Review: Whiskey—A Global History by Kevin R. Kosar

Posted on by Eric Burke

Whiskey—A Global History by Kevin R. Kosar

Whiskey—A Global History by Kevin R. Kosar

This book starts out asking if the world really needs one more book on whiskey. Its very obvious answer is: yes, of course. And it's this one. 

Whiskey: A Global History by Kevin R. Kosar attempts to give a very short overview of the entire history of whiskey in 144 pages. For the most part it does a decent job of it. The author touches on the the history of distilled spirits as a whole and then each of the major whiskey producing regions individually. Toss in the obligatory forecast of the future and recipes at the end and you've got it. Succinct but packed with information.

So does the world really need another book on whiskey? Yes...and no. 

If you are a whiskey enthusiast, this is not the book for you. There are entire books dedicated to the topics covered by each chapter. In fact there are good books dedicated to the subtopics covered by each portion of each chapter. The enthusiast will find things that have been oversimplified to the point of almost being wrong. In short, the whiskey enthusiast will want to avoid this book.

This is a book for those who don't know much about whiskey and don't actually want to know a lot. If you subscribe to the theory that most people (feel they) are too busy to actually spend the time to learn anything, then this is the perfect book. It gives just the barest of information on each subject and never succumbs to the temptation to really delve deep on a topic. It doesn't even give in to the normal conceit of including tasting notes. The audience of this book is neither advanced enough nor would they probably care. I applaud that. Knowing your audience is hard. And this book knows its audience. So, for the busy person, or for someone who is just starting their whiskey journey, I highly recommend this.

This book was read in digital form on an iPad.