If you or someone you know is new into whiskey or even whisky (dropping the “e” for the Scotch variety), then this is possibly the best primer you can buy!

Book Cover For Scratch And Sniff Whiskey Book

At the time of writing it can be found for a mere $14.66 on Amazon.

NOTE: this is 100% a book for a beginner / entry level whisky enthusiast (not to detract from its value which I thoroughly enjoyed).

It’s a very short but informative read, that whistles the reader through the vast world of whiskey at a fast pace.

As a relative “noob” to whiskey myself, this book was a gift from an expert friend (he can be found here on Instagram @WhiskyBaron) who recommended it. I’ve greatly appreciated the resource, that is now tucked away in my emerging whiskey cabinet collection as a quick go-to reference guide.

Whisky cabnet with bottles and books

Best Introductory Book To Whiskey

Clear And Concise Content

At a mere 22 pages (note it’s quite thick as is heavy cardboard stock) it only takes 20-30 mins to read at a slow, enjoyable pace.

But it is jam packed with good content that you can spin off to research online, or look at your current collection for some of the comments being made.

Page Images from Scratch and Sniff Whiskey book

The book is organized in the following sections:

  • Taste 101 – where you’re actually smelling whisky for the most part not tasting, and which is broken down into three main sections:
    • Grain – the starting point for the flavor profile
    • Wood – new vs used barrels and what it was previously used for
    • Place – temperature and humidity playing big roles here
  • The “Language Of The Label” is covered
  • Finally wrapping up with a pull-out map of the different regions and high level overarching tasting profiles that may suit your current palette [seen in picture below]

Whiskey flavor guide map

The authors favorite tag line is:

[clickToTweet tweet=”Know Your Booze Before You Choose – #Whiskey #Whisky #BookReview #ScratchAndSniff ” quote=”‘Know Your Booze Before You Choose’ “]

Not Forgetting…. It’s Scratch & Sniff!

If that were not enough, placed throughout the book there are different scratch and sniff dots.

My favorite three smells were:

  • Barley on the grain page
  • Sandal wood on Japanese barrel
  • Apple for Irish geo image

Whiskey grains from around the world

Whiskey barrel wood guide

It’s pretty fun to have a good ole scratch and sniff, maybe just think twice about reading this at your local coffee shop for obvious reasons!

Final Thoughts

Scratch and Sniff Whiskey Book ISBN Number and Price I have to congratulate the authors for making a highly approachable book, that does not insult the reader in a notoriously difficult subject to approach.

Even though it’s only a handful of pages and takes less than 30 minutes to read, don’t let that fool you. This book is packed with information, and smells!

I shall personally be keeping it in my whiskey cabinet as a reference guide for some time to come. In particular, the world map / guide of flavor / taste regions.

We all have to start somewhere and I think that this is a great place to do so!

Again it can be bought from Amazon here.

About the Author:

Paul Anthony is the founder and creative director at Bespoke Unit. He has had a life long affair with design, watches, fragrance and clothing. Originally from England, he now lives in the USA splitting time between NYC & Philly. Favoring "British Style", but has an overall eclectic taste.


  1. Jack December 2, 2018 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Paul Anthony your’e full of manure. There is more to life than Scotch Whisky. Have you ever tried Bourbon? Probably below your rarefied pain threshold.

    • Charles-Philippe December 3, 2018 at 4:06 am - Reply

      This is a baffling comment to say the least. Where did you detect any Scotch elitism? The article refers to several types of whiskey…

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