Michael Jackson (updated by Dominic Roskrow and Gavin D. Smith)
Dorling Kindersley (Penguin Random House)
US$ 45 Hardback
It has been a long time coming, but full marks to the publishers for finally getting round to bringing out an updated edition of the late Michael Jackson’s classic tome. There is much in it that the original author would not recognise, but I suspect he would loudly applaud the dedicated efforts of his two successors, themselves celebrated whisky authors in their own right, in delivering a truly global assessment of whisky – and whiskey – in a most handsome and pleasing way.
Inevitably, there are omissions but probably more as a result of editorial fiat than unintentional oversight and the end result, in terms of completeness and scope, is a fitting tribute to Michael Jackson whose name stands alone on the cover and the spine whilst the contributing authors get a modest mention between the covers.
The great whisky producing countries are given full rein but the newer countries get a fair amount of sympathetic treatment. I thought the chapter on Australia both thorough and well balanced in its treatment of a returning producer country where whisky distilling used to have a bad name but is now blooming.