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Book Review: Whiskey Women—The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey by Fred Minnick

Posted on by Eric Burke

Men have a tendency to take women for granted. Even those of us who would do anything for our wives sometimes forget just how much they do for us. It’s a sad truth to have to admit. Especially for someone who was raised by a single mother and saw firsthand how much she had to do to just get us basic necessities.

I read a lot of histories. It’s my other passion beside whiskey. Rarely are women mentioned in them. When they are, they are not normally portrayed as good people. It seems that a lot of historical writers seemed to think that if a woman was worth noting it was for how unlike a woman she was. 

And that’s what makes Whiskey Women—The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey by Fred Minnick so refreshing. Not only does it bring together my love of whiskey with my love of history, but it treats women as the human beings they are. People who work hard, have aspirations and do good things that are profitable and sometimes charitable. It also doesn’t hurt that Fred is possibly one of the best authors I’ve read. Seriously, if you see his name on a piece, just read it. It’ll be worth your time.

Doubly so in the case of this book. Minnick’s book ranges from the dawn of history up through the present day. He presents the stories of woman from such wide ranging locations as Egypt, the British Isles and North America. Whether it is the stories of woman who made and sold whiskey, those who tried to get rid of it or those who succeeded in making sure it never truly went away Minnick presents each story with respect. There is none of the “and can you believe all this was done by a woman?” that you find in other history books I’ve read.

This is a great book. Whether you are into whiskey, history or both this deserves a place on your book shelf. Love it. Go buy it today.