Sunday, April 2, 2017

“Whisky Rising – the Definitive Guide to the Finest Distillers and Whiskies from Japan” Available Now

Post by Niko Neefs, Osaka

We don’t like to blow our own horn, so we’ll keep this brief. On April 4, the most in-depth book on Japanese whisky ever attempted in any language (this one happens to be in English) will go on sale. Published by Cider Mill Press and written by our head honcho, Stefan Van Eycken, it’s 400 pages chock-full of information with new insights and data on almost every page. The result of more than a decade and a half of immersion in the Japanese whisky scene and based on archival research and countless hours of interviews with distillers past and present, this beautiful full-colour book is available from the usual suspects (online bookstores and the better bookstores in your neighbourhood) for 35 USD or less, depending on where you look.
The day it is launched our head honcho will be lounging on a beach in Italy somewhere, but we grant him his well-deserved vacation after putting this together in between the soup and the potatoes, as they say (i.e. between his full-time job, family commitments and other writing work) in the course of 2016. We’re not going to tell you what’s in it… we don’t want to spoil the surprise. Suffice it to say that everything you ever wanted to know about Japanese whisky (but were afraid to ask?) is in this book. Please join us in congratulating Stefan and spread the word!

12 comments:

CaptinTom said...

I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this..

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NineteenEightyTwo said...

Just finished this, and it's really excellent. I published a review on Amazon, but wanted to say "thanks" directly for such a comprehensively-researched and well-written book. There's a good amount of technical detail (most of which went right over my head) balanced by a brisk narrative filled with colorful characters and plot twists. I'm sure I won't be the only one consulting this frequently as a reference for a very long time. Great job- I'd highly encourage all fans of this blog to pick up a copy!

Stefan Van Eycken said...

Many thanks for the kind words. It means a lot to me. It was tough to combine my regular day time job with putting the book together last year, so hearing from readers like yourself how much they are enjoying it, really makes me feel like it was worth the struggle! Thanks for taking the trouble to comment and leave a review on Amazon. Much appreciated!

Neil Hardaker said...

My copy arrived today from Amazon, literally had a flick through for about 10 seconds when my wife took it from me and said' 'that will do as part of your birthday present' oh well so near so far and now another couple of weeks to wait. Easy come

Kristofer Vernmark said...

Amazing book. I can only imagine the amount of work that have gone in to this. I've read pretty much everything I've gotten my hands on regarding Japanese whisky and since I'm Swedish, this also includes Henrik Aflodals great book - Whisky Japan. Just like that one, this book is as impressive in it's writing style as it is in delivering the details about Japanese whisky. It's a book that I will keep on going back to for many years to come

Stefan Van Eycken said...

Many thanks for your kind words. I hope the book will prove to be a useful companion on your Japanese whisky adventures. Thanks again!

Bret said...

Hi Stefan, I have only been through the first part of your book so far, but I now feel very informed of the pre-2000s history of Japanese Whisky and your post 2000 history is exactly how I saw it (observed from the UK) so thanks for writing such an informative and accurate book!

http://instagram.com/whiskyjapan

Stefan Van Eycken said...

Thanks very much for your kind words, Bret. One of the things I felt that needed remedying was a detailed history of Japanese whisky - which had not been attempted before in any language (including Japanese). I always felt frustrated when reading other attempts at a history of Japanese whisky because it was mostly the Taketsuru story ... and then nothing. Glad you enjoyed it. Makes me very happy to hear that.

Alan said...

I am enjoying the book so far. It is informative and educational. The history of the Japanese whisky industry, from the origins to how ingrained it is in Japanese culture is fascinating.

I'm currently on the second part of the book and am quite impressed with the level of detail that is provided about the distilleries. It's almost like you got a hold of some of the technical schemes. The interviews with the Chief Blenders is something I don't think I've ever seen in any of the Scotch Whisky books I've read - or at least, not set up in such a structured way. It is a real treat to get some insight into what makes them tick. I wonder how difficult it was to set up these kinds of interviews?

At some point I'll go back to Japan and visit some of the distilleries. Does Eigashima have anything like a visitor center? From what I've researched, it doesn't look like it.
This is a very comprehensive book that I feel illuminates an area where while many are curious about, is still shrouded by Japan's native mystique. Keep up the good work!

Stefan Van Eycken said...

Alan, many thanks for your kind words. I appreciate it and am glad you are enjoying the book.
To answer your questions: 1) it was not that hard to set up the interviews with the Chief Blenders, but the post-editing stage was quite lengthy (these highly talented individuals work for huge companies that like to make sure anything that is printed conforms to their internal rules and regulations... if you know what I mean); 2) Eigashima does have a small visitor center but it is not open to the public as such. Although, if you make contact with them, the odds are - if they are not too busy - they will welcome you.
Thanks again for the feedback.

Matt Holloway said...

Hi Stefan,

I've really enjoyed reading your book, I've actually read it twice now as it's a great read on the train to London. I'm based in the UK and earlier in the year I purchased a bottle of 12 year old White Oak from an online Portuguese liquor store. What turned up was a complete surprise, a certain Eigashima 12 year old Sherry Cask Luna.

That bottle brought me to your page and reading about it in your book was very surreal! It is a very special bottle in my collection.

All the best,

Matt