Michael Jackson was an Icon in both the beer and whisk(e)y having written extensively on both, with a passion and humor unmatched by anyone. He will be sorely missed by all of us. We hope there is beer (and whiskey) in heaven and Michael is taking notes for the rest of us.
His breadth of expertise, humor and class made his writing and speaking irreplaceable. The beer and whiskey worlds have lost their most articulate spokesperson. The love, passion and dedication to his subject and trade were unmatchable, he was the master.
He was considered one of the(if not the) experts on Single Malt Whiskey(read Scotch)and Whisk(e)y in general. He was the author of "The Single Malt Companion" (5 editions) which was the guide to single malts,the Malt Whisky Companion, and his latest book Whisky The Definitive World Guide Scotland and its Whiskies, along with writing extensively for Malt Advocate and Whisky Magazine and was widely known as a whisk(e)y judge/critic etc., the world over and was considered an expert in all forms of whisk(ey) about which he wrote extensively. He also wrote Michael Jackson's Bar and Cocktail Companion (If you do a search on Amazon you can probably get a count of how many books he actually did) He was also referred to as the "Whisky Chaser" along with the "Beer Hunter"
I think he was equally as big in the spirit world as the beer one - and also (to our loss) there are a damn sight fewer spirits writers/experts than beer people. Only Jim Murray might be considered in the same class as him for the whiskies(Jim is a nice guy with a lot of expertise but there is no one who can replace Michael in both worlds/fields). Michael was the Cyrano de Bergerac of Beer and Whisk(e)y,his prose about something approached high art in writing and his enthusiasm was contagious. It inspired myself and scores of others to explore and write about beer and whisk(e)y enticing us into the world of malt beverages and ink with nary a backward glance. Our only solace is that we know Michael will have the beer and whisk(e)y sorted out by the time we join him.