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The terroir of whiskey : a distiller's journey into the flavor of place / Rob Arnold.

  • Arnold, Robert, 1987-
  • Books

About this work


"Turn over a bottle of wine and you may well see a reference to its terroir, the total local environment of the vineyard that grew the grapes, from its soil to the climate. Winemakers universally accept that where a grape is grown influences its chemistry, which changes the flavor of the wine. A detailed system has codified the idea that where the grapes are grown matters to the wine. But why don't we feel the same way about whiskey? The master distiller Rob Arnold reveals how innovative whiskey producers are recapturing a sense of place to create distinctive, nuanced flavors. He takes readers on a world tour of whiskey and the science of flavor, stopping along the way at distilleries in Kentucky, New York, Texas, Ireland, and Scotland. Arnold puts the spotlight on a new generation of distillers, plant breeders, and local farmers who are bringing back long-forgotten grain flavors and creating new ones in pursuit of terroir. In the twentieth century, we inadvertently bred distinctive tastes out of grains in favor of high agronomic yields-but today's artisans have teamed up to remove themselves from the commodity grain system, resurrect heirloom cereals, bring new varieties to life, and recapture the flavors of specific local ingredients. The Terroir of Whiskey makes the scientific and cultural cases that terroir is as important in whiskey as it is in wine"--


New York : Columbia University Press, [2021]

Physical description

ix, 351 pages ; 24 cm.

Bibliographic information

Includes bibliographical references and index.


Introduction -- Part I: Fashioning flavor, tasting terroir. A farm in Texas ; The production and perception of flavor ; The chemistry of flavor ; The wine terroir tasting ; Wine country ; The evolutionary role of terroir ; The rise of commodities -- Part II: A roadmap of terroir. A Texas tic-tac-toe ; The chemistry of terroir ; The roadmap ; Overlaying the maps -- Part III: Following the map. Whiskey in the Big Apple ; The trilogy of farming ; My old Kentucky home ; Corn, wheat, and rye among the bluegrass ; Across the pond and through the hills ; Tēireoir ; Cultivating flavor on the farms of Éire ; At last, a sip ; The church of Scotch whisky ; Conclusion.


  • English

Where to find it

  • LocationStatus
    History of Medicine
    Open shelves

Permanent link



  • 9780231194587
  • 0231194587