Thanks Iain, for your reply. I am impatient, but I shall find out the truth about whisky. As I mentioned in a previous entry, I don't care for our whiskey - Beam, Old Crow, Old Fitzgerald, Wild Turkey, etc. - to much corn for me. Why no one over here makes a barley mash whiskey is a question I have yet to have answered. You are on the right track, as the word "alcohol" comes from the Arabian language. Like so many other technological advances the Islamic incursions into Europe most likely brought the process of distilling grain into Spain, Italy and France. I will be in contact with sources here at Marquette University in Milwaukee and DePaul University in Chicago, as time permits, to put me into the appropriate readings. I do have a question for you that might be abit off the subject, but nevertheless, does peak my curiousity. Back in the 1960's, blends like Black&White, Johnnie Walker, Dewar's, and Chevis Regal were all 86 proof; I believe that is, "across the pond", 43% by volume. Now these blends, including Justerini & Brooks are all only 80 proof and don't have near the peaty, licorice, and almond like flavor that they used to have. I also recall, there was a big flap in our press concerning how Scot's Whisky caused cancer and that we had better watch out. Now, during the last decade or so, we are able to purchase these big peaty malts from Islay and delicious nectars from Kirkwall. The Speyside distilleries, and Highland distilleries all indicate that they use Bourbon casks from over here in which to age their whiskies. What is going on? What happens if they put the whisky in a cask that has not previously stored American bourbon? Also, do you think these whiskies, which the manufacturers say are aged in sherry, port and other wine casks, are really aged this way, or are artificial flavorings added? I recall that Knockando wrote, in one of its marketing ploys, that they never flavored or added anything to their whisky prior to bottling it. What is the customer to believe? Since you are over there, you are in a better position then I am to know the truth. I will patiently wait for any reply you might have.