Bourbon Books

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Bourbon Books

Unread postby Clayton » Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:27 pm

Hi folks

Can you help?
Could someone please recommend a good book on Bourbon? Is there a particular book you all consider perhaps "the bible" of Bourbon?
I really want to understand the distilling techniques, history etcetera..
If you can recommend more than one well that's great too!
"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy" - Dorothy Parker
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Re: Bourbon Books

Unread postby bunghole » Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:47 pm

Clayton,

No such "Bourbon Bible" actually exsists. Chuck Cowdery's "Bourbon, Straight" is as close an approximation as you can get right now. No one knows "The Truth; The Whole Truth, and Nothing but The The Truth" about bourbon. So Help Me GOD. Amen.

So many lies have been told over and over again. Over hundreds of years. Even those that know the truth of their respective distilleries will not totally devulge it. Bits and pieces - maybe, but not totally.

It is an enigma. Hence the very reason for the exsistance of Bourbon Enthusiast, and "that other place".

Here well known bourbonologists go head-to-head with each other.

Chuck Cowdery is an internationally well known 'whiskey writter', and a member of "The Bourbon Hall of Fame".

Professor Michael Veach is known world wide as the very best American Whiskey Historian. He is also a proud member of "The Bourbon Hall of Fame".

John Lipman is widely known for his American Whiskey prowess and intitmate knowledge. Not a member of "The Bourbon Hall of Fame" yet, but maybe one day he will be. Way too wordy. Most folks only scan your comments. Take a tip from Chuck, and say the most with the least possible number of words. Daunting, I know, but rewarding!

Gary Gilman - AKA - Vatman: A Canadian Laywer that drinks a lot of Beer and Whisk(e)y. Very knowledgable about all things beer and whisk(e)y. Also way too wordy. Most folks bypass your post posts and only read the comments thereof. Of that, I am also guilty. Please make your point in two sentences or less! Take a lesson from Chuck! Damn!

Mike of Georgia - the Mark Twain of Bourbon Enthusiast, and his damn dog - Barleycorn! Both of them are so full of shit you just have to laugh! Yet his tasting notes on many bourbons are well recieved. I for one enjoy them. Even if I do not agree all the time. Here is a good man with a good palete that writes the best he can whenever his damn dog will leave him alone!

I hope that helps!
Linn
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Re: Bourbon Books

Unread postby Clayton » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:35 pm

Linn

Thank you for the reply
Didn't realize there was so much carry on behind the scenes with Bourbon and it's history!
I've read some of Mike's reviews and they're very entertaining. Your post is a great help.

Clayton
"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy" - Dorothy Parker
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Re: Bourbon Books

Unread postby p_elliott » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:07 am

I too would agree Chuck's book is a good place to start, I have read it. It's a good easy read full of good information. You can order it here http://pw1.netcom.com/~cowdery/page2.html . Make chuck pay the international shipping :D
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Re: Bourbon Books

Unread postby bourbonv » Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:13 am

The regan and Regan book, "The Book of Bourbon and Other Fine American Whiskeys" is back in print. It is a bit outdated, but still a very good book.
Mike Veach
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Re: Bourbon Books

Unread postby silverfish » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:37 pm

bourbonv wrote:The regan and Regan book, "The Book of Bourbon and Other Fine American Whiskeys" is back in print. It is a bit outdated, but still a very good book.


Book of Bourbon

Bourbon Companion by the same folks is also a nice little volume.
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Re: Bourbon Books

Unread postby Clayton » Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:33 pm

bourbonv wrote:The regan and Regan book, "The Book of Bourbon and Other Fine American Whiskeys" is back in print. It is a bit outdated, but still a very good book.


Hi Mike, do you anywhere I can get my hands on that book?
"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy" - Dorothy Parker
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Re: Bourbon Books

Unread postby Clayton » Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:34 pm

Ordered Bourbon Straight and the accompanying DVD yesterday - can't wait to get 'em!
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Re: Bourbon Books

Unread postby Clayton » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:39 am

silverfish wrote:
bourbonv wrote:The regan and Regan book, "The Book of Bourbon and Other Fine American Whiskeys" is back in print. It is a bit outdated, but still a very good book.


Book of Bourbon

Bourbon Companion by the same folks is also a nice little volume.


Thanks mate
"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy" - Dorothy Parker
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Re: Bourbon Books

Unread postby EllenJ » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:01 am

Linn, thank you for the kind words. It's good to be appreciated.

Different writers tend to aim their appeal toward different readers. For those who are looking for a quick, easily remembered, and quotable answer from "an expert", one could hardly do better than to read Chuck Cowdery or Mike Veach. For those who wish to be offered some background and some reason to excercise their own reasoning abilities, neither of those are sufficient (although Chuck's blog and his printed "Bourbon Country Reader" provides much more depth than his responses on this forum would indicate). That's my niche, and Gary Gilman's. Go ahead and gloss over the verbiage if you wish -- in your case it's 'cause you're probably already familiar with a lot of it -- but when you want to dig a little deeper, come back and go over it again. That's where the value of BourbonEnthusiast.com comes in (along with the "other place"'s "DO NOT DELETE" entries, which once bore my name). In a blatant plug for my website, listed with my signature below, I suggest that one cannot really understand American whiskey at all without "plowing" through a lot of what I HOPE is entertaining storytelling about it there.

Bottom line, if you're just hungry and you want a Wendy's or McDonald's burger 'n' fries RIGHT NOW!!, read Cowdery's or BourbonV's posts and skip Gary's and mine; those who don't mind waiting for Ruth Chris steak and fixin's will appreciate Gary or my posts (and Chuck's blog & newsletter).

Again, thanks for the kudos -- and yes, I agree that my postings are wordy; they're supposed to be.
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Re: Bourbon Books

Unread postby bourbonv » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:35 am

So John,
You are saying my posts are like a Big Mac and yours are like filet mignon?

Clayton,
Gary Regan is selling the book on Ardent Spirits, his web site.
Mike Veach
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Re: Bourbon Books

Unread postby cowdery » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:07 pm

Clayton got in just under the wire. After I shipped his order and discovered that International Priority Mail has gone up again, I raised my prices for international shipping.

I love Linn because he is honest to a fault, with the emphasis on fault. He is also the best pure writer of all of us, but can he make any money at it? I'll let him answer that.

When you put yourself out there as a writer--whether on a forum, a blog, or in books and magazine articles--you're going to get a wide variety of reactions. My favorite is the people who consider me a pro-industry kiss ass.

One thing I would say that Linn, John, the Garys, the Mikes and myself have in common is that we didn't choose this subject matter, it chose us. We are compelled to study it and write about it. That's good, because that means we're passionate about it and writing without passion is just craft. Nothing against craft, but good writing takes both.
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Re: Bourbon Books

Unread postby EllenJ » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:16 pm

bourbonv wrote:So John, You are saying my posts are like a Big Mac and yours are like filet mignon?

Mike, if I'm driving along -- Oh, say down to Louisville for example -- and the "I'm Hungry!!" light goes on, I don't have time to locate a full-course restaurant and sit through rolls, salad, main course, and dessert (not to mention apertif, dinner wine, and post-prandial cocktail). A Double Whopper with cheese and fries and Dr. Pepper is just fine and very satisfying. I wouldn't characterize my writing as "filet mignon", though. A nice country ham or chicken dinner at Kurtz in Bardstown might be a better comparison.
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Re: Bourbon Books

Unread postby gillmang » Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:52 pm

"When you put yourself out there as a writer--whether on a forum, a blog, or in books and magazine articles--you're going to get a wide variety of reactions".

Very true, Chuck. One can't please all the people all the time but I've often gotten good reaction to my writing - which isn't really writing in the sense of an organized approach to it. It is more making episodic and topical comments on a couple of websites. Still, as "it chose me" indeed, I have to do it in my own way. I read the regulars here and it wouldn't occur to me to rate them but it is fair ball for others to: when you put stuff out people will comment. Certainly though I enjoy reading all, and get something out of each. In my case, I try to taste a broad range of things but also to include other factors, e.g., I have always read way more (in terms of time) than I taste. My comments are driven as much by learning from others as anything else, and trying to put it all together, understand it. I try to come up with something valid based on all that. And it is all just my opinions...

We are all influenced, too, by different things. A lot of my early reading was in the 70's-80's when authors put out long books that studied these areas from A-Z, mapped it out (sometimes literally). There is less of that now I think, or less influence from it, because of the blogosphere and sites such as this. But it did affect the way I look at things, thus, books like Byrn's, Jackson's, Jim Murray, etc, etc., all those big textbook-like books had a certain effect. Later I found older sources in Google Books, different kinds of writing, that influenced further how I look at things. All to the good as I see it (of course).

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Re: Bourbon Books

Unread postby gillmang » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:25 pm

Just another point: there are many ways to look at bourbon whiskey. You can look at it purely in terms of taste: do I like this or that, and why? You can look at it historically and mainly as the development and fate of business enterprises involved in whiskey production (e.g., Sam Cecil did that in his way). You can look at it more in terms of the social history (e.g., Carson's book). You can examine product characteristics and taste closely yet reflect other perspectives as well - e.g., the excellent Bourbon, Straight by Chuck Cowdery. You can address the subject partly from a humorous standpoint. You can look at it as part of the category of food culture, gastronomy. Lots of perspectives and all are reflected here from time to time.

Gary
Last edited by gillmang on Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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