New Book Sheds Light on Women’s Role in Whiskey History

fred minnick - whiskey womenThis one is via Here are a few ‘graphs to get you started, then a link to the full story.

The best story is the one that’s never been told, and a new book on whiskey history tells just that kind of story.

Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch & Irish Whiskey (Potomac Books), by Fred Minnick, goes back to the beginnings of distilling and reveals that not only did women have a large role in the emergence of distillation, they actually invented it.

“I had never heard that,” Minnick said. “I couldn’t believe it. I thought the Arabs invented it, but it was Mesopotamian women.”

He also learned through his extensive research –which took him as far away as Ireland – that a number of women in Scotland were actually killed for making something called aquavita, which was basically whiskey.

“They used it as medicine, but that was considered witchcraft,” he said. “If they were selling it for intoxication, they were just fine.” …

Read the Full Article.

Also, be sure to read my profile on the author, which was published last week in LEO Weekly.


Unearthing Whiskey’s Women (via LEO Weekly)

fred minnick - whiskey womenYeah, this is a beer blog, but if you live in Kentucky and you like cocktails, there’s a fair chance you also like bourbon. This is the cover story I wrote for this week’s edition of LEO Weekly about local bourbon writer and Wall Street Journal best-seller Fred Minnick and his new book, “Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch and Irish Whiskey.” Enjoy.

Fred Minnick, clad in a blazer and signature ascot, holds up the glass of bourbon and peers through it.

“What you have in this glass,” he says, “is something that no other category of spirits does. They’re using new barrels every time; it’s all American. Most of it is made here in Kentucky. And it’s just got …”

He trails off for a moment, gathers his thoughts and continues, bringing the glass of caramel-brown bourbon back down to eye level.

“I mean, what’s not to love about it?”

He sniffs the bourbon deeply, and then takes a small sip.

“It has this sweet caramel, praline; it’s smooth,” he says. “There are so many good characteristics about bourbon that anybody who likes a distilled product, I feel like I could sell them on it.”

Minnick’s rise in the world of bourbon as a writer, author and all-around authority has a lot to do with his enthusiasm and energy, and not just when it comes to bourbon specifically. Minnick is always animated, has an infectious laugh like a sinister clown who has decided to turn good, and he often wears an impish grin that makes him come forth like a happy, precocious kid. …

Read the Full Story.