Any way you look at it, bourbon is an essential part of American culture. Whether it’s a mint julep at the recently passed Kentucky Derby, splitting a cheap bottle with your college roommate, or sharing a fine aged glass on the rocks with your father, bourbon surfaces everywhere in the American experience.
Though we tip it back and talk about it a lot, many of us don’t necessarily take the time to appreciate the liquor’s complete history. Luckily, Michael Veach has taken it upon himself to chronicle bourbon’s rich back-story in his new book, Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage.
Veach, a longtime staff member at the Filson Historical Society in Louisville (as well as a 2006 inductee into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame), has spent nearly twenty years studying and analyzing the papers and records of royal families of the bourbon industry and studying the distilling culture to clear up mysteries, dispel myths and answer the questions that any inquisitive mind might have.
The comprehensive work covers bourbon’s history from the Whiskey Rebellion in 1790 up through the present day, where bourbon is considered one of the finest American spirits. In doing so, Veach not only chronicles the progression of bourbon over time, but also provides keen insights and a unique look at the evolving story of America.
Currently, Veach is also at work on a book devoted to bourbon tasting, which should provide a fine companion to this thorough historical look at an All-American drink.
Whether you are a bourbon connoisseur, a newcomer to the world of liquor, or an American History buff, Veach’s Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage, is a summer read that is well worth your time.
It’s safe to say that a bible on bourbon qualifies as beach reading material.