There are some realms of knowledge that seem closely guarded by experts, impenetrable to mere plebes who don’t know better. Sommelier Richard Betts’ new book, The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Whiskey Know-It-All, addresses the concerns of your average whiskey noob with both patience and lovely illustrations. It’s a book that asks the question: Why should children get to have all the fun?
In 20 pages, you’ll get a solid primer on the basics. Betts divides whiskey into three categories: grain, wood and place. You can scratch and sniff as you turn the pages, and you’ll learn how to taste whiskey—and what to look for when you’re choosing a bottle—as you go along. No barrel is left unturned, and by the end, you’ll even know when to write ‘whisky’ instead of 'whiskey’.
The book also contains a fold-out wheel tucked into the back which serves as a sort of choose-your-own-adventure, but for whiskey flavors. It’s a great way to convince yourself you need a really expensive, specific bottle of booze.
The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Whiskey Know-It-All will be available Oct. 6.
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