BOURBON EMPIRE: The Past and Future of America's Whiskey

BOURBON EMPIRE                                       REID MITENBULER

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 readers 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.


The author takes you on a journey just like our country has been forged through the history of immigrants and does the same with bourbon, whiskey, rye, and the differences. How they are produced still in certain regions because that is where their ancestors emigrated to from Scotland, Germany, Ireland. How that before that revolution most people were drinking rum, and then like most things the British started taxing the rum at a higher rate so the whiskey or bourbon being produced in Tennessee, and Kentucky, started making it to the bigger cities. Now after the war and formation of our country we did the same thing. That is tax the whiskey, called simply the whiskey tax, and this was just one of the many things that Jefferson, and Hamilton argued over. An agreement was brokered and for the most part that stayed in place until the early 1900’s, when the food act came into existence and whiskey, rye, bourbon came under there guide lines. The tax for whiskey has change over the years but has always been there. The author takes you through every period of our history as a Nation, wars from the Revolution, Civil, to the World wars. Then through probation where it was not as dry as they made it sound. If you had a medical condition and needed bourbon for that condition with a doctor’s recommendation (note), you could have it. Of course the only people who could afford it were the rich or politicians, but I found this to be very interesting. Of course during this time only of few of the big makers were able to survive and the author takes you through the owners of the companies and how really only 4 or 5 actually own all of the names. Old Grand Dad, Wild Turkey, Jim Beam, but now there are new people coming into the game kind of like with beer the independents, specialty brands, or makers. This was a good book with a lot of information he even goes into the formation of NASCAR, so overall a very good read. I got this book from I gave it 4 stars. Follow us at

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