Whisky: The Manual

Whisky: The Manual is a book about how to drink whisky and how people enjoy their tasty dram all over the world. It is about changing behaviour and the cliché that whisky should always be drunk neat.

Identity Card Whisky: The Manual

  • Whisky: The Manual

  • ISBN: 978-1-84533-755-1

  • Dave Broom

  • Octopus Publishing

  • First publication 2014

  • 224 pages

  • Price: £14.94 (Amazon.co.uk)

Dave Broom makes a case for trying whiskies, both blends and single malts, with mixers. Next to Cola, ginger ale and soda water, Dave opts also for less classic mixers such as coconut water and green tea. Coconut water is especially popular in Brazil while green tea is the mixed drink of choice in Asia. Whisky: The Manual concludes with a number of classic and not-so-classic cocktail recipes.

Dave scores every whisky and mixer separately with a score ranging from 1 to 5. Although some whiskies are marked with N/A. Those whiskies - Royal Salute 21 or Yamazaki 18 - are simply not meant to be mixed. The book is a call to action to start experimenting with whiskies and not content yourself to the old adage that whisky should be drunk neat (or with ice cubes for some).  After all, what worked for him might not work for you. I'm not a big fan of the Kilchoman Machir Bay - coconut water combination for example...

Apart from the first 75 pages, Whisky: The Manual isn't a book you will read from start to finish.  Although there isn't a single book on whisky that does not treat the making-of process. Dave kept it light and added lots of trivia and vintage ad posters. The book also explains his own method of classifying whiskies: the flavour camps.

One of the book's major advantages is that it will still be relevant in 5 or 6 years. Even if the majority of the featured whiskies from the book aren't marketed anymore, it could still serve as a historical guide and a cocktail manual. It's one of those books you will grab from time to time for inspiration or just to look up what could be an excellent mixer for the whisky in your glass.

Does the book have a weakness? Well, you probably won't try out more than two or three combinations at once so you are forced to plan and make some choices. Coconut water should be drunk within 24 hours after opening so pick your whiskies wisely. (But that's not the fault of the book, just something to keep in mind during your experiments).

About the author

Dave Broom has been writing about whisky for over 25 years. He is mostly known for his book "The World Atlas of Whisky". Dave acts as a consultant and editor for multiple national Whisky Magazines (UK, Japan, France, USA and Spain) and columnist for Whisky Advocate. The retired Malt Maniac wrote eight books and won two Glenfiddich Award for Drinks book of the year. Dave currently writes for scotchwhisky.com and wrote two other The Manuals. One on rum and another one on gin.

Whisky: The Manual is still widely available via Amazon and other bookstores.