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99 Drams of Whiskey: The Accidental…
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99 Drams of Whiskey: The Accidental Hedonist's Quest for the Perfect…

by Kate Hopkins

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Blogger Hopkins travels to Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and the US to trace the development of whiskey. Imagine my envy. Kate and friend's travels are enjoyably documented, the history of whiskey is reasonably well incorporated, and her tasting notes are entertaining.

The book might have warranted another star if it had been edited more effectively. Some chapters are cleaner than others, but there are a number of typos, awkward constructions, repeated words, and incorrect words ("provence" for "provenance," "affect for "effect," etc.) that an editor should have caught. Absent from her bibliography is anything from Michael Jackson, whose [b:Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch|7306650|Michael Jackson's Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch|Michael Jackson|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1276402571s/7306650.jpg|283305] is very useful and whose [b:Whiskey: The Definitive World Guide|291997|Whiskey The Definitive World Guide|Michael Jackson|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1309295949s/291997.jpg|283310] in many ways parallels Hopkins's project.

Hopkins didn't taste my favorite light single malt, Glenmorangie's Cellar 13, nor the one I find most entertaining (Tormore 12-year-old, which tastes of fudge and artichokes). De gustibus non est disputandum. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
Kate who runs the blog The Accidental Hedonist, and her friend Krysta go on a tour of distilleries in four countries, Canada, Ireland, USA, and Scotland. Triggered by an article about someone that spent a small fortune on a bottle of whiskey, she sets out to find out why.

Weaving together multiple stories on the history of whiskey, the distillation process, her travels on her quest, and tours of many distilleries and their sometimes sham marketing gimmicks, along with lots of drinking and tasting notes.

It is a fun overview of the whiskey industry, and a great idea for a vacation. ( )
  stevenryan | Jan 25, 2011 |
Very enjoyable read. The author and her friend go on a tasting tour of whiskeys by visiting distilleries in Ireland, Scotland, US, and Canada. In a breezy style she provides her personalized tasting notes for a small number of whiskeys and provides information on the history and her views on whiskeys. If you are interested in the history or culture of whiskey, you will like this book. ( )
  willyt | Aug 11, 2010 |
The author (Kate Hopkins) and a pal (Krysta) tour the world learning about whiskey. Or, to be more accurate, they tour the major players in the whiskey world---Ireland, Scotland, Canada and the United States. This book is the result.

The book alternates between two narratives---The first is the travelogue, with anecdotes about the many distilleries they visit, the people they meet, the whiskey they drink, and so forth. The second narrative is the history of whiskey, which Hopkins does a great job of telling.

The history portions of the book cover the advances in the distilling process, the whiskey business, and the legal and social aspects of whiskey production and consumption. A lot of this was new to me, and Hopkins presents it in a lively and interesting manner, with none of the dry feel of somebody who merely reciting the facts.

Hopkins describes many of the whiskeys that she and Krysta sample during their travels. Unlike some books, Hopkins doesn't get into the business of trying to rate and rank them on some comparative scale. Rather she describes the tastes, and doesn't hesitate to point out the drinks she particularly liked. But she also argues that the enjoyment of a whiskey (as with the enjoyment of many things) can depend as much
on the time and place and company as on the specifics of taste---an opinion I thoroughly agree with!

This was an enjoyable and informative book, and I've recommended it to several of my whiskey-drinking friends. The only disappointment is that after repeatedly mentioning the pictures that Krysta was taking at various stops on their tour, we don't get to see any of them in the book.
  Wombat | Aug 6, 2010 |
Fun and informative, with great research and a wickedly dry sense of humor, this book was great to read. ( )
  CarolLP | Sep 16, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312381085, Hardcover)

Kate Hopkins knew there had to be more to whiskey than using it as a mixer. She had an unquenchable thirst to learn more about “the drink” and set out on an ambitious itinerary researching its history. Combining comprehensive research with informal narrative, Hopkins entertains and educates the readers on whiskey’s place in the history of the world. She visited historians and pub owners, went to distilleries owned by corporations who sell thousands of gallons per day, and artisans who sell thousands of gallons per year, and interviewed the aficionados and the common drinkers, because one of the best aspects of whiskey is not just its taste, but the stories about the drink that are told around the bar. As an added bonus, she discusses the fine art of distilling, the proper ways to drink whiskey, and provides tasting notes on different brands, all in the hope of discovering the best shot of the liquor.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:13 -0400)

Kate Hopkins knew there had to be more to whiskey than using it as a mixer. She had an unquenchable thirst to learn more about ?the drink ? and set out on an ambitious itinerary researching its history. Combining comprehensive research with informal narrative, Hopkins entertains and educates the readers on whiskey ?s place in the history of the world. She visited historians and pub owners, went to distilleries owned by corporations who sell thousands of gallons per day, and artisans who sell thousands of gallons per year, and interviewed the aficionados and the common drinkers, because one of the best aspects of whiskey is not just its taste, but the stories about the drink that are told around the bar. As an added bonus, she discusses the fine art of distilling, the proper ways to drink whiskey, and provides tasting notes on different brands, all in the hope of discovering the best shot of the liquor.… (more)

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