Knowledgeable we are but even a Scotch Chick needs a reference now and then. Whether it's to look up a distillery location, a definition, or the particular year of a single malt it's nice to have a quick "go to" guide on hand. And DC Scotch Chick has just the reference guide: Single Malt and Scotch Whisky by Daniel Lerner.
DC Scotch Chick likes this book for it's simplicity. Yes, the majority of the book contains tasting notes of popular single malts on the market, but the first few chapters are indispensable for anyone just getting into scotch. None of the first chapters are more than a few pages but Lerner manages to pack in a lot of important info. One will find a bit of history, the characteristics of the various regions, and helpful information on aging and label terms. He covers the basics of the distilling and provides an easy to use map of the process. And much like reading a recipe Lerner describes the various ingredients that go into crafting a great single malt.
The chapter on Singe Malt Whisky Brands easily makes up most of the book. Lerner provides distillery information, region, year, strength, and tasting notes for 94 single malt brands. In addition he also introduces each single malt with a short paragraph containing bits of history or the odd fact one can file away for a cocktail party. Of particular interest Lerner also lists the independent bottlings for each brand.
The last chapter (Eleven) is a short and sweet description of blended whiskies. Instead of the more in depth descriptions one finds for the single malts Lerner simply lists fifteen blended whiskies in a table with each whiskies name, age, and proof.
Following the last chapter one finds a copy of Keen's Steakhouse Single Malt Scotch menu before the Glossary. CA Scotch Chick would agree with Lerner's observation that Keen's has one of the best on-premises single malt menus. The Glossary is straight forward---don't know what "wort" is? Pick up Lerner's book and find out.
The only complaint DC Scotch Chick has with Lerner's book is that http://www.scotchchix.com is not listed in it's resource guide under websites. Maybe that is something we can aspire to.
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