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Clay Risen

Clay Risen, the deputy op-ed editor at The New York Times, is the author of the forthcoming Single Malt: A Guide to the Whiskies of Scotland (October, 2018)  and the spirits bestseller American Whiskey, Bourbon & Rye: A Guide to the Nation’s Favorite Spirit. Now in its sixth printing with more than 100,000 copies sold, his groundbreaking guide has quickly become the bible on American whiskey and placed Risen at the top of authorities on the history, business, and diversity of U.S. spirits. Risen has given numerous talks, appeared on television, and served as a judge on multiple spirit award committees. Risen has written widely about spirits for newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, Forbes, The Atlantic, and the Washington Post. He is the author of several popular American histories, including A Nation on Fire: America in the Wake of the King Assassination, The Bill of the Century: The Epic Battle for the Civil Rights Act, and the forthcoming The Crowded Hour: Teddy Roosevelt, the Rough Riders and the Dawn of the American Century. He grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and two young children.


Critical Acclaim for Risen's American Whiskey, Bourbon & Rye: A Guide to the Nation's Favorite Spirit

“A comprehensive and opinionated guide for the intermediate tippler . . . It’s a detailed, admirably cranky directory. Risen’s tasting notes for each are erudite and fun.” 
—Wall Street Journal

“Risen is something of a Renaissance man . . . a Leonardo da Vinci of whiskey. American Whiskey, Bourbon & Rye . . . should have a proud place on the bookshelf (or by the bar) of anyone who is an enthusiast of bourbon and other American whiskeys. Very useful for shopping purposes.”
Los Angeles Review of Books

“Risen delicately walks readers into whiskey’s past, present, and future . . . His words are meant for whiskey lovers, as he dissects every brand’s story and scores products on an NR (not recommended) to four-star scale. An American whiskey treasure worthy of four stars.” —Whiskey Advocate