A spirited narrative on the fascinating art and science of alcohol, sure to inspire cocktail party chats on making booze, tasting it, and its effects on our bodies and brains.
Drinking gets a lot more interesting when you know what's actually inside your glass of microbrewed ale, single-malt whisky, or Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. All of them begin with fermentation, where a fungus called yeast binges on sugar molecules and poops out ethanol. Humans have been drinking the results for 10,000 years. Distillation is a 2,000-year-old technology - invented by a woman - that we're still perfecting today. And the molecular codes of alcoholic flavors remain a mystery pursued by scientists with high-tech laboratories and serious funding.
In Proof, Adam Rogers reveals alcohol as a miracle of science, going deep into the pleasures of making and drinking booze - and the effects of the latter. The people who make and sell alcohol may talk about history and tradition, but alcohol production is really powered by physics, molecular biology, organic chemistry, and a bit of metallurgy - and our taste for those products is a melding of psychology and neurobiology.
Proof takes readers from the whisky-making mecca of the Scottish highlands to the oenology labs at UC Davis, from Kentucky bourbon country to the most sophisticated gene-sequencing labs in the world - and to more than one bar - bringing to life the motley characters and evolving science behind the latest developments in boozy technology.
©2014 Adam Rogers (P)2014 Blackstone Audiobooks
I love how this book touches all aspects of alcohol. From the making (and our discovery on how to do so) to fermentation, distillation, storage and ageing in barrels and drinking. I'm a scientist and have a background in every aspect os booze making, and still enjoyed new facts and science based content. I don't have one single reason not to recommend this book.
There was a lot of neat content.
The brewer who built a new roof over his old brewery (instead of tearing down the old roof) because he believed that the yeast that gave his beer its iconic taste was living in the rafters
I don't quite understand why this man is a narrator. I found his timbre grating, scratchy and somewhat choked. I've got a vocal injury from years ago and I found that listening to him made my whole neck tense up as I instinctively imagined what I'd have to do to make myself sound like that.
The content of the book is neat but it's somewhat over-saturated with "wink wink, nudge nudge, we're studying booze..." commentary. I get it. I got it very early on.
I've been making beer and wine as a hobby for 10 years, and I've read about 2 dozen books on the subject. This is one of the best books on alcohol out there. There's not much in the how to, but an amazing discussion some really complex process not even mentioned in most books. Brilliantly written and read, well worth it.
Want to better understand the history, mythology, science and cultural aspects of alcohol? This book does it in an easy to grasp and engaging way. Highly recommended.
If you aren't fascinated by the microbial evolution of yeast and how methanol reacts in the body to ethanol, you may not be fascinated by the real science of booze. Or you may find yourself interested in science you never thought you could understand! Really enjoyed every minute of "Proof"! Make sure you listen until the end.
The story was very well ellabotated, very informative, and the narrator kept you enjoying the story even more by adding his narrating taste, with accents and peculiar emphasis at the right spots
Loved this book! It is a complete understanding and then some of every moment of the life of an alcohol!
If you are a lover of spirits, wine or beer, you'll have a better understand of why and develop more of an appreciation for them after reading this book. Wonderfully written and nicely read!
The science of booze---fermentation, distillation, flavoring. It's all here in a friendly, narrative format. It is wonderfully done, like a great whisky.
Starting with the basics of fermentation and the history and science of distillation, Rogers delves into why we drink, what we drink and how we create our drinks. He even dives into the topics of intoxication and hangovers.
Sean Runnette's narration is perfect for this material...his voice is a smooth single-malt companion to the book.
If you liked this book, I also found a good companion to this one in "A History of the World in 6 Glasses," by Tom Standage, and also narrated by Sean Runnette.
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