Once and for all, America learns the likely inventor of its beloved bourbon.
Bourbon is not just alcohol -- this amber-colored drink is deeply ingrained in American culture and tangled in American history. From the early days of raw corn liquor to the myriad distilleries that have proliferated around the country today, bourbon has come to symbolize America. In Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey, award-winning whiskey author Fred Minnick traces bourbon's entire history, from the 1700s with Irish, Scottish, and French settlers setting up stills and making distilled spirits in the New World through today's booming resurgence. He also lays out in expert detail the critical role this spirit has played throughout the cultural and even political history of the nation -- from Congress passing whiskey-protection laws to consumers standing in long lines just for a glimpse of a rare bottle of Pappy Van Winkle -- complemented by more than 100 illustrations and photos. And most importantly, Minnick explores the mystery of who most likely created the sweet corn liquor we now know as bourbon. He studies the men who've been championed as its inventors over time -- from Daniel Boone's cousin to Baptist minister Elijah Craig -- and, based on new research and never-before-seen documentation, answers the question of who deserves the credit.
Sean Brock is Executive Chef at Husk in Charleston, South Carolina. He was the winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef Southeast in 2010. His first book, Heritage, won the 2015 James Beard Award for Best Book of the Year in American Cooking.
Wall Street Journal best-selling author Fred Minnick wrote the award-winning Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch and Irish Whiskey. Minnick writes about whiskey for Covey Rise, Whisky Advocate, and Whisky magazine. He is the "bourbon authority" for the Kentucky Derby Museum and regularly appears in the mainstream media, including CBS This Morning, Esquire, Forbes, and NPR.
"Fred Minnick's Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey dispels historical fiction while taking the reader on a timeline journey of American whiskey's highs and lows. You're ultimately left with the feeling of pride that you drink bourbon - Bill Thomas, owner of the world's top bourbon bar, Jack Rose Dining Saloon in Washington, D.C.
"For anyone who thinks they know it all about bourbon, delve into this fascinating new look at everyone's favorite brown water. With his sharp eye for detail, historical accuracy and modern relevancy, Mr. Minnick's take on the history of bourbon will become an indispensable volume for bourbon fans worldwide - Edward Lee, chef, author, of Smoke and Pickles, and host of PBS's The Mind of a Chef, Season 3
"It's been clear for some time now that Fred Minnick is America's finest authority on spirits, and his new book on bourbon seals the dealA¢â,¬â??impeccably researched, beautifully illustrated, and written with such informed individuality that reading the book is like listening to the engaging teacher whose lectures enthralled you as much as enlightened you. There's never a last word on any subject, but Minnick's new book is unlikely to be exceeded by anything better for a long time to come - John Mariani, author of The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink
"Minnick's Bourbon is an instant classic - Mike Veach, author of Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage
"Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey in an important addition to American whiskey literature, and it's worth a read for anyone interested in bourbon's complex regulatory history." - RecentEats.com - RecentEats.com