Book Corner


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Kindred Spirits 2: 2,400 Reviews of Whiskey, Brandy, Vodka, Tequila, Rum, Gin, and Liqueurs from F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal 2000-2007
by F. Paul Pacult, Editor of F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal

F. Paul Pacult’s Kindred Spirits 2 is the follow-up to the groundbreaking 1997 book of spirits reviews, Kindred Spirits. Ten years later, this indispensable, comprehensive compilation of 2,400+ detailed evaluations of whiskeys, brandies, vodkas, tequilas, rums, gins, and liqueurs sets the international gold standard for distilled spirits criticism.

As America’s most respected and trusted spirits authority, critic, journalist, consultant, and author, F. Paul Pacult, is without peer in his meticulous tasting format and fiercely unbiased opinions. The advertising-free nature of his newsletter, F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal, now celebrating its eighteenth year of publication, allows Pacult the journalistic and critical freedom to speak his mind, review after review, product after product.

Readers may not agree with him 100% of the time, but they always know clearly where he stands in terms of demanding quality. Pacult is just as inclined to chastise the distiller of a $1,000 bottle of brandy that falls miserably short of the mark as he is to heap praise upon a $12 bottle of rum that drinks like a $100 bottle of rum. Price, presentation, and/or producer or whether or not he personally knows the distiller never gets in the way of Pacult’s honest opinions and highly detailed reviews.

What is solely paramount to Pacult and what sets him completely apart from all other spirits writers working today is whether or not what’s in the sampling glass looks, smells, tastes, and feels good enough to recommend to a friend. All other data is, to him, immaterial and extraneous.

Kindred Spirits 2 is the consumer’s ultimate buying guide for all distilled spirits!


Kindred Spirits 2
Paperback $50/£25/€35
644 pages
Spirit Journal, Inc. – 2008
ISBN: 978-0-9801238-3-8

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Click on the book cover to go to a site providing more information about the book or click on the Amazon logo to buy a copy.

A Double Scotch: How Chivas Regal and The Glenlivet Became Global Icons

by F. Paul Pacult, Editor of F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal

In A Double Scotch: How Chivas Regal and The Glenlivet Became Global Icons celebrated spirits writer F. Paul Pacult explores these two iconic spirits and tells the stirring story of how two families forever changed the Scotch whisky playing field by producing benchmark whiskies that became standards of excellence the world over. Against the backdrop of Scotland’s intriguing distilling history, F. Paul Pacult recounts how the two families endured government interference, the competition and threat of physical violence from illicit distillers, wars and Prohibition, and fierce competition to build two winning brands. A Double Scotch also tells the story of a nation that’s inextricably linked to its national beverage. A must-read book for Scotch whisky lovers and history aficionados alike.



Click on the book cover to go to a site providing more information about the book or click on the Amazon logo to buy a copy.

AMERICAN STILL LIFE: The Jim Beam Story and the Making of the World’s #1 Bourbon
by F. Paul Pacult

More than just a book about liquor, American Still Life tells the story of America’s dynastic First Family of bourbon whiskey; a family business that has evolved and grown over time and examines issues of marketing and branding, innovation, global business and competition, and government regulation. One part family chronicle, one part cultural history, and one part business success story, F. Paul Pacult, the most accomplished and respected authority on beverage alcohol today, narrates the Beam saga with a passion for his subject.



inside-the-bottleInside the Bottle: People, Brands, and Stories
by Arthur Shapiro
Available at

For anyone in the beverage alcohol business, blogger and former Seagram Executive Vice-President of Marketing Arthur Shapiro’s new book is essential and often compelling reading. That’s because Inside The Bottle chronicles many of the salient events that happened from the late 1980s to the present in terms of beverage alcohol brand development, marketing strategies, consumer trends, and behind-the-scenes events. Shapiro’s viewpoint is unsparing, insightful, and candid in its exposition. His lofty position within Seagram at a crucial time in its history afforded him a unique perspective on the crumbling of the Bronfman Empire. And, his opinions on brand marketing read like a tutorial. A not-to-be-missed read by anyone who has ever championed a booze brand, taken a hankering to beverage alcohol history, or just enjoyed entertaining “dishing”.

gringos-stole-tequilaHow The Gringos Stole Tequila:
The Modern Age of Mexico’s Most Traditional Spirit
by Chantal Martineau
(Chicago Review Press, 2015, $26.95)

lime-and-shakerThe Tippling Bros. A Lime and a Shaker
by Tad Carducci & Paul Tanguay with Alia Akkam
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015, $18.99)

The PDT Cocktail Book: The Complete Bartender’s Guide From the Celebrated Speakeasy

by Jim Meehan with Illustrations by Chris Gall
(Sterling Epicure, 2011, $24.95)

As the guiding light of New York’s legendary speakeasy PDT (2007), Jim Meehan has vaulted to the top of the bartending world by sheer hard work, creativity and a warm personality. Excellent sections on glassware and tools, 300 recipes, and a spirits primer.

IMBIBE! From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar
by David Wondrich
(Perigee Hardcover, New York, NY; 2007; $23.95 hardback)

IMBIBE! is way more than just author/cocktail historian David Wondrich’s fond ode to 19th century American mixologist, Jerry Thomas, a.k.a. the Professor. It is an entertaining and myth-busting visit to the era when combining more than one ingredient in drinks became a favored pastime in the bars, lounges and hotels of large cities. Right out of the gate, Wondrich shoots down the misconception that Thomas was this nation’s first celebrity bartender. That distinction, Wondrich immediately clarifies, goes to an 1830s-1840s mixologist simply named Williard. But, as Wondrich constructs, it would be Jerry Thomas in the 1860s who through his book, How to Mix Drinks, or The Bon Vivant’s Companion, would catapult cocktails ahead more than anyone who preceded him. It is likewise how well Wondrich relates the evolution of cocktails from Williard and Jerry Thomas forward through the rest of the 19th century and up to 1920 (the start of Prohibition) that makes this book so valuable. Chapters 2 through 9 depict the histories of scores of classic cocktails and why they remain vital today. In my view, IMBIBE! is the finest and most important historical account of cocktail fact and fiction in America since William Grimes’ Shaken and Stirred. Indeed, it may just be the best cocktail history ever written.

Whisky – The Manual
by Dave Broom
(Mitchell Beazley, 2014, $19.99)

A highly useful how-to-enjoy book by one of the leading sources of superbly reliable information about whiskey/whisky.

The Distiller’s Guide to RUM
by Ian Smiley, Eric Watson & Michael Delevante
(White Mule Press, 2013)

A geeky tome that delivers rum in all its multiple facets with insight and skill.

Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink For Modern Times
by Michael Dietsch
(Perigee Hardcover, New York, NY; 2007; $23.95 hardback)

A fun to read book about one of beverage alcohol’s nearly forgotten gems, shrubs.

Wood, Whiskey and Wine: A History of Barrels
by Henry H. Work
(Reaktion Books, 2014, $35.00)

Well researched book of how, why, where and when the art of barrel-making evolved into a true craft and, further, how barrels helped shape the pedigree of beverage alcohol.

Proof: The Science of Booze
by Adam Rogers
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014, $26.00)

Another geeky, insider tome that explores fundamental data about the biochemistry of beverage alcohol in an entertaining manner.