With the kind help of a couple of friends who helped troubleshoot this, I have put together an Excel database index to Sam Cecil's book "The Evolution of the Bourbon Whiskey Industry in Kentucky."
Over Thanksgiving, I realized it was difficult for me to use Cecil's book because I spent so much time blindly thumbing through it. After thinking about it, I realized it wouldn't be so hard to put together a database that would be far superior to a simple printed index, as it would allow one to sort for several different criteria, such as the registered distillery number, date of first distillation, last distillation, county, location, page number in the book, etc.
Here are some points:
There are two pages, accessed via the tabs at the bottom of the page.
There is a page called "discussion" that gives directions on how to sort the database.
There is also a page called "database," which is the meat of the document.
The most powerful part of the database is the "sort" command. Instructions on its use are on the "discussion" page
Whenever Cecil gives a variation on "closed at Prohibition and didn't reopen" I put 1918 as the date of last distillation. We could also make a case for 1917 and 1919, but that would be trying to add precision that isn't in the text. The number 1918 is given solely for the sake of making the sortable database function (Excel doesn't know how to rand "Prohibition" as sometime between 1917 and 1919)
I tried to list the places accurately, but a local could no doubt improve greatly. That is beyond my scope.
There are errors and questions raised based on my lack of local knowledge, misinterpretations of Cecil, and I'm sure, dumb typos. For instance, there were multiple distilleries listed with the same registered distillery number during the same period. This could be an error on Cecil's part, my part, it could have been common ownership of two distilleries, or something else. All I'm saying is it's worth looking into, and Cecil's book is the first place to learn more - which is why every entry gives a relevant page number in Cecil. Timothy and I believe the pagination is the same between the two editions, but I used the Second Edition in writing this.
Most of all, I built this for my personal use and other enthusiast's use as a way to make it easier to use Cecil, not replace Cecil. When in doubt, always consult the text.
I hope it proves useful.
As an aside, Mike Veach says there will soon be a more definitive book that will replace Cecil coming soon, so any usefulness of this database may be short-lived.
Download Cecil-Index-V1.1.xls (77.5K)