With so many options available for Bourbon books, it can be daunting to figure out where to start in your Bourbon education. Podcasts, websites, and magazines are full of more information than you could ever possibly digest, and it’s important to have a broader historical perspective to aid in your interpretation of such media.

To truly start with the basics, take a look at the books below. They will cover history, Bourbon tasting, and even entertaining with Bourbon to give you a well-rounded foundation for your Bourbon studies.

Bourbon Books

  1. Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage by Michael R. Veach is a great overview of the entire history of Kentucky Bourbon, which also touches on Kentucky Bourbon’s relationship with distilling and beverage alcohol popularity in other states and territories. Veach is the recognized authority on Bourbon history, and he also maintains a blog at Bourbonveach.com.
  2. Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey by Fred Minnick was inspired by Bourbon Women Founder Peggy Noe Stevens’ assertion that women have always been part of the industry, a bit of information that author Fred Minnick ran with and researched heavily before finally compiling all that history into one book.
  3. The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book by the late bartending legend Joy Perrine and Bourbon Women Founding Member Susan Reigler will inspire you to mix up creative and out-of-the-ordinary Bourbon cocktails, helping you to learn just how versatile Bourbon can be!
  4. The Bourbon Tasting Notebook by Michael Veach and Susan Reigler not only contains Bourbon tasting notes for more than 350 Bourbons, but it also has designated space for you to take your own notes, solidifying your Bourbon tasting skills as you taste along with the pros.
  5. Which Fork Do I Use With My Bourbon? by Peggy Noe Stevens and Susan Reigler is the ultimate guide to hosting a party however Bourbon is involved, from a specific Bourbon tasting to a Bourbon and food pairing, to a cocktail party featuring an array of Bourbon cocktails!
  6. Bourbon Is My Comfort Food: The Bourbon Women Guide to Fantastic Cocktails at Home by Heather WIbbels is a great primer on learning how to make and create delicious bourbon cocktails to talk more friends and family into joining you on your bourbon journey.
  7. Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol by Mallory O’Meara covers the social history of all the ways in which women have been involved in and impacted the development, production and sales of alcohol through the ages.

Once you make it through that list, you will be ready for wherever your Bourbon journey takes you!

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