Monday, April 27, 2015

Booknote: Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey

Michael R. Veach, Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: an American Heritage. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 2013. ISBN: 978-0-8131-4165-7.

Genre: Nonfiction
Subgenre: history, alcoholic spirits, Kentucky, whiskey, bourbon.
Format: Hardcover
Source: My library

This was an interesting little book that looks at a bit more than just Kentucky bourbon. As part of providing context, the author discusses various parts of U.S. history and even provides small glimpses of whiskey from other places to show how bourbon had to compete to establish its place.

As the author writes in his preface, he attempted to provide a good survey of Kentucky bourbon. I think he succeeded as he wrote an easy to read book that fans and beginners can appreciate. The book features nine chapters starting from the early days of whiskey in the U.S., taking us through its history to a glimpse at the twenty-first century and what the future may hold.

Another strength of the book is in the photos. The author worked for a time as an archivist for Stizel-Weller Distillery; the company was later acquired by United Distillers. Some of the photos come from that UD collection,  but he also brings a few photos from other sources. The photos of ads and people do help to bring the history to life.

In the end, the book left me wanting more at times, but it is overall a very good starting point to learn about Kentucky bourbon. If you wish to read further, the author does include an annotated bibliography of old and more recent sources.

I really liked it, so 4 out of 5 stars.

This book qualifies for the following 2015 Reading Challenges:

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