The Curious Bartender’s Whiskey Road Trip

Tristan Stephenson. Ryland Peters & Small, $24.95 (384p) ISBN 978-1-78879-159-5
In creating this rigorously researched and richly illustrated look at 44 American distilleries, British bartender Stephenson drove from Virginia to California, with detours to New York and Vermont. Beginning with Richmond’s small-batch Reservoir Distillery and the tale of the first colonial attempt at whiskey-making’s abrupt end with the Indian Massacre of 1622, Stephenson leaves no oak barrel unexamined or historical milestone unearthed. At Kentucky’s Heaven Hill Distillers, he recounts the story of Reverend Elijah Craig and his namesake bourbon; at Jack Daniel’s in Tennessee, he takes a studious dive into the fermentation process, which takes place in 56 steel vats, each holding 40,000 liters. There are tasting notes for those who might enjoy, for example, Hillrock double-cask rye with its very fruity nose and hints of banana, toffee, and green tea. And Stephenson includes a variety of recipes for cocktail lovers, ranging from the cherry bounce once enjoyed by Martha Washington to a 1930s bourbon, grenadine, and grapefruit juice concoction called a blinker. Meticulous in detail and gleeful in its discoveries, this trip is a joyride for any whiskey lover. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/17/2019
Release date: 11/05/2019
Genre: Lifestyle
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