Bourbon Empire

The Past and Future of America's Whiskey
Narrated by: Brian O'Neill
Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
Categories: History, World
4.5 out of 5 stars (342 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

How bourbon came to be, and why it's experiencing such a revival today.

Unraveling the many myths and misconceptions surrounding America's most iconic spirit, Bourbon Empire traces a history that spans frontier rebellion, Gilded Age corruption, and the magic of Madison Avenue. Whiskey has profoundly influenced America's political, economic, and cultural destiny, just as those same factors have inspired the evolution and unique flavor of the whiskey itself.

Taking listeners behind the curtain of an enchanting - and sometimes exasperating - industry, the work of writer Reid Mitenbuler crackles with attitude and commentary about taste, choice, and history. Few products better embody the United States, or American business, than bourbon.

A tale of innovation, success, downfall, and resurrection, Bourbon Empire is an exploration of the spirit in all its unique forms, creating an indelible portrait of both bourbon and the people who make it.

©2015 Reid Mitenbuler (P)2015 Recorded Books

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What listeners say about Bourbon Empire

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Fascinating

The perfect blend of history, technical jargon, and nerd. I really enjoyed it. Great insight into the world of whisky.

5 people found this helpful

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Bourbon: The men, the myths, and the legends

I have spent the last seven years exploring the Bourbon Trail, meandering country roads at Loretto, and dodging traffic in Louisville to get the "flavor" of bourbon. I would recommend to anyone about to start that journey today, that they read Bourbon Empire first. Kind of like knowing that "first downs are good" for the first time football watcher, this book will give the hints on how to enjoy and indeed anticipate the experience for the first time. Now that I have read the book, I am going to travel The Bourbon Trail again.

3 people found this helpful

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Great whiskey history great American history

I knew very little about the history of bourbon and other spirits in the U.S. This book captured the essence of the important milestones as the whiskey industry grew and as we grew as a nation. I highly recommend this book to people who love American history and a shot of bourbon. And the narration was phenomenal.

6 people found this helpful

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Raise a Glass!

If you want to know the history of American whiskey, and the American alcohol industry in general, this book is about as good as it gets. O'Neill offers a fascinating history of America's drinking habits from the pre-Revolution days to around 2013. This also includes some historical information on figures like Jim Beam as well as some of the early moonshiners. You will never look at a bottle of whiskey the same again. Highly recommended!

2 people found this helpful

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Bourbon Geek Got Geekier

If you have any interest in bourbon, this book will elevate it exponentially. Even if you feel like you know a lot about bourbon and/or distilleries, you will discover more about the rich history and big stories that have created the bourbon we love today.

2 people found this helpful

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Fascinating

I like a bit of bourbon now and then but had no idea it had such an interesting history. I learned a lot very enjoyably!b

2 people found this helpful

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Good Overview of Bourbon History

Well narrated! Lags a little in the legislative middle. Ending is not the strongest. You will finish having good summary level knowledge of the origins and people who developed the industry. This book will slay a few myths and defuse some marketing hype. It is well worth a listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent Book, great story, well read.

Great detail, comprehensive story on Bourbon done in a fantastic storyline and told very well by the narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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An interesting review of the Bourbon industry

A very interesting and informative book about the Bourbon industry. I learned a great deal about both Bourbon itself and it's often checkered history. My only negative comments would be that it tended to ramble a bit at times and that there was a small amount of repetition.
It provided a very useful inside look at the current state of the industry along with a little insight into where it may be heading, with several craft distillers mentioned by name.
I'd recommend it to any enthusiast wanting to learn about how the current popularity of whiskey came to be. There were insightful comments regarding most of the major American players in the market (and some of their Japanese owners).
I will likely read it again myself to hear some the more interesting points a second time.
Finally, I enjoyed (and will remember) the humorous comment comparing the state of Bourbon today with the Bourbon Empire in France. Let's hope we never get to the point where it is said by those in the know, "Let them drink Pappy".
A solid 4-4.5 star read.

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genre specific

this book simply put it is a must-read for anyone who is interested in distilling or the history of American culture.

1 person found this helpful