THE book to buy if you want to understand distilling properly.
TITLE: Traditional Distillation Art and Passion
Hardcover, Octavo, 63 pages, illustrated.
Author: Hubert Germain-Robin
PUBLISHER: White Mule Press, Distilling.com
COST: $35 US
REVIEWED BY: Chris Carlsson, SpiritsReview.com
For anyone who enjoys distilled spirits, it is a natural extension of one’s quest for knowledge and appreciation of spirits to learn about the art of distillation – much in the same way a gourmand will learn as much as they can about ingredients and preparation of food to gain a deeper appreciation for both the taste and techniques of how a food is cooked to better understand what they are eating.
Far too many books on distillation are on the same shelves or catalogs as those survivalist/doomsday prepper sites – the ones that teach you how to explosives, make homemade automatic weapons, etc., and are about as good when it comes to blinding you, killing you, or getting you locked up because you follow their directions. To a lay person, these books seem like they are useful or the techniques work, but usually they are badly written, leave out critical information, and are generally useless for anyone serious about the subject matter. Most are the how to make your own moonshine still and make moonshine kind of book. To use some similar analogies, if we were to compare books on distillation to cookbooks, most distillation books on the market today would be similar to the Roadkill cookbooks. Traditional Distillation Art and Passion is closer to Julia Child or what could be considered the French version of the Joy of Cooking, I Know How to Cook, or Larousse Gastronomique. Also in much the same spirit, reading a good cookbook will not make you a gourmet chef, only practice and tutelage can do that, but it can certainly educate and inspire and this book does both admirably.
Filled with both solid information and concise drawings and illustrations, it follows a logical progression of history, elements, fundamentals, and techniques along with a good amount of advice on both distilling and evaluating distillates. It is an excellent reference for both those interested in learning the craft of distilling as a vocation and those seeking information for a deeper understanding of the process for their own spiritual understanding.
Final Thoughts: An excellent reference on distilling that captures the poetry and spirit of distilling, as well as giving a good grounding on how it is accomplished. Written in clear, concise terms as well as easy to understand while imparting a lot of knowledge and a few touches of philosophy.
This is Hubert’s business webpage where you can purchase the book directly from him (and get it autographed) and you can also learn about the author and if you continue on your journey as a distiller you should hire him as a consultant.