I was having some fun with friends recently, counting the number of mistakes per paragraph in Whiskey for Dummies, part of that ubiquitous series. Perhaps, someone quipped, they have started a new sub-imprint called “For Dummies, By Dummies,” acronym “FDBD.”
The book is simply bad, as in mistake-ridden. Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of whiskey can play this game. I had a lot of fun with the definition of 'sour mash.' That short paragraph contains at least seven errors.
Unfortunately, we can’t take the author to task because he died two years ago. His name was Perry Luntz. Apparently he was a big wine guy. Good for him, but he had no business writing a book about whiskey.
Despite Luntz’s demise, misinformation, it seems, is eternal. An obituary of Luntz by Ron Kapon, who calls himself The Peripatetic Oenophile (www.ronkapon.com), contained this personal note: “I have quoted his Whiskey and Spirits for Dummies book in several magazine articles and use it as a texbook (sic) for one of my classes.”
As a French vintner might remark, “Quel dommage.”