Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

Scotch Whisky Directory - Phillip Hills

Are you looking for a rare book or would you like to review what you are reading?

Scotch Whisky Directory - any good?

Hits the mark?
2
33%
Wide of the mark?
4
67%
 
Total votes : 6

Scotch Whisky Directory - Phillip Hills

Postby jlane » Mon Aug 08, 2005 5:19 pm

I am re-posting this old thread as last time it was sabotaged by (very funny) silliness - want to see if any one has anything to add in the book's defence or otherwise....

Just received this book. It looks like like a very useful guide, departing from the usual format, to aid selection of malts by their flavour characteristics. I would, however, be critical of three shortcomings:

1 - unusual choice of "typical" bottlings analysed in some cases. For example why is the only Caola Ila entry a 1989 Signatory bottling? It would have been more sense and use for the widely available distillery bottling(s) to have been addressed;

2 - some well known "brands" have been completely omitted? What about Mortlach???? I know much of it may go into blending, but the distillery bottling is still widely available;

3 - within the "star" ratings there can be quite a range of overall points to make that star rating. Given that the bar charts provide the "+" and "-" points which when taken together lead to the star rating, it would have been more use to give the net total points so the reader can see where within a star rating band a whisky lies - this could help comparison within star rating bands.

I do hope a 2nd edition addresses these points.
jlane
New member
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 4:20 pm
Location: Lancashire, UK

Postby Lawrence » Mon Aug 08, 2005 6:40 pm

I've had the book for over a month now and have been reading the text carefully and have come to the conclusion that the time for a whisky book to pick one or two examples from each distillery has passed.

There are simply too many bottlings available today and the author would have been of more of a service to his readers if he had dropped the pictures of the labels and included more bottlings.

The bar has been raised quite high by Michael Jackson and Jim Murray and this book is simply a curiosity when compared to their books.

However it should be noted that the authors book Appreciating Whisky is excellent and no whisky book collection is complete without it.
Last edited by Lawrence on Thu Sep 15, 2005 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Lawrence
Matured cask
 
Posts: 5019
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 1:01 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Postby Tom » Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:23 pm

Good points by Lawrence,
just wanted to add the author seems subjective and If he calls people that write tasting notes of their whiskies nerds, then I call him arrogant.
In the past I held Mr Hills in high respect, this has changed a lot lately.
Tom
Gold Member
 
Posts: 648
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 6:25 pm
Location: Belgium

Postby Mr Fjeld » Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:15 pm

I haven't read the book but your post made me laugh Tom!
Have to agree with you that one should perhaps be slightly more tolerant than naming or categorizing people because of their behaviour - however weird it is for some. Actually, that echoes a former thread about obsessive behaviour and pipettes...

Skål!
Christian
Mr Fjeld
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 4249
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:08 pm

Postby Lawrence » Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:27 pm

If he calls people that write tasting notes of their whiskies nerds, then I call him arrogant


Well, I have missed that part in the book and if it is so then it's a complete about face since the author started the whole tasting note format when he was the head of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.
Lawrence
Matured cask
 
Posts: 5019
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 1:01 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Postby jlane » Thu Aug 11, 2005 5:03 pm

Yes - his Appreciating Whisky book is brilliant. By the way how do you do that "quote" thing with other's comments?
jlane
New member
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 4:20 pm
Location: Lancashire, UK

Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Aug 11, 2005 5:49 pm

Click on "quote" in the comment you want to quote. You then get the reply box with the entire comment quoted in it, which you can edit down to suit your needs. You'll also see the html commands that make it work, so you can figure out how to do it yourself.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Tom » Fri Aug 12, 2005 8:57 am

Lawrence, Thats exactly what I was thinking, how can he say that after what he has done previously, and more important, how in the name of everything thats holy can he write a book about whiskies without writing notes???
I will quote his exact words.
page 13 under the heading "Sampling"

"Also, by the time you have got to the end of all the whiskies, you are likely to have forgotten what the first ones tasted like. If you are really keen, you will get round this by keeping a cellar book. The directory has known people whom it respects who have done this, but can't help feeling that it's a bit nerdish and maybe there are better things to do with your life. It's only a drink, after all."

What he says may be true, for some I guess. But I doubt for anyone that buys a book filled with tasting notes...
Tom
Gold Member
 
Posts: 648
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 6:25 pm
Location: Belgium

Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:44 pm

Hmmm.... Guess he makes a distinction between those who do it for a living and those who do it for fun. "Don't try this at home."
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Mr Fjeld » Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:55 pm

I never write down my tasting notes unless I'm at a tasting. And then it's more because I want to structure my thoughts for the coming discussion. But then, I rarely participate in tastings these days - kind of exhausting when I'm more comfortable at home imagening all sorts of things and tastes to whatever I'm having.
Other than that I guess tasting notes are fine when you're looking for information about a whiskies you think of purchasing.
Think I'll go with "don't try this at home" !

Skål!
Christian
Mr Fjeld
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 4249
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:08 pm

Postby jlane » Wed Aug 24, 2005 1:28 pm

Lawrence wrote:I've had the book for over a month now and have reading the text carefully and have come to the conclusion that the time for a whisky book to pick one or two examples from each distillery has passed.

There are simply too many bottlings available today and the author would have been of more of a service to his readers if he had dropped the pictures of the labels and included more bottlings.


Mr Hills - PLEASE Note
jlane
New member
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 4:20 pm
Location: Lancashire, UK

Phillip Hills - Scotch Whisky Directory

Postby PennyCalder » Thu Sep 15, 2005 11:24 am

I'm a new member to this forum, but came across the Directory in question on Monday when on a tour of the splendid Bruichladdich Distillery. I found the practical examples in the Directory, applying his unique flavour ratings, really useful.
I suspect it is the most comprehensive and practical approach to describing whisky flavours that has ever been devised (the method is described fully in his excellent 'Appreciating Whisky' book).
The Directory is chunky enough. To cover the entire industry's output would render the resultant tome uncarry-able, so it would end up on the coffee table and not be much practical use.
Not to mention the effect on the liver of a true innovator who virtually single-handedly established the market for cask malts by founding the SMWS and has made major contributions to illuminating the way we think about and describe the drink we all love so much.
By some sublime seredipity, my bottle of Bruichladdich's 'Infinity' (imo Christmas in a bottle) arrived by courier whilst I was composing this post - the superb tour leader having noticed that we came by bike offered to send it to us at no extra cost to save us carrying it. It was by far the most enjoyable distillery visit to date and a foretaste of "the Beast" (which boasts more peaty parts per million than any other whisky, yet still retains all sorts of lovely fruity tastes) at 3 years old was awesome.
PennyCalder
New member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2005 10:27 am
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Postby Lawrence » Thu Sep 15, 2005 4:17 pm

Hi Penny, you're not by any chance an industry insider are you?
Lawrence
Matured cask
 
Posts: 5019
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 1:01 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Postby PennyCalder » Thu Sep 15, 2005 4:57 pm

No, would be a nice thing to do... but am just a happy tippler, although I do know the author in question.
PennyCalder
New member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2005 10:27 am
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Postby ikendal » Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:15 pm

Penny,

I visited the distillery in February and I am in total agreement, "It was by far the most enjoyable distillery visit to date". the welcome, hospitaltiy and honesty - We will be back. wonderful people wonderful place.

I like what they are doing.

Ian

(Sorry not about books)
ikendal
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 7:38 pm
Location: London

Don't really agree with Hills conclusions

Postby corbuso » Fri Oct 07, 2005 8:05 am

I find the idea of Philip Hills quite interesting. Classification of the whisky based on a dozen of criteria is nice and interesting, but the interpretation as well as the relevance for making a choice is not straightforward and I don't share the same opinion concerning it qualitative evalutation of the whisky.
corbuso
Gold Member
 
Posts: 878
Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 11:56 am

Return to Whisky Books

cron

Whisky gift and present finder