REVIEW #1: 4/15/15
BOURBON: A HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN SPIRIT by DANE HUCKELBRIDGE
This is the first book I have read on bourbon in its entirety. I have picked up books on the subject while perusing at the local book store, but never read one from cover-to-cover until now. And, I have to say this is a different kind of book. In all reality it is a history book and while much of the history contained on its pages is in regards to bourbon (or a spirit somewhat resembling bourbon) it is also largely about the history of the United States of America. It begins with Old World Europe and the Aztecs by discussing the birth of the spirits (distilled that is, not ghosts). Then it jumps forward to the founding of our nation and how the Founding Fathers (especially George Washington and George Thorpe) loved whiskey albeit not quite bourbon at that time. From the Sugar Act of 1764 to the Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919, whiskey in America slowly began to shape into what we now know as, and so fondly love, bourbon. From the Scotch-Irish settlements to the Civil War, from the settlement of the Wild, Wild West to the era of gangsters and prohibition, Huckelbridge weaves a tale with well written words and humorous anecdotes. You will even learn about the origin of some classic phrases (I won’t spoil them here, you should really read the book). It is well-rounded and has great depth like a good, barrel-proof bourbon with just a bit of folklore along the way to please and compete with the likes of an iteration in the Diageo Orphan Barrel Series. In the end, I was not disappointed in a single element (besides maybe how far the definition of bourbon was stretched) and I learned a whole lot about bourbon and America (are they really different).
94/100 (An Excellent Text)