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Book Review: Bourbon Whiskey: Our Native Spirit by Bernie Lubbers

Posted on by Eric Burke

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Bourbon is my favorite topic. I write about it. I think about it. I speak about it. I drink it. Heck, someday I'd even like to make it.

As you might have guessed, I also read a lot of books about bourbon. Not only does the topic fascinate me, but I'm always looking for new little bits of information to squirrel away and be pulled out when I do my (very infrequent) bourbon talks/tastings. 

A couple of years ago, I recieved an Amazon gift card for my birthday. It was given to me with the idea that I would use it to buy a kitchen gadget that my mother really wanted to buy for me. But I'm easily distracted. I ended up buying a bunch of books, spending almost the entire thing in one sitting. 

The last title I added to my cart was the Kindle version of Bourbon Whiskey: Our Native Spirit by Bernie Lubbers. At the time, I had no idea who Bernie Lubbers was. I didn't know that he'd been employed as a Whiskey Professor at Jim Beam (and later Heaven Hill). I didn't know that the used to be a stand-up comedian. I had no idea he'd been on a syndicated radio show.

But I bought the ebook. Mostly because it was right around $10 and that's about what I had left. (If I'd had more, I'd have probably gotten the paperback, I love the feel of a "real book") I bought it and had no idea what to expect. Am I ever glad I did. 

I learned a bunch about Bernie. The book starts by establishing his credentials to tell you about bourbon and tells a good bit about his life along the way. I love that. Nothing like getting right in there and introducing yourself. By the time you get to the bourbon talk, you feel like you are just being told a story by an old friend. An old friend that, just happens to have an in with the folks who make the stuff by way of his day job. So when he tells you a little about bourbon history or how it's made or even how to read a label, you can be pretty sure that the information is at least fairly accurate.

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Bernie Lubbers' book has given me more little tidbits of bourbon knowledge than any other single book I've read. I love it. I refer back to it constantly. If you haven't already, go buy it now. I see that since I bought it, a second and revised edition has come out. I assume that version is even better.

The book reviewed was the first edition of this book released in 2011. It was read in digital form on an iPad.