Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Bourbon Tasting Notebook by Reigler & Veach

Add to this year's bounty of bourbon books The Bourbon Tasting Notebook by bourbon writers Susan Reigler and Michael Veach, a guide to tasting bourbon.

Following a brief introduction setting out the basics of bourbon and tasting, the bulk of the book is a listing of bourbons with tasting notes (but no scores) by Reigler and Veach and space for you to jot down your own notes and score.

The tasting list includes over 200 bourbons running from the mundane (Jim Beam White Label, Evan Williams) to the obscure (Kentucky Owl, Four Roses Platinum).  With a crisp and clear layout, one of the book's benefits is that even if you don't need tasting notes, it lists nearly every bourbon in current production, which is a handy thing to have (though it lacks some special releases and includes some older expressions which are no longer available).  And it's all bourbon. There's no rye, corn, Tennessee or other American whiskey.

I also like the organization of the book.  The bourbon list is organized by producer, with entries for all of the major companies, a section on craft whiskeys and a section on independent bottlers.  That being said, there are a number of sourced whiskeys that slipped into the craft list (e.g., Big Bottom, High West American Prairie Reserve, Neversweat and Old Pogue).

While it's not a necessity for seasoned bourbon geeks, this is a great book for novice or intermediate bourbon fans who are looking for tasting notes or a good list of options.

The Bourbon Tasting Notebook by Susan Reigler & Michael Veach
Acclaim Press  ($20)

Thanks to Susan Reigler for sending a review copy of the book.

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