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Bourbon and Bullets

True Stories of Whiskey, War, and Military Service

John C. Tramazzo

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: Potomac Books
Published: 11/2018
Pages: 288
Subject: History
eBook ISBN: 9781640121447


American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines carried whiskey at Yorktown, Gettysburg, Manila, and Da Nang. It bolstered their courage, calmed their nerves, and treated their maladies. As a serious American whiskey drinker, John C. Tramazzo noticed how military service and whiskey went hand in hand during his service as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army. In Bourbon and Bullets Tramazzo reveals the rich and dramatic connection between bourbon and military service in America.

Although others have discussed whiskey's place in military history, Bourbon and Bullets explores the relationship between military service and some of the most notable whiskey distillers and executives working today. American servicemen Weller, Handy, Stagg, Van Winkle, and Bulleit all experienced combat before they became household names for American whiskey enthusiasts. In small towns and big cities across America, veterans of armed conflict in Panama, Somalia, Haiti, Iraq, and Afghanistan cook mash, operate stills, and push the booming industry to new heights. Bourbon and Bullets delves into the lives and military careers of these whiskey distillers and tells the story of whiskey's role on the battlefield and in the American military community.  


John C. Tramazzo is an active duty Army officer and veteran of several deployments in support of the Global War on Terror. He is also an American whiskey enthusiast, Kentucky Colonel, and the founder of the popular blog Fred Minnick, a former Army journalist in Iraq, has written widely about the spirits industry and is the author of Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey (Potomac Books, 2013).  


"Bourbon and Bullets tells the sacrificial side of bourbon you don't know: how whiskey makers gave their all in America's wars, from Valley Forge to Vietnam and beyond."—Lew Bryson, author of Tasting Whiskey: An Insider's Guide to the Unique Pleasures of the World's Finest Spirits

"If you are a bourbon lover, if you have an interest in the history of this country, sit down and read this book—a fascinating portrait of some of America's military heroes and their connection to many brands of bourbon on the shelf today."—Sally Van Winkle Campbell, author of But Always Fine Bourbon: Pappy Van Winkle and the Story of Old Fitzgerald

"The bourbon industry has long been filled with military veterans, but never have their valuable contributions been so finely documented until now. Captain Tramazzo's investigative book not only weaves together these veterans' military contributions but also provides an enlightening look at the impact they made on the spirits industry today."—Mark Brown, president and chief executive officer, Sazerac Company