How did Fred Minnick go from an Army photographer in Iraq to the world’s leading American whiskey writer?
Well, like many stories, it starts with a woman. The Iraq War veteran moved to Kentucky to marry the love of his life, took a job as a restaurant trade editor and eventually wrote about another passion–bourbon, the russet-colored gold that has captured America’s heart.
Since then, his first book, Camera Boy (2009), become a Wall Street Journal-bestselling eBook, Whiskey Women (2013) won ForeWord Reviews’ Gold in Women’s Studies and named to Eater.com’s top all-time booze book list, and Bourbon Curious (2015) unraveled the whiskey industry’s secrets. Fred’s latest works, Bourbon, was released October 2016 and changes what we know about whiskey history. His books have been featured or mentioned in more than 400 mainstream media outlets, including Atlantic Monthly, CBS This Morning, Forbes, New York Times, NPR, and Washington Post.
When he’s not writing books, Fred sips whiskey. Seriously. The guy gets paid to drink whiskey. How awesome is that? But Fred takes this role as a whiskey critic very seriously, carefully analyzing every sample and scoring them for the prestigious magazine Whisky Advocate, for which he authors a column and feature stories. Fred serves as a judge on the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and World Whiskies Awards, too, and is the official bourbon ambassador for the Kentucky Derby Museum.
He’s also the American contributing editor and columnist for Whisky Magazine, drinks writer for Parade, and former contributing editor to Tasting Panel, where his 2012 “American Whiskey” column earned the prestigious APEX Award for Editorial Excellence. As a wine writer and photographer, Fred was named a finalist to the Louis Roederer International Wine Writer of the Year in the Emerging Category and the Pink Lady International Food Photographer of the Year.
On the personal side, Fred wears ascots. He swears they’re coming back. (He’s said this for ten years now.)