Barrels & Drams
By Hector Mcspoon on Mar 04, 2012
William Dowd has indeed compiled a lovely wee and important book. Very readable, a wonderful collection of anecdotes, historical curiosities, lore and biographical notes, Jim Beam, Jack Daniel, John Powers, John Jameson -who I discovered was a fellow Scot - are described in colorful prose. Who knew the words Alcohol and al-abiq (a popular type of still) are of Arabic origin? Or lands which, today, eschew alcohol, once hosting early distilleries? Or that Pakistan's Muree Brewing Company launched a 21-year-old single malt Scotch whisky, not for sale or export, except to non-Muslims who need a permit to obtain? I knew of early records tracing distillation in Scotland back to 1492 - noting duty paid on "eight bolls of malt" to make aqua vita (water of life" for merry old King James !V. And I knew about Al Capone and long lost cases of Sandy Mac salvaged by Leon Sehoyan a decade or more back. I didn't know how infernal income tax, that " purgatory for the peasantry " then and now, originated in taxes levied on whisky in 17th century Scotland. Shame, shame! As for characters, notable moonshiners, bootleggers, Bill Mc Coy (The real McCoy), Ulysses Grant... you name them, they are all here. A handy volume guaranteed to improve your knowledge and enjoyment of the world's favorite tipple. Now, whaur did ah leave ma dram?
More is desired
By Sleinad Kcaj on Sep 21, 2011
The histories of various spirits covered are very interesting and make for entertaining reading. The book leaves the reader with many questions unanswered, e.g., Jack Daniels' history contains many terms and acronyms that are unexplained and the book begs for footnotes, keys, and a glossary. In view of all those involved, it is suprising none of the authors suggested them. The histories are there but stops short of providing information the sales or status today. The color of the type face is a faint pale green a challenge for tired old eyes, as is the intro on the jacket--printed over a background that makes it difficult to see. These are the reasons why I did not give it five stars. I really liked the book otherwise, albeit, with a dictionary, that did not always help, by my side.
Interesting read with many, many recipes
By Richard Frehs on Feb 08, 2012
I had read about book in an article online, or magazine I subscribe to. I collect these types of books and add them to my library. Each one is a treasure to me and always a good resource.
About that critique ...
By Billdowd on Dec 17, 2011
As the editor and co-author of "Barrels & Drams," I can benefit from constructive criticism. However, the previous reviewer complains the book lacks a glossary (it actually has an extensive one) and complains about acronyms in the chapter on Jack Daniel (in reality, there are none.) Such irresponsible complaints do no one any good. Also, the comments about the unique cover and type color fly in the face of a major design industry award the book just earned.