Book Review: Alt Whiskeys

Book Review: Alt Whiskeys

alt whiskeys bookAlt Whiskeys is a book that will be absolutely fascinating to many, but will be practical and actionable for only about 200 people.

Why? Because for the vast majority of you, cooking the recipes in the book will be illegal. Very illegal, as author Darek Bell (of Corsair Distillery) notes. Five years in jail and a $10,000 fine illegal, that’s how illegal.

Bell’s book — a big 8″x10″ manual with full color photos — is a treatise on how to make whiskey. Not the usual Bourbon or rye, mind you, but as the subtitle states, “Alternative whiskeys and techniques for the adventurous distiller.”

How alternative? Millet, spelt, quinoa, and sorghum are all referenced in this book, as are pumpkin spice, elderflower, and even cannabis. If you’re looking for a whiskey that’s off the beaten path, it’s in this book. The only hiccup: You’ll have to make it yourself. Essentially this is a big cookbook, with each recipe spanning a page or two. (Don’t worry, if you don’t know your mash tun from your lauter, the book will explain.)

For those determined to start up a craft distillery, legally or otherwise, Alt Whiskeys is a fountain of knowledge. While it’s not the most thoroughly copy-edited book I’ve ever read, it is comprehensive, clear, and authoritative, a unique addition to any whiskey fan’s library, whether you want to make the stuff or not.


Alt Whiskeys




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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