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Whiskey: A Global History (Edible) Hardcover – October 15, 2010
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“Kevin Kosar might be the most thoughtful boozehound you'll ever meet.”
"A brief, informative, and endlessly diverting history of whiskey—in its many incarnations—that is not exactly intoxicating, but deeply satisfying. . . . The great mystery of whiskey—to this consumer, at least—is the extent to which its common origins produce such disparate products, and how radically different human palates can be. One man’s smooth, nutty beverage is another’s wretched toxin, and the author has his own distinct tastes. But it would be difficult to find, in the holiday season, a superior gift to this tasty, eye-opening, gem of light scholarship.--Weekly Standard (Philip Terzian)
"There’s probably no more storied beverage than whiskey. Few have generated as many myths. Whiskey: A Global History, by Kevin Kosar, peels away the mythology to examine the real history of this legendary drink. Kosar shows that its history is at least as fascinating as the legend." (Galveston Daily News)
About the Author
Kevin R. Kosar is the founder of AlcoholReviews.com. His writings on alcoholic beverages have appeared in American.com, the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, the New York Press and the New York Hangover.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is a masterful guide to whiskies of all sorts, scotch, bourbon, Irish, Canadian and American. It is detailed and informative without being pedantic, and entertaining without straying off topic. From the cloudy particulars of biblical time, through Egyptian and Irish prehistory, through the alchemists' laboratories to the Whiskey Rebellion of 1791, prohibition and the present, Whiskey: A Global History tells a vast story without ever seeming to skim.
A slender volume, the book nonetheless packs a wallop. In addition to a detailed and fascinating history, it has enough technical information that I was tempted to start distilling. Somehow, Kosar even found room for an impressive array of historical images about whiskey dating back hundreds of years.
And at the end, once you've learned the space you occupy in whiskey's rich and raucous history, Whiskey: A Global History gives you a series of classic whiskey cocktail recipes so you may raise your glass and take your rightful place in that history.
Despite being so short, the author manages to pack in a ton of information on the process of making whiskey plus thorough coverage of the history of whiskey plus ample information on the modern whiskey industry. He does this while keeping it interesting and not making it feel rushed. The included pictures are great and really add to it. I wish more authors wrote like this. Naturally, there is only so much information that can be shoved in such a short book but the author does an excellent job of giving a general survey of everything whiskey.
In short, if you are interested in learning more about whiskey, this book is a quick read yet comprehensive and entertaining. Highly recommended.
One note on Kindle versus print, if you have a classic black & white Kindle, you may consider purchasing the print edition instead of the Kindle edition due to all of the pictures included in the book. They don't work too well on the small, black & white Kindles.
Instead, Kosar's book seeks to present a clear, concise summation of what is known, what isn't, and what may have happened in the history of whiskey. While obviously appreciating his subject matter, he doesn't dote on it. Rather than the mythical "water of life" for which it's named, Kosar presents whiskey as what it is: a commodity. Whether a means of squeezing extra profit from grain or a method of turning advertising and hype into gold (:::cough::: Johnny Walker Blue :::cough:::), we see whiskey with all the nonsense stripped away. The trick is that this actually makes it MORE interesting, and pulls that trick off in around a hundred pages.
If you're looking to write a lengthy dissertation on whiskey, this book isn't for you. If, however, you're curious about the stuff and looking for a good bathroom read, you have a winner.
If you're interested in whiskey - get this. Look elsewhere for information on unicorns.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wanted to like this book -- the author writes reasonably well, and is enthusiastic about his subject. Read morePublished on December 1, 2013 by James Abraham
I needed a book that gave me a good overview of the history of whiskey in one place. This does a good job of that, and hits a lot of bullet points that I can research more... Read morePublished on April 3, 2013 by kvh
Was writing a research paper for a History class and found this to be a great place to start. Lots if info, not dry at all. Straightforward and interesting. Definitely a good introPublished on December 10, 2012 by Bat-Sheva Tabakman
I was interested in learning a bit more about whiskey and found this book to be a good starting point. Provides a good general overview.Published on November 25, 2012 by Shawn Paul