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Bourbon Empire Audiobook

Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America's Whiskey

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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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (176 )
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4.6 (159 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Megan 09-24-16
    Megan 09-24-16
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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 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Singleton 07-16-16 Member Since 2009
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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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    camillemarie 04-07-16 Listener Since 2008
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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 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zach 04-06-16
    Zach 04-06-16 Member Since 2015
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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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry G. Memphis, TN 06-16-15
    Larry G. Memphis, TN 06-16-15 Member Since 2012
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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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary V. 12-03-16
    Gary V. 12-03-16 Member Since 2015
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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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brendan wood 03-20-16 Member Since 2014
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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 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David S. Mathew 07-22-17 Member Since 2016
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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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben 06-13-17
    Ben 06-13-17
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    "great content, very well presented"

    a very informative and entertaining book, with a perfect narrator for the content. know yoir whiskey to know America.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Shields 05-19-17 Member Since 2014

    Book blogger at Bookwi.se

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    "Clear eyed history of pre and post-prohibition"

    I grew up in a non-drinking stream of Christianity. And then I went to Wheaton for college, which included a pledge not to drink. And from there to University of Chicago Divinity School, which was nearly the opposite (although I worked for a Drug and Alcohol rehab program through part of my grad school years so I mostly didn’t drink there either.) I was not particularly comfortable with alcohol personally, although I did not have any theological issues with it.

    Slowly I become more comfortable with alcohol over time and tend toward the snobbish side of drinking, because it is more about the taste than the nostalgia. I have never acquired a taste for the non-craft beer. It seem natural that wine and bourbon, as well as some other spirits have been added to my repertoire.

    Midtenbuler tells a fascinating story about Bourbon. And I use the ’story’ language intentionally. There is a line in the book where he says, ‘Even though reality is often less romantic…’. That is much of the story of the book. Bourbon likes to bill itself as an old drink and it’s naming and labeling is mostly trying to point to how old the recipes are or at least how old the name is.

    But Bourbon is really a pre-prohibition and post-prohibition story. Prior to prohibition there were few brand names. Bourbon (and presumably most other alcohol) was a commodity. Brands were not particularly well known and in many cases there simply was no way of knowing what you were getting because individual bottling only started a bit before prohibition. Before that you brought your own containers to the store and filled them up with what the store had.

    Today there are lots of different names on the bottles, but about 90% of the bourbon is made by one of eight companies that own virtually all of the big names. Like beer, the new craft distillers have helped renew interest and variety, but the economics of bourbon and other aged and distilled spirits require significant capital and time.

    Bourbon Empire was interesting to me, because it told a good story about a drink that is fueled by its story. That may not be enough for other readers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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