A Bibliography of Whisky Books in English
Hopefully you will find this bibliography easy to use, but the following details may help to understand it better.
The Sections of the Bibliography and Notes on the Structure of the Entries.
The first section is an alphabetical listing by author. [Please note that names beginning with Mc and M’ are treated as if they were spelled Mac and those beginning St. are treated as Saint]. Titles for an author are also listed alphabetically. Books with more than one author are listed under the name that appears first, however joint authors are also listed and cross referenced to the main entry. If the author is unknown then the book is listed under the first word in the title. Some items will be listed by distillery or company name.
Each entry includes the following information if known. Title, place of publication, date of publication. Unless indicated otherwise the date is for the first edition. If a book is undated, and estimated date is given, eg. c1948. If an entry reads n.d. , this indicates that although the date of publication does not appear in the book, the date in parenthesis is known to be the date of publication. Next are details of pagination and of any illustrations. Then where possible the entry is annotated, the comments being mine or from an acknowledged source. For new books and some other the publisher’s description will be included. Other editions are noted. In some cases further information relevant to the book or its author is added. Unless considered relevant details of binding and size of a book is not included.
The second section is the Title Index which enables a book to be found if the author’s name isn’t known. The arrangement of this section is alphabetical within the following parameters. Definite and indefinite articles such as A, An, and The, are taken into account when they occur within a title, but ignored if they begin the title. Thus The Original Guide to Scotch Whisky will appear under Original, but is listed as The Original Guide to Scotch Whisky.
If there is an image of a book then Show Image appears near the end of the listing. Hover cursor over Show Image to view the image.
What is In and What is Out
Firstly books that are about whisky, whiskey, bourbon, and rye are definitely included. Books with some whisky content may be included if considered relevant. Books on other subjects including moonshine, smuggling, and coopering may be included if considered relevant.
Also included are books on distilling. Early books on distilling may not mention whisky, but are included as they show the historical development of a process used in the production of whisky.
Booklets have been listed, although details may be limited. Usually the name of the author isn’t known so most will be listed under the issuing distillery or company.
Articles are not included unless they have been issued as an offprint.
Thesis are included if consider particularly relevant, though it should be noted that most remain unpublished. Copies are sometimes available from universities.
Cocktail books are included if specifically about cocktails made with whisky. General cocktail books are not included.
Books on cooking with whisky are included.
Travel books that are specifically about visiting distilleries are included. Those dealing with whisky producing areas may be included if there is a high of whisky content.
Autobiographies and biographies are included if the subject has sufficient relevance to the world of whisky.
Fiction and poetry. This is a problem area because it can be difficult to ascertain whether the content is relevant enough to be included. As many as possible will be included where I can be reasonably certain that the whisky content is high.
Obviously some books will be missed and some will be included that you may not consider really relevant. Comments and suggestions are very welcome so please do not hesitate to contact me.
Cobbled Books. E-Books, Print on Demand [POD] and Free Books.
Cobbled books [my name for them] are a relatively new type of book. They consist of information gleaned from web sites, usually open source sites such as Wikipedia.
An example is Scottish Malt Whisky by Source Wikipedia published by University-Press.Org. The publisher’s blurb begins with Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Pages: 67. Chapters: Scotch whisky, Islay whisky, Single malt Scotch, List of distilleries in Scotland, Glengoyne Distillery, The Glenlivet, Glenmorangie, Glenturret Distillery, Isle of Jura Single Malt, Glenfiddich, Glen Ord Distillery, The Macallan, Talisker, Auchentoshan Distillery, Laphroaig, Drambuie, Bladnoch Distillery, Balvenie, Distillers Company Limited, Lochside Distillery, Glenglassaugh Distillery, Kininvie Distillery, Aberlour Distillery, Benromach, Cardhu, The Glenrothes, Whyte and Mackay, Highland Park Single Malt, St Magdalene, Glen Grant, Glen Elgin, Springbank Distillery, Glencadam Distillery, Scotch Whisky Association, Arran Single Malt, Banff, North Port Distillery, Glenfarclas Single Malt, Glenugie Distillery, Tormore Single Malt, Oban Distillery, and goes on and on and on. All this and more covered in 67 pages and book also includes illustrations and is priced at just over £15 on Amazon. It should be noted there are at least 25,000 of this type of book listed as being published by University-Press.Org and there are other publishers doing the same. I have never seen one of these books, and have decided not to include them in the listing.
E-books are mentioned if the title is or was also published as a real book. If a title has only been published as an e-book it is not included, although I may include a separate listing of them at a later date.
There are various types of POD books. Slow selling books with a limited market are only printed when an order is placed. Many main stream publishers use this system for technical books. The second type is the author published book usually found on the online self-publishing sites such as Lulu. The quality of the first two types is usually very good, though may not be as good as a conventionally produced book. The third type is out of print titles published by firms set up to rely entirely on this type of book. The quality of this type of book varies considerably from quite good to diabolical depending on how much trouble has been taken when the original was scanned. Illustrations if they are included tend to be very bad quality and some publishers even state that pages may be missing. Usually a title is available from several publishers and it is difficult to know which one will be the best. Worth considering if you want a rare book and cannot afford an original. Reference to the three types will be made in the author listing.
Free books are sometimes available for download for personal use. They are mainly out of print titles. Strictly speaking they are e-books and come in various formats and most are available in a format that can be downloaded to a computer without the need of a special reader. It should be noted that the scanning and formatting can be very poor. Mention will be made in the author listing where it is know that a free download is available from a reputable and legal source.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments on the above.
Notes on the Bibliography