All of us who love American whiskey have enjoyed its recent renaissance. I wrote Bourbon, Straight; The Uncut and Unfiltered Story of American Whiskey to share my passion for the spirit. The book, published in 2004, has sold well and, more significantly, it seems to be selling better now than at any time since its first year.
That is personally gratifying, of course, but I mention it because I think it means interest in American whiskey is still growing. Lots of new people are discovering bourbon and looking for the story behind it. The bourbon renaissance shows no signs of abating.
Although sales of the book for most of this year have been steady but average, they have skyrocketed since the gift-buying season began. November, December and January are always the best months, but 2009 was better than 2008, and 2010 is blowing 2009 out of the water.
If you shop on Amazon, you probably know they publish sales rankings for every book they sell. The rankings can change minute-by-minute. As I write this, Bourbon Straight is ranked #12 among all books about the history of the American South, and #82 among all books about distilled spirits. It ranks #15,592 among all books Amazon sells, which may not seem that great but is actually pretty impressive for a 6-year-old paperback about whiskey.
As much as I might like to think this is some kind of groundswell of interest in the author, perhaps caused by his provocative recent blog posts, growing interest in the subject matter seems the more likely explanation. Whatever the explantion, I hope it continues. Bourbon, Straight does make a great gift.