I want to put in a plug for whiskey and beer writer Michael Jackson as one of the key people to stimulate interest in bourbon and rye in recent decades. Michael, in his 1988 World Guide To Whisky and earlier as a contributor to books published in the 1970's, spoke admiringly and with sensitivity to the history and tradition of good bourbon. His books are very influential and stimulated Japanese interest in quality straight whiskey and marketing interest amongst the bourbon makers themselves. He has just written a new book, Whiskey, which is a commentary with photos on the world's great distilleries. Raise a glass to Jackson, one of the world's great palates in cereal-derived beverages. Michael (as far as I know) was writing about U.S. whiskey before the other writers whose names pop up regularly; not to diminish their contributions, but he was the first to write from a consumer perspective in an intelligent and discerning way about whiskey and I have no doubt this encouraged producers to focus on higher-end products (which always existed to be sure but languished in obscurity without the panoply of fancy names and packages to attract broad-based interest).