13 July 2019

Weekend Cooking: Neat: The Story of Bourbon (film)

Review of Neat: The Story of BourbonThanks to the holiday last week and a women's weekend right now, I've had two short weeks in a row. That means I haven't been doing any fun cooking at all. No time to try new recipes, so nothing new to share.

Fortunately, I spotted an interesting documentary on Hulu that fits Weekend Cooking perfectly. Before I get into my thoughts, I wanted to let you know that I won't be able to read your posts until late Sunday, but I promise I'll come around to see what you've been reading or cooking or to get a look at where you've been traveling.

Neat: The Story of Bourbon (written and directed by David Altrogge) introduces us to some of the history of the great American spirit. At one point in the film someone says (and I'm paraphrasing), "The history of bourbon is the history of the United States itself." Another person says, "Bourbon is history in a glass." (You'll hear these quotes in the trailer.)

From the moment the Mayflower anchored off the eastern shore of America, we've been brewing something: beer, moonshine, whisky, cider, and wine. As Neat points out, because colonists weren't under obligation to send their surplus grains and harvest off to the king, they had the foundations for making a home brew.

Neat: The Story of BourbonBourbon is the only completely American whiskey. If a similar whiskey isn't distilled here in the States, it cannot be called bourbon. What else makes bourbon unique? First, it relies on a New World plant and, by law, must be distilled from at least 51 percent corn. It also must be aged in brand-new charred oak barrels. That creates an unbreakable chain connecting the forests, the farmers, and the producers.

Neat introduces us to distillers, bartenders, tasters, and more. We learn about purity laws, the effects of climate change, the microclimates within the aging sheds, small-batch and single-barrel bourbon, and archaeological digs. We also learn how sociocultural norms affected bourbon sales in the 1970s and 1980s. We even learn about cocktails (see the still) and what goes on in a tasting room. Warning: you'll want to pour (and drink) a shot of bourbon . . . neat.

The filming itself is well done, with plenty of beauty shots of bourbon in a glass, with the light streaming through. I liked the peek inside distilleries, seeing the barrels being charred, and especially meeting the variety of people who have a passion for all things bourbon.

I really enjoyed Neat and recommend the documentary to anyone who is interested in the history of bourbon. If I have a complaint, it is this: I would have liked to have seen more about the effects of Prohibition on the industry. But, really, that's a minor point.

Take a look at the trailer. I watched the film on Hulu, but it may be available via other streaming services too.

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

NOTE: Mr. Linky sometimes is mean and will give you an error message. He's usually wrong and your link went through just fine the first time. Grrrr.


gluten Free A_Z Blog 7/13/19, 6:16 AM  

Lately, I've been finding that I haven't been making many new recipes, mostly repeating some of our favorites. Of course we have been traveling a lot so I'm not cooking as much in general. The video looks interesting. I'll have to take a look.. Have a great weekend and thanks for hosting.

bermudaonion 7/13/19, 7:15 AM  

We rarely drink liquor but love films like this.

Mae Travels 7/13/19, 7:24 AM  

I must have tasted bourbon at some point in life, but can't recall ever doing so. I'm more of a wine drinker. The history sounds interesting -- my culinary book club has read some American food/drink histories that are related.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Jackie McGuinness 7/13/19, 7:27 AM  

I will pass this on to John. He did some quest posts for me from our trip on our cognac and wine tastings we did.

Claudia 7/13/19, 10:31 AM  

As a home wine maker, I'd be interested to see this film. Though we don't drink much bourbon around here.

Deb in Hawaii 7/13/19, 12:11 PM  

It sounds like an interesting documentary--I'll add it to the list. Hope you have a great time this weekend. ;-)

Les in Oregon 7/13/19, 12:27 PM  

Oh, this sounds like something my husband and I would really enjoy! We are both big fans of bourbon. :)

(Diane) bookchickdi 7/13/19, 5:43 PM  

There are so many interesting facts about bourbon in your post- I love learning new things!

shelleyrae @ book'd out 7/13/19, 10:37 PM  

Personally I can’t stand Bourbon, but Wild Turkey in particular is my husband’s drink of choice. He might be interested in this documentary

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