Monday, May 18, 2015

Bourbon Empire by Reid Mitenbuler

book cover
Bourbon Empire:
The Past and Future of America's Whiskey
by Reid Mitenbuler

ISBN-13: 9780670016839
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Viking
Released: May 12, 2015

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
Unraveling the many myths and misconceptions surrounding America’s most iconic spirit, Bourbon Empire traces a history that spans frontier rebellion, Gilded Age corruption, and the magic of Madison Avenue. Whiskey has profoundly influenced America’s political, economic, and cultural destiny, just as those same factors have inspired the evolution and unique flavor of the whiskey itself.

Taking readers behind the curtain of an enchanting—and sometimes exasperating—industry, the work of writer Reid Mitenbuler crackles with attitude and commentary about taste, choice, and history. Few products better embody the United States, or American business, than bourbon.

A tale of innovation, success, downfall, and resurrection, Bourbon Empire is an exploration of the spirit in all its unique forms, creating an indelible portrait of both bourbon and the people who make it

My Review:
Bourbon Empire is a history of American whiskey with a focus on bourbon. The author covered why American farmers originally made whiskey, how it developed, how companies survived (or didn't) the Prohibition, and on through to the modern "craft whiskey" movement. We learn how whiskey is made and marketed, and what influences its taste for better and for worse. I've never tasted whiskey, but I felt like I had a good idea of what they taste like based on his descriptions. And if I ever try whiskey, I now have some idea of what might match my tastes at a price I can afford.

The book is written in a conversation tone with interesting stories. It held my attention from beginning to end. Overall, I'd recommend this book to people interested in whiskey for its taste (and history) and to those who enjoy learning history through the stories of specific products.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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