Book Review: Bourbon 101

, | August 14, 2023

Editor’s Note: This book was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. 

Albert W. A. Schmid is a Chef and Instructor at Keiser University. He previously was the director of the Hotel-Restaurant Management and Hospitality Management Department at Sullivan University National Center for Hospitality Studies. With these accolades, you can understand that Albert is to be trusted when informing us about food and drinks.

It’s good that he has produced quite a few works on that subject. Schmid is the author of such books as: “Burgoo, Barbecue, and Bourbon: A Kentucky Culinary Trilogy”; “The Manhattan Cocktail: A Modern Guide to the Whiskey Classic”; and “The Old-Fashioned: An Essential Guide to the Original Whiskey Cocktail”.

Bourbon 101 review

We review Bourbon 101, a book that takes a deep dive into the world of the quintessential American whiskey. (image via University Press of Kentucky)

In Albert W. A. Schmid’s latest book, Bourbon 101, he takes on a deep dive into the world of the quintessential American whiskey. The book is an interesting mix of personal story and academic approach that Chris Morris (yes, that Chris Morris) mentions in the forward of Bourbon 101. If you’re looking for a book to introduce you to all things bourbon and give you ways to test your knowledge, this book is for you.

Bourbon 101 is very personal, featuring moments from the author’s life. It also features sections that are entirely informative and written in a less personal fashion. In this sense, it really reminds me of Bernie Lubbers’s book: “Bourbon Whiskey: Our Native Spirit”. Where Schmid differs from Lubbers is how he doubles down on the academic approach. The quizzes and assignments at the end of every section of Bourbon 101 will test your knowledge and give you ways to focus on what defines bourbon.

If you’re looking to get your feet wet in the world of American Whiskey, or if you need to brush up on your bourbon knowledge, Bourbon 101 might be the book for you. The author is a trusted source and he gives the reader many opportunities to engage with the material in a variety of different ways.

Details: Bourbon 101 by Albert W. A. Schmid, Published by University Press of Kentucky, Hardcover, 280 pages, available from most major booksellers.

Impressions: I found this book to have a little bit of everything which may be its strong suite. You get a great mix of the author’s personal stories that keep you engaged. There’s also a good deal of very pertinent information for anyone studying bourbon. Bourbon 101 rides a fine line between informative and storytelling and it keeps the book from being too dry. This fact means that Schmid’s book is much more engaging than most other books in a 101 category. If you need a good reference book for bourbon, Albert W. A. Schmid’s latest work may be the right fit for you.

User Review
4 (1 vote)


Related Articles


Joshua Wilford

Joshua Wilford has been in the restaurant business for the past two decades. His tenure in the industry includes working in leadership roles at bourbon bars in and around Kentucky as well as half a decade in the iconic Multnomah Whiskey Library. He has also received certifications from The Wine...