‘The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Whiskey Know-It-All’, A Fragrant Book About Distilled Spirits


Know Your Booze Before You Choose

The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Whiskey Know-It-All offers readers a basic education of the distilled spirit with humorous illustrations and scratch & sniff scents. The book was written by master sommelier Richard Betts, illustrated by Wendy Macnaughton and designed by Crystal English Sacca and is a follow-up to their wonderful The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert that was published in 2013.

Richard Betts boils down his know-how into twenty pages, cooling our “brown-sweat” anxieties and dividing whiskey into three simple categories: Grain, Wood, and Place. While most whiskey tomes are about as fun as a chemistry lesson, Betts makes the learning slide down easy, reassuring us that this exalted spirit is just distilled beer and, through a nasal romp, helping us figure out which kinds we love best. Humorous illustrations and scratch-and-sniff scents (vanilla, sandalwood, grass, and more) help would-be connoisseurs learn their personal preferences.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.