I finally had a chance to spend a little time with Sam Cecil's book. It is a noble and valuable effort, but it's too bad they decided to publish the first draft. The most obvious flaw, the lack of an index, has already been noted. There are many others. The illustrations, many of them so badly reproduced you can't even tell what they are supposed to be, seem to be inserted at random, with no relationship to the corresponding text. He also seems not to have consulted any source published after 1970. Anyone with a hard core interest in bourbon history needs to have this book, but the Regan's Book of Bourbon is still a better, more comprehensive reference work, and is much more readable.

Of course, considering the incredible depth's of Sam's knowledge of the subject, if he had done a better job he would have put the rest of us out of business. As it stands, people like me will be able to mine Sam's book for useful gems for years to come.

--Chuck Cowdery