I have known Albert Schmid for many years. He once taught at Sullivan University in their culinary school and taught many students how to cook with Bourbon. He has since taken a job teaching in North Carolina but I hear from him every now and then. He is an excellent writer and has written several books including a Bourbon cookbook and a couple of books on cocktails dealing with spirits. I was happy to hear that he was writing a Bourbon book. He is very knowledgeable and he has taken an interesting approach with this book.
Bourbon 101. Albert W.A. Schmid. Lexington, Kentucky. University Press of Kentucky.2023. Forward, Contents, Index, Illustrations, Bibliography, 254pp.
Albert W. A. Schmid has taken the subject of teaching about bourbon literally. He has written an old style textbook complete with a quiz at the end of each chapter. The chapters are titled “Lessons” and cover many subjects. The first lesson is a Bourbon tasting kit and lexicon. It is followed by lessons on history and regulations, how to taste Bourbon, how to order a Bourbon, Bourbon cocktails, Bourbon food pairings and the Urban Bourbon Trail, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and continuing your Bourbon education. These lessons are well written and contain many color photographs and other illustrations. I particularly like the fact that he spends time defining terms in the chapters. For example he spends several pages giving the definitions of distillery terms in the chapter on distilling and several pages defining terms used when ordering and mixing drinks in the chapter on cocktails. Each lesson is ended with a quiz covering the subject discussed in the lesson. It makes for a fun read and the questions can be used as trivia questions at a Bourbon Tasting Party.
The book is well designed and organized. Information is easily found by using the index. There are many color photographs and other illustrations in the book. There is an answer key to the quiz questions in the back of the book. The cocktail recipes are clearly written and easy to follow. The only things missing are some recipes for food dishes. The chapter on pairing food is about restaurants that use Bourbon in the food that they serve.
Albert Schmid has written an excellent book on Bourbon. It is a book that I am glad to have in my whiskey and cocktail library.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller