MacLean’s Miscellany of Whisky
Charles MacLean – 2010 – Little Books Ltd – 288 pages including index – monochrome illustrations.
This is a strange book. Hardbacked and compact I was eager to get into it the moment I saw it. Then something unusual happened – I suddenly went off the idea of reading it. I was not sure why this was at first but I began to realise what the problem, or rather problems, were. The first was that the paper had a slightly cheap feel to it, which went along with the monochrome illustrations. I acknowledged this and put those thoughts to one side – after all this had nothing to do with the quality of the text and may help to keep the cost down. The second issue was an early section about understanding the label. The section was outdated as some of the terms were no longer legal. The third was the occasional typo such as missing the J in Japanese.
And that is where the negatives stop. This book is a miscellany although I found it a bit more on the lines of a bit disorganised. I do not mean that in a negative way as it actually adds to the way the book reads. Yes some terms are outdated but the book was published just after the regulations changed in 2009 and so may well have already gone to press. There are many positives to this book if read the right way. There are small amounts of deep knowledge that come along – excite the curiosity then move on to repeat the process.
As I said before – I looked forward to reading it then lost interest in the early part of the book. But I read on and very soon found myself being drawn deeper in. Everything was interesting and as I turned each page I could not be sure what path I would be taken down next. By the time I had got past the first quarter I was eager to read more and by the end I was sad that it was finished.
The subject matter is interesting as it is varied and the format and size lends it to a book that can easily fill the odd moment as well as the longer read.
My advice is well worth a read.