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About the book
  • Published: 24 June 2015
  • ISBN: 9780670016839
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $49.99
Categories:

Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America's Whiskey




Bourbon Empire definitively chronicles the rise of American whiskey and the industry surrounding it, unravelling how the spirit has helped shape America's political, economic, and cultural destiny, just as those same factors have inspired the evolution and unique flavour of the whiskey itself.  Laced with commentary about which bourbons are worth the money, the story that emerges is as enchanting as the myths, but often more surprising.  

How bourbon came to be, and why it's experiencing such a revival today.
In Bourbon Empire, Reid Mitenbuler captures the story of bourbon, America's most iconic style of whiskey, as it really is – not as the bourbon brands would want you to believe.  Behind claims of ancient family heritages and adventurous frontiersmen is a saga of shrewd capitalism far more interesting than any of the legends. 
Mitenbuler traces the big-name brands – Jim Beam, Maker's Mark, Even Williams, and more – back to the past, profiling the individuals behind bourbon's founding myths and great successes.  He reveals, too, the ways savvy businessmen have changed the drink, from frontier merchants who popularized the aging process to the messy soup of spirits that passed for bourbon after the Civil War.  Ever since, the history of whiskey has remained colorful and controversial.  The mid-twentieth century saw the whiskey industry become a favorite target of the U. S. Justice Department. 
Today, a nascent craft distilling movement promises to revolutionize whiskey for the better, but not without difficulties.  Many take advantage of the excitement surrounding the craft and locavore movements while employing questionable business practices, either by masquerading whiskey made elsewhere as their own or by shortcutting proven production standards. 
Bourbon Empire definitively chronicles the rise of American whiskey and the industry surrounding it, unravelling how the spirit has helped shape America's political, economic, and cultural destiny, just as those same factors have inspired the evolution and unique flavour of the whiskey itself.  Laced with commentary about which bourbons are worth the money, the story that emerges is as enchanting as the myths, but often more surprising.  
Advance praise for Bourbon Empire 
'Bourbon Empire is a lively, rowdy tale of swindlers and smugglers, connoisseurs and craftsmen.  The story of American whiskey is, in many ways, the rags-to-riches story of this country, from moonshine in mason jars to coveted bottles of Pappy and thousand-dollar mint juleps dusted in gold.  Reid is a talented storyteller whose wide-ranging curiosity takes us to Civil War battlefields and prison cells as well as cornfields and world-famous distilleries.  Truly fascinating and a must-read for whiskey lovers!'  Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist 
'Bourbon Empire is more than just whiskey history.  Mitenbuler demonstrates, with clear, witty, and incisive prose how the drink shaped, and was shaped by, the history of American capitalism. It is a book that whiskey fans, historians, and students of American business will enjoy, and learn much from.'  Clay Risen, author of American Whiskey, Bourbon & Rye 
'This is a must-have for every bourbon enthusiast from beginner to expert.  A book that finally tells the true story of our beloved bourbon, putting in perspective its important role in American history.  Bourbon Empire has it all, demystifying the good, the bad, and the ugly.'  Sean Brock, Chef and Partner of McCrady's and Husk 
'In finding the facts behind some of bourbon's most cherished fables, Mitenbuler has unearthed true tales that are even better than the tall tales.  A fresh look at stories we thought we knew.'  Lew Bryson, Author of Tasting Whiskey 
'Reid manages to juggle his scepticism and enthusiasm in this carefully researched and livingly written history of America's spirit.  He peels back layer after layer of filigree, searching for the real story, which is as much the story of America business, politics, advertising, and immigration as it is the story of bourbon.'  Max Watman, author of Harvest and Chasing the White Dog
 
 
 

  • Pub date: 24 June 2015
  • ISBN: 9780670016839
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $49.99
Categories:

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