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Book Review: Make it a Double – From Wretched to Wondrous: Tales of One Woman’s Lifelong Discovery of Whisky

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Shelley Sackier isn’t your common whisky author. The truth is, after studying her guide, I’m unsure she would declare that title in any respect, not less than not with no wholesome quantity of humorous self-deprecation and wordy wit. And that’s what makes her guide Make it a Double so partaking and, frankly, distinctive amongst so many different spirits books. Whereas you’ll find any variety of tracts that totally lay out the historical past and/or manufacturing of whisky, Ms. Sackier’s guide is extra concerning the whisky-lover’s journey, the knowledge they collect alongside the best way, and the significance of these sorts of passions to a satisfying life.

I had the nice fortune of receiving my pattern copy proper earlier than a visit to Scotland, and it made for a really well timed and entertaining learn on my flight throughout the pond. I’ve considerably of a brief consideration span, so I used to be happy to see that this guide is extra a set of the creator’s essays and weblog posts, well-organized however with few chapters exceeding 4 or 5 pages, so it’s as straightforward to digest in small chunks as it’s in a single lengthy sitting.

The subtitle basically let’s a reader know what they’re in for – From Wretched to Wondrous: Tales of One Lady’s Lifelong Discovery of Whisky. The guide spans a life-time of whisky appreciation, from the creator’s first unimpressed sip of scotch to her obsession with Scotland and rising fascination with whisky that culminates in her present “dream job” as Director of Distillery Schooling at Reservoir Distillery. The development isn’t fully linear or fully targeted on the creator’s private experiences. Attention-grabbing and humorous bits of Scottish historical past and whisky lore are sprinkled all through, juxtaposing the extra severe parts of the guide like Ms. Sackier’s trepidation and insecurity throughout her internship at Bruichladdich. And it’s all written with a comedic irreverence in splendidly wordy prose that imbues the guide with a very partaking allure.

There’s a little bit in Make it a Double for everybody whether or not you’re on the lookout for a journey information, a historical past guide, a how-to on whisky manufacturing, or perhaps a little bit of self-help. And whereas you’ll find a lot of that stuff in different books, Ms. Sackier’s assemblage is first fee. The tall tales are of a spread that you just solely actually get from among the finest Scottish distillery tour guides. And for many who actually need to study one thing new, a collection of essays dubbed “The Further Bits and Bobs” affords up an simply digestible overview of a few of whisky-making’s extra technical dimensions whereas the four-part “Stomach As much as the Bar” collection is among the extra thorough and entertaining approaches to correct whisky consuming that I’ve encountered.

Lastly, time for the apparent accolade. Make it a Double stands out within the present spirit literature cannon for its creator’s distinctive perspective. Virtually all whisky books are nonetheless written by males, so it’s in fact refreshing to see a feminine author wade into these waters. However Ms. Sackier does extra than simply write a couple of topic that her gender has not often approached. She particulars, with each humor and soulful introspection, what it’s prefer to be a girl pursuing a ardour for whisky, not simply as a hobbyist however as an actual authority in an business that has solely lately begun to develop extra inclusive. It’s a useful lens by means of which to view our present state of world whisky hysteria and her success, even with its many challenges each private and exterior, is a promising signal for the longer term.


Make it a Double – From Wretched to Wondrous: Tales of One Lady’s Lifelong Discovery of Whisky




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