Best All-Time Booze Book, Eater.com2013
GOLD Winner for Women Studies, ForeWord Reviews 2014
Silver, Independent Publisher Award in Women's Issues
Finalist, Spirited Awards
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.
"Deeply researched and takes an interesting angle (the role of women) as a way to talk about whiskey from a fresh perspective."—Kara Newman, Tipple Sheet
"This is a great book. Whether you are into whiskey, history or both this deserves a place on your book shelf."—Eric Burke, Bourbon Guy.com
"[Whiskey Women is] an enjoyable read of thoughtfully-assembled facts and stories illuminating the forgotten women of apothecaries and distilleries past."—Virginia Miller, Liquor.com
“Fred Minnick gives us an entertaining look at booze’s little-known history—including its links to childhood medicine, witchcraft, and the eighteenth-century mail order bride business. This book goes down smooth.”—A. J. Jacobs, New York Times best-selling author of The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible
"Whether you're a hop-head or a spirit imbiber, Whiskey Women is an entertaining and unexpected look at the role of women in the spirits industry."—Lindsey Kate Reynolds, Southern Foodways Alliance
“The known history of whiskey changes with Whiskey Women. Fred Minnick has dug deep and come up with gold on the tremendous contribution women have made at each step in the history and evolution of this much-storied beverage. Whiskey Women is a real game changer.”—Davin de Kergommeaux, award-winning author of Canadian Whisky: The Portable Expert
"A book that's well worth buying."—Reid Mitenbuler, Drinks