I have had many people come up to me and tell me that they loved Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage and asked me what I would recommend next for them to read. The bibliography has many sources listed and they all look interesting, but what should they read next? My advice is the following from my bibliography:
- For Bourbon History you should read Henry G. Crowgey, Kentucky Bourbon: The Early Years of Whiskey-making. This book is based upon Crowgey’s dissertation at the University of Kentucky so it is well researched. It should be on every bookshelf and Bourbon bar. It is that good of a book.
- For General Bourbon information I still like Gary and Mardee Regan, The Book of Bourbon and Other Fine American Whiskeys. Yes, the book is now twenty years old and many of the bottling they review no longer exist and many more have come into existence, but it is still a great book. Not only do the Regans review the whiskey brands, but they have done a decent job on giving some of the brand’s heritage as well.
- For just a fun read, but still very informative Gerald Carson’s The Social history of Bourbon. The book is one of the first written histories of Bourbon, written in 1963. It still has a lot of great history and fun stories. Carson loved a good scandal he includes them in the book.
- For a book that has come out since my book I have a tie. The first is Fred Minnick’s Whiskey Women: The untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon Scotch and Irish Whiskey. Minnick has done a great job with this book but at the same time I feel there is so much more to learn. That is what makes this book so great. It is very enjoyable, but at the same time makes the reader want to know more. I do hope he releases a second edition with more information as I am sure he has learned even more. The next is Reid Mitenbuler Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of American Whiskey. Mitenbuler has done a great job of storytelling while giving an accurate history of the Bourbon industry.
This is the short list of books I recommend as further reading. I picked these five books because all of them are still in print and available in bookstores or on Amazon. I do hope that if you are looking to build a Bourbon library or simply looking for a gift for a Bourbon drinker, you will consider these books.
Photos Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl