Cover of Birth of Bourbon

Birth of Bourbon

A Photographic Tour of Early Distilleries

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The University Press of Kentucky


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An award-winning photographer celebrates Kentucky's bourbon heritage with this tour of historic distilleries across the Bluegrass State. Whiskey making has been an integral part of American history since frontier times, but the craft of making bourbon was perfected in the Bluegrass region. Before Prohibition began, Kentucky was home to more than two hundred commercial distilleries. While many are back in operation today, many more remain dormant, while others are being modernized for contemporary use. In The Birth of Bourbon, award-winning photographer Carol Peachee takes readers on an unforgettable tour of lost distilleries as well as facilities undergoing renewal, such as the famous Old Taylor and James E. Pepper distilleries in Lexington, Kentucky. This beautiful book also includes spaces that well-known brands, including Maker's Mark, Woodford Reserve, Four Roses, and Buffalo Trace, have preserved in homage to their rich histories. Using a technique known as high-dynamic-range imaginga process that produces rich saturation, intensely clarified details, and a full spectrum of lightPeachee reveals the vibrant life lingering in artifacts from worn cypress fermenting tubs to extravagant copper stills.

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