Proof – The Science of Booze

by Adam Rogers
by Adam Rogers

While not strictly speaking a “whiskey” book, this offering is an enjoyable and informative read for any whiskey lover. At times a bit academic, it is always a rewarding experience.

The author takes us on a world- and time-spanning journey as humans discover distilling and eventually its revolutionary application to beverage making.

Beyond just the “science of booze,” Mr. Rogers also delves deeply into the social aspects of our favorite drinks. Or not so favorite as he explores the interesting possibility that we don’t actually like the taste of alcohol.

He tackles the questions of hangovers, drunken behavior, social expectations, and the limits of our current scientific knowledge. We learn about how our senses, experiences, and expectations are inexorably linked every time we take a sip.

At times he seems to overturn some cherished notions we have have about booze. My favorite being the discussion of how many flavors and aromas we can accurately identify, throwing some serious questions about the validity of the flowery and esoteric drink reviews we read.

This is a must-read for anyone who has held a glass up to the light and swirled the liquid inside around a few times wondering, “what is this?”

264 pages