Wandering through the world of whisky, one can not easily avoid stumbling into the American alternative; Bourbon. After journeying back and forth between the many different brands, styles and expressions, we got interested in the drink and found the book Bourbon Curious: A Simple Tasting Guide for the Savvy Drinker by Fred Minnick, whetting our appetites.
The first pages introduce us to the drink, where many facts we think to know to be true about whisk(e)y and bourbon in particular, are swiftly debunked and replaced with new, well substantiated ones, where others are confirmed to be true and completely new evidence is added. These first few pages already seem to be promising enough for us to continue reading, and the following chapter takes us through the onset, high times and downfall of bourbon, the politics and lawsuits involved in those turbulent times, including the myths, legends and colourful marketing which helped creating its rich history we have come to accept today.
The second part of the book is split into two chapters, giving a detailed insight into the raw materials needed to make bourbon, highlighting the differences and similarities between (malted) barley, corn, wheat and rye, as the key components for making bourbon. The next chapter in this part meticulously explores different yeasts, distillation processes and cuts a fine edge at the use of wood and maturation. All equally important parts in the sources of flavour of bourbon.
The third and final part of the book is split into six more chapters and starts using the author’s vast experience to tutor the reader how to drink bourbon and develop their own taste, including a large and part of examples and room for training and notes. When the reader has caught the taste, four main flavour categories are each explored in their own chapters: Grain, Nutmeg, Caramel and Cinnamon forward bourbons, including an elaborate list of examples and tasting suggestions.The final chapter sums up a list of tasting notes on selected limited editions and special releases. A voluminous appendix which could easily have been a chapter on its own, lists the better known brands and their history.
One reader’s comment; although it makes sense to use the American measurement systems throughout a book about an American product written by an American, as non-American readers we sometimes had trouble converting and visualising them.
About the author
Wall Street Journal bestselling author Fred Minnick wrote the award-winning Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch & Irish Whiskey and this book, which was followed by Bourbon: The Rise, Fall & Rebirth of An American Whiskey in October 2016 (a review will be following soon). He is the Bourbon Authority for the Kentucky Derby Museum and regularly contributes to international (whisky) publications on drinks and food. A new book is set to be released in June 2017; Rum Curious: The Indispensable Tasting Guide to the World’s Spirit. A most definite addition to our bookshelves.
Info on the book
|Title||Bourbon Curious: A Simple Tasting Guide for the Savvy Drinker|
|List Price||$ 22.99 / £ 14,99 / € 17.99|
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Copyright notice: Photo in article and book photo by WhiskySpeller