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flintlock
12-03-2010, 13:04
What are the recommended books available on bourbon history? Any that are mediocre and best avoided? Any greats that are out of print? I plan on getting Chuck Cowdery's book and also "But Always Fine Bourbon".

Thanks very much.

jburlowski
12-04-2010, 06:11
It's not out yet --- but Mike Veach's upcoming book about the history of bourbon is sure to be a must-have.

OscarV
12-04-2010, 06:34
I think Mike's book will be out in 2011.
Just released is "Four Roses:The Return Of A Whiskey Legend" by Al Young.
Older ones;
"Kentucky Bourbon, The Early Years of Whiskey Making" by Henry G. Crowgey
"Whiskey, An American Pictorial History" by Oscar Getz
"The Book Of Bourbon" by Gary Regan and Mardee Haidin Regan
"Bourbon At It's Best: The Lore And Allure Of America's Finest Spirits" by Ron Givens

Not to early to drop some hints and maybe Santa will get some books for you.

unclebunk
12-04-2010, 06:42
Chuck Cowdery's book is your first stop and an absolute "must have" for your (limited) bourbon library. There just aren't that many books out there on the subject and IMO his is easily the most informative and fun to read. I found Henry Crowgey's "Kentucky Bourbon: The Early Years Of Whiskeymaking" worthwhile as well and was gifted Ron Given's "Bourbon At Its Best" which is less informative and more of a "coffee table" book but fun to flip through just the same. I'm sure I'm missing a few but start with Chuck's book and have fun!

imbibehour
12-04-2010, 19:58
I have Chuck's book which is invaluable, although it needs an UPDATE!! so much has changed I think (sequel Chuck?)

I like the other suggestions people here have mentioned I hope to give them a whirl.

silverfish
12-04-2010, 20:28
I plan on getting Chuck Cowdery's book and also "But Always Fine Bourbon".


I have both of those and give them an enthusiastic thumbs up!

I'm hoping to get "The Book Of Bourbon" by Gary Regan and
Mardee Haidin Regan for x-mas (or some other present day -
fingers crossed!)

While not totally bourbon, I did enjoy the Accidental Hedonist's
99 Drams of Whiskey (http://www.accidentalhedonist.com/index.php?title=99_drams_of_whiskey&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1) and can recommend this to any whisk(e)y
fan. Nice combination of current whisky tastings with a bit of
history mixed in.

camduncan
12-05-2010, 12:17
Don't forget Chuck's dvd: Made and Bottled in Kentucky. It makes a great companion to his book :cool:

Some other books I've enjoyed that are not listed are:
World Whiskey by Charles Maclean
Makers Mark My Autobiography by Bill Samuels
The Great Crossing - A Historic Journey to Buffalo Trace Distillery by Richard Taylor
American Still Life - The Jim Beam Story by F Paul Pacult

Then there's cocktail books & cooking books dedicated to bourbon that I also like reading (and mixing/cooking from):
That Special Touch Makers Mark Cookbook by Sandra Davis
The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook by Albert Schmid
The Kentuky Bourbon Cocktail Book by Joy Perrine & Susan Reigler

Hope that gives you some more ideas....

jfw
01-17-2011, 11:17
Chuck Cowdery's book is the best written of the lot IMHO (and I'm not saying that because he is a member here :)). I've probably read some of the sections ten times or so and always seem to pick up some little tidbit I didn't remember. Mine is getting kind of dog eared, time for an update?

I would also recommend Chuck's dvd. The information is basic compared to his book (or most of the books mentioned here), but it's like a virtual distillery tour with accurate history! Although, the music is like "It's a small world", it sticks in your head for two or three days rattling around.

I'm still plowing through "Kentucky Bourbon, The Early Years of Whiskey Making" by Henry G. Crowgey. There is a lot of good infomation there, but it's written like a technical manual.

"The Art of Distilling Whiskey and other spirits" Edited by Bill Owens and Alan Dikty is well written and entertaining. I enjoyed it quite a bit. It also has a very extensive reference section in the back.

Eyewitness Companions "Whiskey" edited by Charles MacLean was a Christmas gift. It's more of a listing of various bottlings of whiskies of all varieties with some history and travel info included. I enjoyed the information even though I normally only drink bourbon.

I like to read, I like to learn how things are made (50+ winery tours and I still seem to see or learn something each time) your mileage may vary.

Joe

Josh
01-19-2011, 08:20
I would add a couple that haven't gotten a lot of mention around here. The Images of America series has a Kentucky Bourbonn Trail edition with loads of great pictures.

For Christmas I also got Whiskey and Philosophy edited by Fritz Allhoff & Marcus P. Adams. Like all collections of essays, not everything inside is gold, but there are some really great ones. I just finished a great one called "Women, Whiskey, and Libationary Liberation" by Ada Brunstein. Clever and enjoyable.

cowdery
01-19-2011, 17:28
I would also recommend Chuck's dvd. The information is basic compared to his book (or most of the books mentioned here), but it's like a virtual distillery tour with accurate history! Although, the music is like "It's a small world", it sticks in your head for two or three days rattling around.

Joe

I'm very proud of that music, Joe. It was all original, no stock. It so happened that Roger Bondurant, a member of the production crew, is also a terrific musician. He got Tim Lake involved and some other Lexington-area musicians. Some of it was music Tim already had recorded, but some was done specifically for the video.

jfw
01-20-2011, 21:04
I'm very proud of that music, Joe. It was all original, no stock. It so happened that Roger Bondurant, a member of the production crew, is also a terrific musician. He got Tim Lake involved and some other Lexington-area musicians. Some of it was music Tim already had recorded, but some was done specifically for the video.

It's not that I don't like the music Chuck, I thought it went well with the historic tone of the dvd. But, every time I watch the movie, I have the song in my head for two days or so and randomly start humming it. I'm doing it now just writing this note! It is very persistant :)!