The 7 Best Whiskey Books (For Whiskey Lovers) In 2023)

Image of diy distilling the best books for whiskey makers and drinkers

These are some of the seven best books for whiskey, written by folks who have spent decades in the trenches researching and tasting whiskey, visiting distilleries, pubs, and libraries in an attempt to figure out what makes our country’s favorite spirit so excellent. 

Please pick up a few of these whiskey books, study them, and learn how to make your whiskey. You’ll also be motivated to share your knowledge and host a wonderful whiskey tasting party for your pals.

📖 Keen on other spirits? Read our other carefully curated articles on books for other spirits:

1. Whiskey Master Class

There are a lot of good whiskey books out there, but Whiskey Master Class stands out as the most concise and well-written all-around whiskey compendium. Anyone getting into the world of whiskey, from the aspiring bartender to the lover, should read this.

It’s an easy read that provides a clear summary of manufacturing, components, styles, taste, and easy-to-understand content. Whiskey Master Class takes the dryness out of technical aspects of whiskey education and effortlessly guides the reader through the key characteristics that distinguish each whiskey.

The book also offers information on craft whiskeys, which are more innovative and free-spirited. It explores the primary whiskey constituents, including malt, peat, maize, rye, wheat, and even water’s taste contributions. 

Every chapter includes a range of modern and historical photographs, as well as relevant drawings, charts, and other visual aids. This is a lesson where you’ll want to do the assignment because the subject is whiskey!

Best place to buy: Amazon (link)

Whiskey Master Class: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Scotch, Bourbon, Rye, and More
  • Hardcover Book
  • Bryson, Lew (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

2. Dead Distillers: A Book About The Outlaws Who Made Whiskey 

Dead Distiller is a comprehensive visual and linguistic reference to a crucial piece of American history.

There was a time when you couldn’t buy whiskey at the shop; otherwise, you would be imprisoned if you were found manufacturing or buying it? 

Dead Distillers offers 50 wonderful separate stories about moonshine and whiskey makers. Photos including historical images, infographics, walking-tour maps, and essential old newspaper articles are included in the narrative, giving you a precise imagination, thus making it a worthwhile read.

Best place to buy: Amazon (link)

Dead Distillers: A History of the Upstarts and Outlaws Who Made American Spirits
  • Hardcover Book
  • Spoelman, Colin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

3. The Complete Whiskey Course: A Comprehensive Tasting School in Ten Classes

The author of this book mentors small-batch distillers, conducts whiskey workshops all across the country, and even performs a stand-up comedy/whiskey history hour. He divided his first whiskey book into ten “courses.” The first two chapters provide an overview of whiskey in general before delving into whiskies from various places worldwide, complete with tasting recommendations and a plethora of graphs, photographs, and drawings.

If you get this book, you’ll be an expert. This book is a huge step forward for the whisky industry! Inside and exterior, the quality is outstanding. But don’t be alarmed; this is a book for all whisky connoisseurs, whether they’re fresh to the game or seasoned veterans. It’s somewhat astounding in terms of content breadth and depth, but that’s not surprising from someone who has spent so much time immersed in the whisky industry. Without a doubt, this book will become the new de facto whisky resource for many years to come!

Best place to buy: Amazon (link)

The Complete Whiskey Course: A Comprehensive Tasting School in Ten Classes - A Cocktail Book
  • Hardcover Book
  • Robinson, Robin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

4. The Way of Whisky: A Journey Around Japanese Whisky

This is truly an excellent book. The Way of Whisky is all about Japanese whisky’s culture and history, and it’s made with a Japanese sense of care and design. It feels fantastic in your hands. With each turn of the page, The author’s affection and thorough knowledge of the country’s distillers will fill you up. The rest of the world is unfamiliar with Japanese whisky. Therefore this fills in the gaps in our understanding—important and timely information. 

Each chapter delves into the history, production, and present whiskies of the distillery in question (with tasting notes). Along the way, Dave analyzes why Japanese whisky is unique, questions tradition vs. innovation, and how whisky relates to many facets of Japanese society. Kohei Take’s stunning photography immerses the reader in the drink concept, making this a must-have edition for any whisky enthusiast, drinker, collector, or Japanophile.

Best place to buy: Amazon (link)

The Way of Whisky: A Journey Around Japanese Whisky
  • Hardcover Book
  • Broom, Dave (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

5. Whiskey Women 

Until Minnock released his insightful discoveries in 2013, no book had ever looked at ghe role women played in the history of the worldwide whisky industry. 

While the whisky industry has always been associated with men, this book is primarily for people interested in learning about the secret stories of its female heroes.

The acclaimed whisky writer looks at how women contributed to overturn Prohibition, make some of the world’s earliest whisky, and produce some of the world’s most cherished whisky brands, which critics have praised worldwide. 

From Mesopotamia’s earliest whisky makers to distillers, Whiskey Women chronicles the stories of the women who built this industry. 

This book is one of many about the powerful women in the whiskey industry. Their stories have been unsung until today.

Best place to buy: Amazon (link)

Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey
  • Minnick, Fred (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 09/01/2020 (Publication Date) - POTOMAC BOOKS (Publisher)

6. Malt Whisky

This book takes an in-depth look at good ‘ol malt whisky, including what it is, where it originates from, and how it got to where it is now. This book also includes a helpful whiskey dictionary with definitions for standard terms and phrases, as well as tips and tricks on how to taste whisky and buy recommendations correctly. The book includes 150 high-quality photos, a slew of full-color maps, and other features that help bring this literary work to life. Industry legend Charles Maclean wrote it.

Malt Whisky by Maclean was initially published in 1997 in six languages as the “ultimate guide to Scotch whisky” and one of the most classic pieces of literature, making it a must-read.

This book is a thorough reference to the Scotch whisky industry. A revamped edition with colored distillery maps, a collection of pictures, and an A-Z distillery listing was released in April 2011 as a smaller, more portable book.

Best place to buy: Amazon (link)

Malt Whisky
  • Hardcover Book
  • Maclean, Charles (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

7. Tasting Whiskey: An Insider’s Guide to the Unique Pleasures of the World’s Finest Spirits

Tasting Whiskey focuses on the whiskey industry’s “Big Five”: Scotland, Ireland, the United States, Canada, and Japan. Lew Bryson, an award-winning author with six books under his belt, is an expert on beer and spirits. He compiled four regional breweries guidebooks, totaling 242 breweries and brewpubs in New York City, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. His first book on the subject, Tasting Whiskey, was published in 2015. 

Why should you read this book? The book features amusing visualizations that help even newcomers understand the complex topic of whiskey distillation. It also includes antique artwork demonstrating the evolution of whiskey’s effect across time. This 256-page book is an excellent resource for whiskey enthusiasts. It has the potential to convert non-whiskey drinkers.

It’s a simple way to teach people about whiskey’s history and traditions; the book has no flat sections because the contents are entertaining and humorous. You can believe what is written on the pages because it is detailed, well-researched, and funny.

Best place to buy: Amazon (Link)

Tasting Whiskey: An Insider's Guide to the Unique Pleasures of the World's Finest Spirits
  • Storey publishing
  • Language: english
  • Book - tasting whiskey: an insider's guide to the unique pleasures of the world's finest spirits


There you have it. 7 of the best books about whisk(e)y that we’ve personally enjoyed, or had friends rave about. We hope you find the list helpful and fun. Whether you are in need of a simple drink recipe, looking to deep dive into whiskey history, or just want to have a fun night with friends, there’s something on this list for everyone! 

📖 Keen on other spirits? Read our other carefully curated articles on books for other spirits:

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