Shortly after graduating from the University of Glasgow in 1934, Elizabeth “Bessie” Williamson began working as a temporary secretary at the Laphroaig Distillery on the Scottish island Islay. Williamson quickly found herself joining the boys in the tasting room, studying the distillation process, and winning them over with her knowledge of Scottish whisky.
After the owner of Laphroaig passed away, Williamson took over the prestigious company and became the spokesperson in America for the entire Scotch whisky industry. Impressing clients and showing her passion as the Scotch Whisky Association’s trade ambassador, she soon gained fame within the industry.
Whiskey Women tells the tales of women who have created this industry, from Mesopotamia’s first beer brewers and distillers to America’s rough-and-tough bootleggers during Prohibition. Women have long distilled, marketed, and owned significant shares in spirits companies, including Bushmills, Johnnie Walker, and Maker’s Mark. Williamson’s story is one of many among the influential women who greatly influenced Scotch, bourbon, and Irish whiskey. Until now their stories have remained untold.
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Wall Street Journal best-selling author FRED MINNICK, once an army journalist in Iraq, writes the award-winning “American Whiskey” column for TASTING PANEL Magazine and “Toasting the Hunt” column for Covey Rise. A regular contributor to Caviar Affair, Costco Connection, Whisky Magazine, and Whisky Advocate, Minnick has widely written about the spirits industry, traveling around the world covering everything from Limoncello in Sorrento, Italy, to Malbec wine in Mendoza, Argentina. Minnick is a member of the Author’s Guild and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Meridith May, publisher of TASTING PANEL, calls Minnick “one of the best whiskey storytellers in the business.”
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations viii
A Note to Readers ix
1 Before Whiskey 1
2 The First Distillations 10
3 Tough Irish Women 16
4 Early Scotch Whisky Women 31
5 Early American Women 41
6 The Targeted and Early Marketers 56
7 Temperance Women 63
8 Women Moonshiners and Bootleggers in Prohibition 72
9 Repeal Women Saving Whiskey 88
10 The Post-Prohibition Legal Battles 93
11 Post-Prohibition Women Bootleggers 104
12 Whiskey's Progressive Side 110
13 The Lady of Laphroaig 120
14 Modern Women 129
15 Organizing the Whiskey Effort 144
16 For Women, by Women 153
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Fred Minnick wrote the first book on women in whiskey, a topic that has been largely ignored. Particularly entertaining and informative are the incredible stories about female bootleggers; as well as the surprising legal advantages they enjoyed. The number of famous distillers which had women feature so prominently in their histories is surprising. Who knew they could be so summarily forgotten? The book mentions memorable stories about women from Jim Beam, Laphroaig, Maker's Mark and Bushmills (among others). There's a huge amount of information presented in a relatively succinct fashion, which makes it great for research. I tore through Whiskey Women in a day, it was too difficult to put down. Each fact is more amazing than the last! This book has been the subject of various national news stories; making Minnick popular as an interviewee by reporters in regards to any whiskey piece.