Max Watman’s Chasing The White Dog: An Amateur Outlaw’s Adventures in Moonshine is one of those great books that sucks you into a world and then leaves you feeling like you have a deeper understanding of the space. Rather than just present a straight line history of distilling, both legal and illegal, Max Watman weaves the history with a personal quest through the world of white dog and moonshine.
The book is filled with compelling characters, from the stereotypical back woods old time moonshiner to hot shot race car drivers who also happen to move a ton of moonshine. One of the most compelling characters is Watman himself, and his misadventures with trying to distill spirits on his own are some of my favorite parts of the book.
Sandwiched between the pages of Chasing The White Dog are some of the finest words ever written about whiskey. Through Max’s adventures he seems to have gained an incredibly deep understanding of the category and his words about what makes whiskey great are simply amazing.
One of the things I love best about Chasing The White Dog is how inspiring it is. When you follow the line from early settlers and their distillation to the renaissance in micro-distilling, it’s hard not to come away with a desire to explore this space. I met Max Watman at a reading in Portland at House Spirits Distillery as he toured with this book, and the experience coupled with reading the book was one which really ignited my passion and curiosity about white dog and white whiskey.
Chasing The White Dog: An Amateur Outlaw’s Adventure In Moonshine Rating:
Highest Recommendation “A Classic” – You’d be hard pressed to find a better book on whiskey and distilling in America. This is a must read book.