Everybody has their favorite moments as we approach the Holidays. Some like the not-so-spooky Halloween costumes which actually will be stained with alcohol on the same night. Some like the inevitable coziness of Thanksgiving tables. What I like is the moment when world-renown whisky writer, Ingvar Ronde announces that he will be releasing the new Malt Whisky Yearbook soon.
Malt Whisky Yearbook 2022 is the 17th edition and I had to take my time to read the book and write this review as I headed to every single whisky festival in the US this year. Finally, I could take some time for myself in the last few days and finish this exquisite book from Mr. Ronde.
In a way, Ingvar Ronde’s book is a meeting point of great whisky minds in one of the most fashionable ways. This year we have some great names like Charles MacLean, Gavin D. Smith, Ian Wisniewski, Neil Ridley, Joel Harrison, and a friend who is missed a lot in this part of the world, Stefan van Eycken.
This year, the book starts with Ian Wisniewski’s article called ‘Roasted Malt – the route to new flavours’. In 2020, during some of our virtual tastings, I discussed the impact of using roasted malt in whisky production multiple times. There is no way your brain doesn’t shout out Glenmorangie Signet right now. Some of Ian’s discussion points made me think deeper about the idea, and actually how broader the technical point of it too.
Ian’s article is followed by Charles MacLean’s and Arthur Motley’s work which shows us the details of The 1823 Excise Act, which changed the industry for good. Then two interesting articles which are just on the spot in a world that is struggling nowadays, forecasting and localism. Joel Harrison joins us discussing the forecasting in the whisky industry quoting industry legends like Sandy Hyslop, Alan Winchester, Dr. Nick Morgan, and more. One of the articles I spent my time was on localism by Neil Ridley as he discussed the current status and the future of localism by discussing it distillers from all around the world.
The next article is from Gavin D Smith, who guides the readers through whisky legislation in different countries. This article is followed up by Stefan van Eycken’s incredible article called ‘Japanese Whisky Rules’. In the past, while I was writing my article on Japanese whisky regulations, I had a couple of discussions with Stefan and I was thrilled with the level of progress. This article puts everything very neat and in an elucidative way.
Distilleries , Tasting Notes & The Trailblazers
This year, 727 malt whisky distilleries around the world with updated facts take place on 200 pages of the book. These are active and closed distilleries spread all over the world with every fact an enthusiast can ask for. Every distillery has a tasting note about one whisky from the distillery which reaches up to 200 tasting notes including the independent bottlings. Here is an example of one of my favorite distilleries, Glenfarclas.
While reading about all these distilleries you can come across interesting articles and surprises. That’s why I always find myself reading all the information just not to miss anything.
This year’s new feature greeted me this year which is Trailblazers of Malt Whisky. In these one-page sections, we meet Neelakanta Jaglande from Amrut, Yu-Ting Lee from Kavalan, Gilles Leizour from Armorik, Magnus Dandanell from Mackmyra, Bill Lark from Lark Distillery, Steve McCarthy from McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt, and Andrew Nelstrop from The English Whisky Company.
Websites To Watch
Ingvar also shares a list of websites he frequently follows and I am humbly honored to be on that list for the last two years. One of my goals in the future is to be one of his favorites and get the * next to my website.
I love this section as independent bottlers are becoming more important every year while becoming an independent bottler is getting tougher and tougher.
The Year That Was & Whisky Shops & Statistics
I often find myself going through different editions of the Yearbook comparing the information and data in this section. The Year That Was section goes through everything that had an impact in the whisky business in that year. As you can imagine, this year’s favorite topic is Covid and tariffs.
Coming to the end of the book we find a list of whisky shops around the world, which will certainly be handy when we start international travels again.
Finally the Statistics section. This one is always great since remembering all the distilleries, their capacities are not easy and this section is just giving great graphs that every whisky ambassador, whisky educator should have.
Ingvar Ronde is outperforming again with this book, which I loved reading every single section. It is a staple of any library with whisky or drinks books in it. I heavily suggest you to get your copy and follow the new releases every autumn.
The book is priced at £14.95 which is roughly $20. If you want it to be shipped to the US, it will cost you just about $25 with the shipping included.