Home|Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey

Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey

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Best New Spirits Book, 2017 Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards  Smithsonian Magazine: One of the  “Best Books About Food of 2016″Once and for all, America learns the likely inventor of its beloved bourbon.Bourbon is not just alcohol — this amber-colored drink is deeply ingrained in American culture and tangled in American history. From the early days of raw corn liquor to the myriad distilleries that have proliferated around the country today, bourbon has come to symbolize America. In Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey, award-winning whiskey author Fred Minnick traces bourbon’s entire history, from the 1700s with Irish, Scottish, and French settlers setting up stills and making distilled spirits in the New World through today’s booming resurgence. He also lays out in expert detail the critical role this spirit has played throughout the cultural and even political history of the nation — from Congress passing whiskey-protection laws to consumers standing in long lines just for a glimpse of a rare bottle of Pappy Van Winkle — complemented by more than 100 illustrations and photos. And most importantly, Minnick explores the mystery of who most likely created the sweet corn liquor we now know as bourbon. He studies the men who’ve been championed as its inventors over time — from Daniel Boone’s cousin to Baptist minister Elijah Craig — and, based on new research and never-before-seen documentation, answers the question of who deserves the credit.

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No matter how it is served–in mint juleps, manhattans, neat, or on the rocks–bourbon has long been enjoyed across the American and global landscapes. A unique descendant from early Irish and Scotch whiskeys, bourbon became a distinctly American whiskey with the use of a high-corn mash bill and charred oak barrels. Here, Minnick details the rich history of bourbon by illustrating its intricately complex affect on American social and political realms from rebellions to laws to the myriad ad campaigns promoting this seductive liquor. Minnick’s engaging text is even further illuminated by the introductions to the people and distilleries that played a part in what bourbon is today. A large number of images and informative sidebars all over along side a bibliography and index are included to further the reader’s education and enjoyment of all things bourbon. — Becca Smith, Booklist

“Drinking bourbon is great, but when you know how much history is in that glass of brown liquid, it raises the level of appreciation. This book is a must read for any bourbon fan and history buff.” —AdventuresInWhiskey.com

“Minnick traces the entire tumultuous history of bourbon from the dawn of our nation to the present-day boom….fascinating.” — BourbonAndBanter.com

Minnick takes the reader on a freewheeling, informative and, at times, scholarly and chronological go back and forth through the history of this intoxicating liquor, which is most associated with the beautiful Bluegrass State, since more than 90 percent of bourbon produced comes from Kentucky.” — Red Dirt Report

Kentuckian Fred Minnick is a little bit obsessed with whiskey — this makes his third book on the topic. It’s a comprehensive history of America’s homegrown spirit, beginning with a list of the 18th-century distillers who might have invented bourbon and continuing through the spirit’s commercial success in the 1800s, the horror of Prohibition and efforts to rebuild the category afterward, and in the end today’s bourbon renaissance. It’s an entertaining and fast-moving read, full of vintage photos and archival ads that make the story come to life.” — Playboy.com

From the Author

“The book is a visual delight, sprinkled with hundreds of photos, side stories and Fast Facts (“In a 1921 American Medical Association survey, 51 percent of US physicians were in favor of prescribing whiskey.”). You’ll ingest the book cover-to-cover or skip around, reading in the future about the World War II “War on Slop” – distiller slang for grains left over from distillation – and the next day to come learning how terms like “bourbon” and “distiller” evolved.” — Wine Buzz

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Best New Spirits Book, 2017 Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards  Smithsonian Magazine: One of the  “Best Books About Food of 2016″Once and for all, America learns the likely inventor of its beloved bourbon.Bourbon is not just alcohol — this amber-colored drink is deeply ingrained in American culture and tangled in American history. From the early days of raw corn liquor to the myriad distilleries that have proliferated around the country today, bourbon has come to symbolize America. In Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey, award-winning whiskey creator Fred Minnick traces bourbon’s entire history, from the 1700s with Irish, Scottish, and French settlers setting up stills and making distilled spirits in the New World through today’s booming resurgence. He also lays out in expert detail the critical role this spirit has played all over the cultural and even political history of the nation — from Congress passing whiskey-protection laws to consumers standing in long lines just for a glimpse of a rare bottle of Pappy Van Winkle — complemented by more than 100 illustrations and photos. And most importantly, Minnick explores the mystery of who most likely created the sweet corn liquor we now know as bourbon. He studies the men who’ve been championed as its inventors over time — from Daniel Boone’s cousin to Baptist minister Elijah Craig — and, based on new research and never-before-seen documentation, answers the question of who deserves the credit.

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