quiz. The book is more than just the opinion of one man, and gives extensive looks into (seemingly) very basic knowledge that may sometimes be overlooked as common.
As always, the first part of the book consists of a number of in-depth articles. For instance, Charles MacLean gives his view about the importance of barley, underlined with a fair bit of history, interleaved with thoroughly researched facts of today and an interesting conclusion. Neil Ridley does an open-ended deepdive into the statement that “old whisky” is better than “new whisky”, leaving us with enough material to discuss whenever we meet oneantother again, whenever that may be. Neil’s partner in crime Joel Harrison delivers a great exploration of the subtle differences between all the different distilleries and their new-make profiles, to name only a few.
More of these lengthy articles are to be found in this year’s edition, before it starts with the completely updated summary of all currently active Scottish Single Malt distilleries, with every now and then a column sized intermezzo in shape of an interview with a whisky legend or a listing with websites to watch (hey, a particular one looks familiar!).
All this, and still we are only halfway through the book. Detailed listings of new and closed Scottish distilleries, distilleries making malt across the world interleaved with many as many listings of dry stats and figures we whisky lovers cannot wait to get our eyes on.These detailed stats at the end of the book are once more completely reviewed and updated for this year’s edition.
A great book to leave at your nightstand for an update on your whisky knowledge, ready for you to immerse yourself in right before sleep and dream about winning that Relaxed(™) whisky quiz next time around, because you know the judges will use this guide as the truth anyway.
Only nice words about this book then? No, most definitely not. It makes us want to go travel again, visit the newly built distilleries we haven’t had the chance to visit yet, so we can move the good book from our nightstand into our glove box for our next road trip to Scotland, or anywhere we can go by car. Well, maybe that is a good thing too, so, there you go.
We know, it has been a while that you have heard from us. Only sporadic updates on the social platforms but there has been a giant hiatus on this page. We felt we needed to step back from becoming the spokespersons for other companies’ marketing departments and let our hobby regain in strength, so our passion for the spirit can re-immerse in a stronger embodiment.
So, we have hit the pause button, time flew by and the world changed. Work, after starting our own company 1923 Creative Agency, was never better, life got in the way from time to time by throwing different, unexpected curveballs, as it seems to do every so often. Since all choices are the best ones you make at the time, we are very happy with changes they brought. Take the risk, re-cask and let things sit in the warehouse for a while. With time, new flavours are created and if you wait exactly the right amount of time, things can turn out just perfect..
So, let’s hit play, dust off the digital typewriter and type “hello world…”
Yeah, so, there is that thing going around at the moment, which doesn’t really help stepping back in the saddle, but we are sure at some point we’ll ride again and go back to what we love to see, smell, hear, taste and most importantly feel. The feeling we get when the Islay ferry reaches either port, the feeling of muscle pain in our jaws from smiling when we smell that washback, entering a warehouse for the first time again and brushing our hands against a cask, accompanied by the musty and clogged up feeling in our noses.
One thing we have always relied on during our journeys in these past few years, exploring distilleries, meeting people and growing to love the industry, is this one book keeping us up to date with all development, facts and figures. This book that we look forward to every autumn when it is released; The Malt Whisky Yearbook.
Even without being able to travel, we will read this edition over and over from cover to cover, plan our next road trips with it, looking for more undiscovered places for us to explore. We surely miss traveling and meeting the good people that inhabit the #whiskyfabric.
See you on the road again, someday, somewhere…
Thanks Ingvar for sending a copy over of this year’s edition and including our little website for the fourth time in the section “websites to watch”. We feel very humbled to be included in this great summary of websites once again.
Thomas & Ansgar