Title: Dead Distillers
Author: Colin Spoelman & David Haskell
Date finished: 4/14/16
Publisher: Abrams Image
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Pages in book: 224
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE:I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
Blurb from the cover:
Founders and award-winning distillers of Kings County Distillery Colin Spoelman and David Haskell follow up their successful Guide to Urban Moonshining with an extensive history of the figures who distilled American spirits.
The book presents 50 fascinating—and sometimes morbid—biographies from this historic trade’s bygone days, including farmers, scientists, oligarchs, criminals, and the occasional US president. Readers may be surprised to find the names George Washington, Henry Frick, or Andrew Mellon alongside the usual suspects long associated with booze—Jasper “Jack” Daniel, Jim Beam, and Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle. From the Whiskey Rebellion to Prohibition to the recent revival of craft spirits, the history of whiskey, moonshine, and other spirits remains an important part of Americana. Featuring historical photos, infographics, walking-tour maps, and noteworthy vintage newspaper clippings, it’s a rich visual and textual reference to a key piece of American history.
Dead Distillers is a spirited portrait of the unusual and storied origins of forgotten drunkenness.
My rating: 4.0 stars out of a scale of 5
My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. The men in my family are all bourbon drinkers and I have recently discovered a great love for gin so when I saw this book available on NetGalley I was very interested. And I’m really glad that I requested it. This book was chock full of history and maps and charts and all the stuff that turns into a great story about distilleries. This book is mostly a compilation of a good number of short biographies of famous (and sometimes not so famous) American distillers. This book was compiled and written by two owners of the Kings County Distillery in Brooklyn, NY. There was a lot of great historical information included in this book, as well as a few maps of cemeteries and other locations discussed in the book. There were also a lot of great pictures on the subject matter discussed, including a few awesome pictures of distillery fires.
Overall I really liked this book a lot. I normally don’t like reading historical non-fiction but the individual sections in this book were brief enough that they kept even my interest, and all the passages were packed full of information. I think this would make a great coffee table book and a great conversation piece. I personally am going to be using this as a birthday gift for a few people I know with upcoming birthdays! Anyone who drinks liquor should check this out.
The bottom line: I really liked this book a lot! There were a lot of interesting, almost scandalous stories included which hold the readers interest throughout the book. The book also included a lot of nifty maps for anyone interested in checking out the tourist locations which I loved. I would definitely recommend this one! Great addition for the home library.
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page