Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage Book


By Michael R. Veach

Michael Veach’s first book is the seminal work on Kentucky bourbon heritage and American whiskey in general. This very short book is jam-packed with information about all facets of bourbon production, from early farm distilling to nineteenth century commercial distilleries to the craft distillery movement, and everything in-between. Trust me, get a copy. Why don’t you already have one?



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Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage reviews the American History behind Kentucky Bourbon. Go back in time with Historian Michael R. Veach, as he traces the history of this unique beverage and it’s ties to the American Nation. Its history stretches back almost to the founding of the nation and includes many colorful characters, both well known and obscure, from the hatchet-wielding prohibitionist Carry Nation to George Garvin Brown, who in 1872 created Old Forester, the first bourbon to be sold only by the bottle. Although obscured by myth, the history of bourbon reflects the history of our nation.

Starting with the Whiskey Rebellion of the 1790s, he traces the history of this unique beverage through the Industrial Revolution, the Civil War, Prohibition, the Great Depression, and up to the present. Veach explores aspects of bourbon that have been ignored by others, including the technology behind its production, the effects of the Pure Food and Drug Act, and how Prohibition contributed to the Great Depression. The myths surrounding bourbon are legion, but Veach separates fact from legend. While the true origin of the spirit may never be known for certain, he proposes a compelling new theory.

With the explosion of super-premium bourbons and craft distilleries and the establishment of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, interest in bourbon has never been higher. Veach shines a light on its pivotal place in our national heritage, presenting the most complete and wide-ranging history of bourbon available.

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky (February 18, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.7 x 9 inches


“Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey adds significant new information to our understanding of the history of the Kentucky whiskey industry.”―Charles Cowdery, author of Bourbon, Straight: The Uncut and Unfiltered Story of American Whiskey

“Historian Michael R. Veach has done the research necessary for a factual but readable history of Kentucky Bourbon. He has crafted it into a storyteller’s envy that is both enjoyable and well told.”―Al Young, Brand Ambassador, Four Roses Bourbon and author of Four Roses: The Return of a Whiskey Legend

“Manages to make the history of Bourbon entertaining while providing plenty of insight into how the spirit has gone from lowbrow to top-shelf…A must-read for any Bourbon lover.”―Wine & Spirits


Additional information

Dimensions 6.4 × 0.7 × 9 in