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Congratulations on your enrollment in Modern Thirst University’s Bourbon Appreciation program!  We believe you will enjoy your time at MTBU, and find it rewarding both educationally and socially.  We here at the University encourage social interaction between students, as well as between faculty and students, and faculty and faculty.  After all, this is about drinking.

Please make use of all our facilities, including our applied science labs (bars), research stations (distilleries), and our numerous athletic fields (beer pong tables nation-wide).

But it’s not all fun and games at MTBU (I’m looking at you, intramural leagues!) There are, of course, studies to be completed.  Please read below for your list of required textbooks and optional reading materials.  Because we are a modern University, and saving you money on books allows you to buy more research product (bourbon), we have provided Amazon Kindle buying options whenever possible.

Required Reading

These are the essentials.  There are a lot of options for those who want to take their knowledge of bourbon to the next level, but these are the standard textbooks that you need to read.

The first is by Bourbon Historian Michael Veach.  Mike is not only the single most knowledgeable man I’ve ever met on the topic of bourbon, he’s a genuinely nice guy. His book “Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage” is the standard by which others are most often judged.

If Michael’s book is the #1 required piece of reading material, Charles “Chuck” Cowdery’s “BOURBON, STRAIGHT: The Uncut and Unfiltered Story of American Whiskey” is #1A.

Michael Veach also suggested these be added to the required reading list, and as he is the foremost bourbon professor in the country, we will follow his curriculum:

And for our American Literature department, instructors have reminded us that Bourbon-Centric Fiction is still part of the curriculum.  Please enjoy James Markert’s “The Angel’s Share.

So you’ve got the basics down from the required textbooks, eh?  Ready to focus your studies?  Think of these as required reading for your specific fields of study.

Specific Histories and Anecdotes:

Fred Minnick is another of the more well-known bourbon writers.  In addition to being one of the premier American whiskey judges on the planet, he’s an accomplished, active writer who tackles very interesting, sometimes neglected topics of bourbon lore.  “Whiskey Women” illustrates the incredible roll women played and continue to play in the birth and growth of the American Whiskey industry.  I highly recommend reading this, if you read no others beyond the required list.

You like Chuck Cowdery’s required book listed above?  He’s not done, and you’re not done with Chuck.

Another excellent source:

This one is a little pricey, and not available in Kindle format, but it’s a fantastic compilation of known histories of Kentucky Bourbon Distilleries:

Lest we forget, Bernie Lubbers is actually known as the “Whiskey Professor:”

Think of this as the ‘applied science’ part of your studies.

Bourbon Curious is a recent release by Fred Minnick.  While there may be some parts you skim over, there are countless facts and figures about mash bills, entry proofs, etc. that are invaluable resources:

And more reading:

Lastly, we highly encourage our students to make use of the reading materials on hand.  In addition to a huge array of reviews, we also have a wide selection of reference materials here at the MTBU Campus Library.   We have reading materials touching on everything from proper glassware, to hosting a bourbon tasting in your own home, to different bourbon and whiskey mash bills.

So congratulations on enrolling in Modern Thirst Bourbon U, we hope you enjoy your studies!

Thank you,

The Dean

Library Resources:

Unboxing the Ultimate Whiskey Sampler from TheBroBasket.com

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Twenty Whiskies for the Shelf – Part 2

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Twenty Whiskies for the Shelf – Part 1

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Book Review: Bourbon Justice: How Whiskey Law Shaped America

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Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Guide to releases and batches

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The Essential Bourbon Reading List

[amazon_link asins=’B00H143UXW,B06Y1VGMH2′ template=’MT-product-carousel’ store=’modernthirstc-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’89cd9de4-ff80-11e7-ad0b-b3d612b3a656′]Congratulations on your enrollment in Modern Thirst University’s Bourbon Appreciation program!  We believe you will enjoy your time at MTBU, and find it rewarding both educationally and socially.  We here at the University encourage social interaction between students, as well as between faculty and students, and faculty and faculty.  After


Old Crow Distillery- Historical Notes

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So you’ve discovered this wonderful nectar of the gods we call Bourbon. You may be an expert in sipping the juice, or you may be entirely new to it. Either way, the next step from enjoying bourbon is to make it a social focus. Just as Wine Tastings have been en vogue for decades, Bourbon


The Bourbon Flavor Wheel and Tasting Sheet

[amazon_link asins=’B00H143UXW,B06Y1VGMH2′ template=’MT-product-carousel’ store=’modernthirstc-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’89cd9de4-ff80-11e7-ad0b-b3d612b3a656′]We’ve had a lot of requests lately to re-post the Bourbon Flavor Wheel for readers who want to conduct their own tastings. I created the wheel back in April for my “Tasting Bourbon 101” post, and I suppose it has been a useful tool for some of our readers.  So


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Tasting Bourbon 101

Did you know there is a difference between tasting your bourbon and drinking it? The correct way to drink bourbon is however you like to drink it;  mixed or on the rocks on a hot summer day, straight up next to the fire in the dead of winter, or with a twist of lemon with


How do you drink it?

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Home Bourbon Bar Basics

What are the necessities for a good home bourbon bar? It’s no secret, we’re witnessing an explosive boom in the growth and popularity of American Whiskey, and that boom is being led by Kentucky Bourbon.  Bourbon sales increased almost 12% in 2012, and bourbon has become the hottest new “it” liquor worldwide.  It’s so popular

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About Author

Bill is the Co-Founder, Editor-in Chief, and official Bourbon-o-Phile for ModernThirst.com, and Founder and Chief Blending Officer for Four Gate Whiskey Company. He is a native of Louisville, KY in the heart of Bourbon Country. He attended the University of Kentucky in the mid to late 1990s. He has also been published on Liquor.com. He has conducted various bourbon and whiskey tastings in cities across the country, and consulted for multiple national labels. He is married with two daughters, and lives in east Louisville. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter @BillStraub and email him at Bill@ModernThirst.com.

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