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The Art of Distilling Whiskey


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Posted December 15th, 2009 by sean@bevx.com

Source: Sean Ludford, BevX

Years ago when Bill Owens was pontificating, as only Bill can do, about the eminent rise of micro-distilling in America, I listened. I listened because Bill has been spot-on and well ahead of the crowd before. In the 1980s Owens was not only brewing beer but he was writing about it, as well as mentoring aspiring new brewers. Some people are bandwagon jumpers; Owens is a bandwagon builder.

Owens' latest project (one of them anyway) is The Art of Distilling Whiskey and Other Spirits: An Enthusiasts Guide to the Artisan Distilling of Potent Potables. I love everything about this book with the exception of the title and not because of its untamed length. This is not a book on Whiskey, rather a fascinating and charming look at the world and history of Spirits along with Owens' personal tour through America’s micro-distillers. Whiskey just happens to be part of this adventure.

The journey that Owens takes us on is no virtual 21st century tour of American craft distillers; it’s very real indeed. The numerous stories and photos included in this book have been captured by Owens himself. Did I mention that Bill is also a world famous photographer? Indeed he is, look it up! In fact, this book owes its very existence to Bill’s photography. A few years ago Owens sold a collection of photos to none other than Sir Elton John. The proceeds of this sale funded Owens’ four-month, 21,000-mile journey to the four corners of the USA. We, the readers, are the beneficiaries of this photo sale.

The book takes shape and rhythm with the assistance of Owens’ longtime friend, and beverage industry veteran, Alan Dikty. The book flows effortlessly from the history of distilling, to defining Spirit styles, and then through Owens’ expedition. This is a great gift for the Spirits novice and expert alike. It’s ideal for the coffee table and the nightstand lending itself to being picked up frequently to absorb distilling facts and lore. Since it’s arrival, I haven’t gone two days without fingering through the pages of this attractive book. I bet you will do the same.

Go to www.distilling.com ADI books to order this book from Amazon

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