Bourbon is a drink. Obviously. But for a certain subset of bourbon geeks, it’s more than that. Bourbon grew up with our country. It’s history is our history. It’s stories are our stories. And though a lot of those stories have been lost, there are still bits here and there for historians to comb through.
One of the first books I bought as I got interested in this subject as more than just a drink was 2004’s Bourbon, Straight by Chuck Cowdery. It’s a damn good history. And one I go back to as a reference all the time. Mr. Cowdery is an authority on bourbon and has one of the most consistently informative blogs on the subject on the internet.
This year, ten years after releasing Bourbon, Straight Mr. Cowdery released the sequel. Bourbon, Strange: Surprising Strories of American Whiskey is a second collection of the stories of American whiskey. And like it’s predecessor, it is both immensly enjoying to read and highly informative. As the title suggests, these stories tend toward the more unusual stories that the author has uncovered in the decades he has been researching bourbon and American whiskey.
I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s earned a spot on the whiskey book shelf right next to it’s older brother and I’m sure I will go back and reference it just as often. If you are looking for a non-alcoholic gift for the bourbon drinker in your life, you could do far worse than picking this up for them.