Book Review – Dusty Booze by Aaron Goldfarb

As, maybe?, promised. Here is my review of Aaron Goldfarb’s Dusty Booze.

By the time you reach the end of Dusty Booze, you will not at all be surprised that there are people who collect famous distillery water.  Not a rare spirit, no, but vintage waters.

This fascinating look into one corner of the collectors niche has two things going for it.  One is the through spine about a collection of liquor from an old Howard Hughes office that had sat untouched for years.  Second is the inclusion of a how to or what to collect if you wanted to start “dusty hunting”.

Now I should go back and explain what that term means.  It is the art of finding old and therefore probably dusty bottles of vintage spirits.  And some of these are old.  From different eras of distillery ownership to grains grown using older agricultural methods to the type of heat source used.

It is about connecting a liquid time capsule of the time that the bottle was filled and the years preceding that it was aging.

This book is filled with characters.  But the one drawback of the book was that most of them were of the same ilk.  A person with a collectors mentality, who had time and money to be able to spend thousands of dollars to buy, for example, eight thousand miniature liquor bottles and then pick out the five hundred that interested them and selling the rest.  Each individual dusty hunter seemed, well not at all individualistic.  

But on other hand the diversity in the spirits was wide.  Cognac, gin and even creme de menthe were covered.  And the world was covered too.  Scotland to Japan to Germany and the U.S. all played a part in this craze.

Goldfarb is funny and personal and sarcastic throughout the book and that side-eye style works really well to puncture the fact that this is a book about booze.

And that Howard Hughes office.  Well, it was in the same building as the long gone Hollywood Brewery.