Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky (February 18, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #43,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #16 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Wine & Spirits > Whiskey #63 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Education & Reference > History #72 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Wine & Spirits > Spirits
This book imparts a substantial bit of knowledge about bourbon and whiskey in general while being a light and fun read with the statistics woven into the narrative. The author beings the history by explaining that whiskey became popular in America as the populace moved from the East Coast inland and found that rum and gin, the alcoholic beverages of choice at the time, were too expensive to transport, leading to small batch distilling on a far more local basis.The author also gives a nice discussion of how sweet and sour mash differ and why they yield slightly different end products. One of the bits of trivia included that I found interesting was what the difference in spelling of WHISKY and WHISKEY implied. The lore is that WHISKY spelling supposedly implied distillers who originally had ties to England as Canada and Scotland, while those allied with the colonists as the Irish spelled it WHISKEY. It turned out to be marketing lore, but it still makes for a good story.The manufacturing principles of distilling with many early recipes are given.What I found to be a most interesting section was on some of the early innovators in the business of making bourbon and even how bourbon supposedly got it name. For instance we learn that a Louisville physician named Jim Crow made several improvements to the distilling process and was credited with using a thermometer to record the temperature which allows greater accuracy in distillation and allows various cogeners to be included thereby affecting the desired end flavor; he also was credited with using a hydrometer to more accurately assess the true ABV level; and he used litmus paper at various steps in the process to prevent bacterial buildup from spoiling a batch.
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