Monday, June 29, 2009

The Accidental Hedonist Gets Whiskey Right.

I have been tardy in reviewing this excellent book, which I expected to hate but enjoyed immensely.

Kate Hopkins, AKA "The Accidental Hedonist," takes a familiar approach. She decides to learn about whiskey by writing a book about it. She and a companion visit distilleries in Ireland, Scotland, Canada and the U.S. and the book is largely an account of their travels.

Unlike most writers who have tried something similar, Hopkins is not just a good reporter, she is a good thinker. She doesn't just parrot what she's told (a hazard, since producers will feed you a lot of hooey), she thinks about it and inquires further. In the end, she gets almost everything right.

There is so much hype surrounding beverage alcohol products that a writer’s best tool may be his or her BS detector. Hopkins has a good one, but she never lets debunking make her cranky. She is open-minded without being a sucker.

Hopkins is a very good writer. She has fun on the trip and the reader does too. 99 Drams is an unexpected and fresh take on whiskey. I highly recommend it.

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