Summer is fast approaching and many people want some good books to take with them to read while sitting on the beach or by the campfire in the mountains. I do hope they consider my book Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage of the book I did with Susan Reigler The Bourbon Tasting Notebook as summertime reads, but if not I do have some other suggestions.
For those new to whiskey I highly recommend Whisk(e)y Distilled: A Populist Guide to the Water of Life, by Heather Greene. It is a great introduction to all styles of whiskey and a fun read. Heather is a very knowledgeable person in all styles of whiskey having worked in Scotland for many years before coming back to the United States to pursue her other whiskey interests. The book is well written and discusses not only every style of whiskey, but also building your whiskey bar and pairing whiskey with food. A great read for anyone new to the world of whiskey and worth the time even for the seasoned whiskey drinker.
I can’t do a list without at least one book by my favorite writer, Fred Minnick. His book, Bourbon Curious: A Simple Tasting Guide for the Savvy Drinker is more than tasting notes, it is a Bourbon education. Fred discusses some history, the distilling process and conducting a tasting. In every part he does an excellent job in conveying the information, but is a also a very entertaining writer. You will pick up this book and not want to put it down. Perfect for a summertime read.
A book that is not so much as a good read, as a wonderful trip through old distilleries is Carol Peachee’s The Birth of Bourbon: A Photographic Tour of Early Distilleries. The only reading is the caption under the photograph, but what great photographs they are. She has done a wonderful job photographing old distilleries of the past and active distilleries with a long history. This book is well worth the hours spent just examining the details of the images.
Gary and Mardee Regan’s The Book of Bourbon and Other Fine American Whiskeys has been out for over twenty years, but it is still well worth reading if you have not done so. It is also taking along and re-reading if you have not read it for years. This book is a classic in my opinion and I enjoy picking it up every few years just to revisit some of my favorite bourbons that are no longer bottled.
There are many more great Bourbon books out there. I am sure that you will be able to find something that will catch your interest while traveling. Whether you own the book now or are looking for something to add to your library I think you will be happy with these recommendations. Happy reading and enjoy the summer.
Photos Courtesy of Michael Veach