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Fred Minnick

Bourbon: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of an American Whiskey

Voyageur Press

Minnick’s book is well timed for Bourbon Heritage Month. He starts off by debunking bourbon’s most cherished myth—who actually invented the stuff. The book recounts bourbons rise as a cultural and economic force in America, and its struggles for identity and market survival against “white spirits” (i.e., vodka) in the 1970s. Especially interesting are the reproductions of vintage ads and descriptions of desperate attempts to peddle stodgy old sour mash to the Now Generation. Care for a Crow Light? Or a Frost 8-80? The latter was whiskey with the color filtered out, marketed as a “vodka-type mixer.” Groovy, Moonchild.

– Bruce Collier
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