For me over the last several years bourbon and Tennessee whiskey has evolved from a drink that you drank from a shot glass with a cold beer into a real hobby. In addition to the characteristics of the drink itself, bourbon brings with it a long and interesting history. From an enthusiast’s standpoint I find I enjoy learning as much as possible about the history and craft of producing bourbon. In the endeavor, I have accumulated a number of books on this subject, which I sometimes refer to as my bourbon library. Here is what I could find at the moment:

Books by people in the industry:

“But Always Fine Bourbon – Pappy Van Winkle and the story of Old Fitzgerald” by Sally Van Winkle Campbell [1999, Limestone Lane Press] (signed by Sally Van Winkle Campbell and Julian P. Van Winkle III)

“Maker’s Mark My AUTOBIOGRAPHY” by Bill Samuels, Jr. [2000, Saber Publishing] (signed by Bill Samuels, Jr.)

“The Evolution of the BOURBON Whiskey Industry In Kentucky” by Sam K. Cecil [1999,2000, Turner Publishing Company] (signed by Sam K. Cecil)

Books that evaluate and rank the different bourbons:

“The Bourbon Companion – A Connoisseur’s Guide” by Gary and Mardee Haiden Regan. [1998, Running Press Book Publishers]

“Classic BOURBON Tennessee & Rye Whiskey” by Jim Murray [1998, Prion Books Limited]

“The Complete Guide to Whiskey – Selecting, Comparing, and Drinking the World’s Great Whiskeys” by Jim Murray [1997, Carlton Books]

“The Classic WHISKEY HANDBOOK – An essential Companion to the World’s Finest Whiskies” by Ian Wisniewski [1998, Anness Publishing Limited]

Books on general bourbon history:

“The Social History of Bourbon – An Unhurried Account of Our Star-Spangled American Drink” by Gerald Carson [1963, Dodd, Mead & Company]

“The Spirit of Old Kentucky” by James Boone Wilson [1945, Glenmore Distilleries Company, Incorporated]


“Made & Bottles in Kentucky – The Story of Bourbon Whiskey” documentary film by Charles K. Cowdery [1992, Charles Kendrick Cowdery] (in DVD format)

So what’s in your bourbon library? Any books that you would recommend?

Thanks, Todd