While tasting whiskey is the most important introductory step one can take to begin understanding the vast world of whiskey, EDUCATING one’s self about whiskey is step number two. As you begin reading about how whiskey is made, you will not only learn the science behind the process but the history of whiskey will begin to reveal itself. So start reading! As a whiskey connoisseur and whiskey teacher, I stress the importance of reading as it is through this process you will begin to understand the quality of what you are drinking.
So where to begin reading? Begin by buying David Broom’s book, The World Atlas of Whisky: More Than 350 Expressions Tasted – More Than 150 Distilleries Explored. Not only is this a beautiful coffee table book, but this is the one-stop shop for understanding the whisky world. Do you know who David Broom is? If not check out his biography and a class he offers online here.
The above resources have been instrumental to my personal whiskey journey and I hope you will find them helpful as well. One last tip: as you start reading about the various whiskey flavor profiles, never underestimate your own taste palette! Keep tasting and taking notes along the way and you yourself will quickly become an expert. Good luck with your reads and please feel free to share other materials you find helpful here as well.