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The Maturation of Distilled Spirits: Vision & Patience Hardcover – January 8, 2016
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Top Customer Reviews
At $35.00 a copy you’d expect some new insights. There are 129 pages to this book. Of those 129 pages approximately 35 are blank or have no text. Of the remaining 94 written pages about 15 of those pages are mostly blank. So this is in fact a small sized book (~9 inches by 6) with about 85 written pages.
At this point you may be thinking – OK maybe it’s quality over quantity. Unfortunately the actual content is weak at best. Let’s start with the Forward; which misapplies the French word élevage so as to compare carrying offspring in the womb to using an alembic pot still – that’s a stretch.
Chapter 1 (about 4 pages) discusses the entire world’s oak species. In that brief discussion the author's able to contradict information written by experts and professionals on the various types of oak found in North America. He does all of this without even mentioning that his four pages contradict existing expertise.
Chapter 2 is one written page and not worth reviewing.
Chapter 3 covers oak barrels. The data contained in this chapter is covered in more detail in magazine articles and Internet content. There is nothing insightful in this chapter. In fact what surprises me is what the author has left out in this important subject.
Chapter 4 is only one written page and not worth reviewing.
Chapter 5 covers maturation. Here again there is nothing new and much left out. For example the author briefly presents the aromas and where they’re sourced. In being so brief, he leaves out important factors and sources that affect aromas in distilled spirits.
Now at this point I could go on but then this review would be longer than the book.
To sum it up don’t waste $35 and the 15 minutes it will take you to read this book. If you read the reviews of the author's other book you'll begin to see a pattern. The author seems to prefer form over substance.
If you want quality information on maturation, the International Barrel Symposium offers much better research. The Independent Stave Company has printed versions of these important symposiums and they’re worth every penny.