Monday 6 August 2018

New Book Review - "Japanese Whisky: The ultimate guide to the world's most desirable spirit"

A new book came across the TimeforWhisky desk recently, titled "Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Desirable Spirit". As a lover of Japanese whisky, not to mention a good whisky book every now and then, I was keen to dive in.

Written by Brian Ashcraft, the 140+ page hardcover suits both beginners and fanatics alike, covering the history of Japanese whisky (both modern and ancient), its ties to sake and Shochu, the production process, the uniqueness of Mizunara and Japanese drinking culture.

..and that's just in the first 55 or so pages. The remaining pages are dedicated to the "big boys" of Japanese whisky distilling and their products. Yamazaki, White Oak, Yoichi, Mars Shinshu, Fuji Gotemba and Chichibu are all covered, with detailed tasting notes and scores on a number of whiskies from each (15 tasting notes for Venture Whisky / Chichibu alone).

All up, there are more than 100 tasting notes, all by Japanese whisky reviewer and blogger Yuji Kawasaki.

The book is striking in its (extensive and exclusive) photography, with large, vivid photos of distilleries, production processes and products, not to mention historical artefacts (older release whiskies, advertisements, and people).

There's even coverage of Japan's bar scene and culture, which (as readers of this blog and followers of our Facebook and Instagram pages might know) is something we're a little bit obsessed with.

There have been a few great books on Japanese whisky released recently, each of them with a slightly different focus. In it's 140ish pages, "Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Desirable Spirit" successfully manages to appeal to a wide audience with a mix of history, facts, opinion, humour and insider detail, all accompanied by stunning imagery and wrapped up in an easy-to-read format.

Whilst I like to think I know a decent amount about Japanese whisky, I have to admit I learned a few things reading this. Definitely recommended for Japanese whisky lovers and those looking to learn more. 


Thanks to Brian Ashcraft and Tuttle Publishing for the review copy.

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