I really wish I'd looked closer at the reviews, and not just the title and rating, before ordering. With a name like "The Practical Distiller" I thought I'd be getting something practical, which described the art of distilling as understood in the modern age. Didn't realize until it arrived that it's essentially interesting from a historical perspective (written in 1809) rather than being useful for modern applications. I feel a bit bad about the 3-star rating because it's not really the book's fault that something 200 years old isn't what I was looking for, but I'm kind of surprised it was available and in print in the first place.
As someone who does appreciate the history of alcohol, I may try to work my way through it at some point (though the old-fashioned writing is dense and difficult; on the plus side it's only a paragraph before the author is referring to his peers as blockheads), but I'd like some understanding of the modern technology first before I can properly appreciate the historical perspective.
If you're into this history, this may well be a 4-star book. If you're a homebrewer looking for your first guide to distilling, this is probably two stars at best.