Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

1608

This is the Whisky Magazine forum. Please post your comments or queries about our magazine.
Read online - Subscribe - Back Issues

Postby lexkraai » Fri Apr 27, 2001 8:18 am

Sorry, I just realised Forbes and Needham were mentioned in another debate in the WM forum, so here the references of both authors:

Forbes RJ, 1948. A short history of the art of distillation. EJ Brill, Leiden.
Needham J, 1980. Distillation and Extraction Apparatus. In: Science and Civilization in China. Vol 5, part 4, pp 55-121. Cambridge University Press.
Needham J, 1980. The Coming of Ardent Water. In: Science and Civilization in China. Vol 5, part 4, pp 121-162. Cambridge University Press.
lexkraai
Silver Member
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2000 2:01 am
Location: Southampton

Postby Peter » Fri Apr 27, 2001 10:17 am

Fred

You ask so many questions, and the following was classical in its simplicity of asking, but complexity of answering. "What is going on?" In four simple words you query perhaps the most important and most complex part of the entire process of imparting flavour to alcohol distilled from a fermented mash of malted barley - maturation in caskwood. Hard to know where to begin, but you can be sure of one thing - if it is legal Scotch whisky, the only possible substances added to it since it left the still, were water to reduce to the required %alcohol, and/or spirit caramel to colour the whisky. Knockando comes from an old and reputable company, Justerini & Brooks (now part of Diageo I believe) and the colour and flavour of the whisky suggests entirely Bourbon casks and no caramel colouring.
Peter
Peter
New member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Rotorua, NZ

Postby Frederick C. Lindgren » Sun Apr 29, 2001 6:17 am

Peter,
What is spirit caramel? If a legal Scotch Whisky claims to be finished in a Sherry, Port or Madiera drum/cask is this true? Also what causes the different tastes of the whisky from region to region? I recently purchased a fifth of Lagaluvin 16 year old on the recommendation of Jackson and Murray. It certainly tastes different from Balvanie Double Wood. Is the difference caused by the ingredients or the cask prior to bottling? But back to my main question - do the distilleries do what they claim or is this all just a hoax? Let me give you an example, just recently a new brand of Vodka appeared on the market here in the states, namely, Thor's Hammer. It claims to be "ancient" and it is not. I also doubt the claim of Absolut that it has been made since 1879 - try instead 1979. Also I purchased a bottle of Glenmorangie 10 year old that has a picture of a "cooper" standing in what looks like a swamp with a lawnmower in his hand! What in the world is that all about? I thought the coopers were the ones who made the casks in which the whisky was aged! Things like this bother me as it seems like the labeling on the bottles about the age, and the ingredients might just be as Iain said, pure tosh. What do you think?

Fred
Frederick C. Lindgren
New member
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Postby Frederick C. Lindgren » Sat May 12, 2001 6:00 am

My apologies to all,
Especially to the makers of Absolut Vodka. I watched a re-run of "Never Say Never" on TV and noticed that Sean Connery did indeed have a bottle of Absolut in the film, well before 1979. This would most definitely validate that the company and spirit was being made prior to 1979.

Slainte,
Fred
Frederick C. Lindgren
New member
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Postby Frederick C. Lindgren » Sat May 12, 2001 6:21 am

Final reply to all,
We hef been tasting, that is Perkins, Sullivan, Becker, Florentino, and Lindgren, the most recent bottlings of Talisker 10 year old, Ardbeg 17 year old, Lagaluvin 16 year old, and Laphroig 10 year old; and haf concluded that these "liquid cigars" are the best whisky we have ever tasted. All the others we have tried are too sweet tasting.
We hope that you will continue for many years to come!

Skol,
Fred
Frederick C. Lindgren
New member
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Postby Deactivated Member » Sun May 13, 2001 12:56 pm

To All(Iain,Lex,David,Marcin,Peter etc)

This discussion is getting a different direction by now. The thing is that Bushmills is from 1608, is still discussable, no doubt about that. That's the same for some Scottish distilleries too, there are different opinions on that one. I think that we still must believe what they are telling us, for example if Bushmills is from 1608, than so it is. Marcin and Lex where talking about books from Needham and Forbes etc, regarding the history of distillation and the history of distilleries. I personally think that some records are lost during time, so that for some distilleries it's hard to trace back the time when it's actually founded. Perhaps if you are able to find former workers from closed distilleries or working distilleries, perhaps they could tell you something about the foundation of the distillery it self, in other words they might have some history records kept somewhere, perhaps they inherited the records you never know. Another example is the Glenturret distillery which is dated from 1775 while Iain says that it was rebuild and founded by James Fairly in the late fifty's, the key thing in this, is that the license to have a legitimate distillery was given in 1775, and to come back where the whole discussion began, was that Bushmills never claimed that they had a license at that time but only saying that they where founded in 1608 and that they are the oldest distillery in the world. And that historical fact is something in which we will never find an answer to that. But if people are interested it might be worthwhile to dig in the historical archives and try their luck there, if there is still something left, and perhaps you might find something that tells that a Scottish distillery is the oldest in the world, who knows.......
But if you ask a regular consumer, if it's important that the date is correct when the distillery is founded, he or she would probably answer: "as long as the whisk(e)y is good, I don't mind at all" and that's what this whole thing matters, like Lex earlier said: whisky is already so rich and so full of fascinated things. Why can't we stick to that? I mean you can discus for days and days about the heritage of whisky and the distilleries. In the end we all want the same thing: GOOD WHISK(E)Y, which suits us best to our moods....
Deactivated Member
 

Postby lexkraai » Mon May 14, 2001 8:28 am

Erik, I said that whisky's HISTORY is so rich already, etc. Of course, if you're not interested in the history behind the dram you're drinking, then you couldn't care less about a misleading heritage claim. That's fair enough, and in the end it does come down to whether the whisky is good or not. But there is also another side to this issue: if a company says certain things on a label which I know are false, I'm less inclined to believe other things they say on that same label. Can I really trust the statement 'matured in sherry casks'? Can I trust the age statement of the whisky?

Slainte, Lex
lexkraai
Silver Member
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2000 2:01 am
Location: Southampton

Postby Iain » Mon May 14, 2001 9:24 am

Huurman, you write ", the key thing in this, is that the license to have a legitimate distillery was given in 1775,"

But even Glenturret don't make such a grossly misleading claim!

re Bushmills: as Jim Murray and others have shown, it was not licensed in 1608. If the claim was true, then where is the evidence?

You might as well argue that the moon is made of green cheese, because that is what you were told as a child.

Come to think of it, there is more chance that the moon is made of green cheese, than that Bushmills was licensed in 1608:-)
Iain
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1254
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2001 2:01 am
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Postby Xavier » Mon May 14, 2001 1:40 pm

I completely agree with you Lex. Sorry I have to disagree on this issue with you, Erik, although I admit the quality of the whisky is after all the most important element of this story.

But when a company tells you a story, which is apparently false, it knows very well why it does so. The marketing industry understands better than we do the influence and power of commercial stories. We all know the nice stories of water running over peaty grounds and so, but what if it were scientifically proven that peaty water has no influence at all on the taste of your dram... I think it's all about understanding your favourite dram. I for instance like Ardbeg a lot because I have had the opportunity one day to taste, together with the manager, the oldest casks of 1974. Things like that create a "relationship" with a certain distillery. This relationship is precisely what the marketing machine is trying to obtain. Erik, would you admit that a company tells you that the amber colour of your whisky is due to the extraction from the wood, when you know that a lot of caramel has been added ? I don't think so. The problem is that, like you explained, the license dates are difficult to prove. And they do not influence the taste. Let's hope that the marketing men are not fooling us with other stories we are not aware of...

Xavier
Xavier
New member
 
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2000 2:01 am
Location: Oudenaarde, Belgium

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon May 14, 2001 4:06 pm

Lex,Iain,Xavier

You all have a point there, in what you have written.

Lex, I see that you have some doubts there on what to believe or not on the label. I see it like this, that if specific info is written on the label like age, non chill filtered, the kind of cask they used etc, that is info you can't go around with, it must be the truth, otherwise the people who made that bottle, will ruin their good names, that's for sure. If we can't believe that, than where lies the truth Lex? Ofcourse there are probably some unreliable bottlers, but that's up to the consumer, can I trust that or not.......

And yes Iain you are right at a certain point in what you are saying about the distilleries, WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE? it's then more certain that the moon is made out of green cheese, but in the other hand that if you personally can find out, if a distillery is founded on the date they stated on their leaflets, would you feel comfortable Iain, if it is the truth?? I would Iain if I found out if it was the truth....

And as for you Xavier, it's alright that you disagree, I do too have a certain relationship with several distilleries, and that creates a relationship that goes further than that, but then again can you blame the marketing machine on that?, I should say yes and no. Yes because you buy their products, and no if look at things like friendship etc, than it doesn't matter if you their products or not, so there is a difference on that.

So gentlemen, can we believe what writers and journalist are telling us?, and can we believe what the label says on the bottle?, in other words does Signatory or Cadenhead or any other producer telling us the truth?
where lies the truth? perhaps somewhere in the middle?

Look guys I do enjoy my dram, and enjoy it even more when I know if there is a certain history behind it, or when it's very rare, I know it's value. If I may speak freely than I have to believe what's written on the label of a bottle, but like Xavier said that if they say that the amber color comes from the wood, and somehow you know it isn't, than I have a feeling that they fool you, and that makes me mad. But the question is will such company do that, and especially if they are well known? I don't think so...

In the end it's what people want to believe or not. The thing is will you go and try to find some answers if you have second doubts? I would gentlemen that's for sure....

It would be nicer if we could discus this with a dram or two...

Slainte,

Erik
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Deactivated Member » Thu May 17, 2001 8:12 am

Hi Frederick/all,

I think it is at simple a this: A lie is a lie Image

I haven't checked any records for Bushmills so I cannot say if the year on the label is a lie.

What if a distillery has moved or been mothballed/closed for a couple of years like Ardbeg? Can it still claim its original founding year?

I think that if the brand or the licence to disitill has existed since a specific year, then the claim can be substantiated and is true, even if it has been closed, mothballed or rebuilt one or many times.

But I don't think that the claim that whisk(e)y has been distilled at this approximate location since 1621 is good enough. For instance, if Arran was placed in the vicinity of Dallas Dhu, then Arran could claim Dallas Dhus's founding date. And this does not make amy sense at all Image

And Frederick, I do know about the Absolut Vodka: The year is correct, there are many documents that verifies this. Thor's Hammer is not ancient, it's been around for less than 10 years.

Regard and skål,

Martin B
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Alan » Tue Jun 12, 2001 5:50 pm

Greetings,
mgmtmbeh hits the nail on the head when he states "a lie is a lie". It is unacceptable for Bushmmills or any other distiller to knowingly mislead the public by making false claims regarding foundation, wood finishes, etc. Claiming to be "the oldest distillery in the world" would undoubtably affect potential cutomers. I assume that we've all had Bushmills on many occasions, but many people have not. If it didn't matter when a istillery was established, then why do so many distillers place the date on their bottles? Being the "oldest" distillery is quite a pedigree, and Bushmills displays this date of 1608 for a reason. As much as we "in the know" dismiss most of the pr we hear, the vast majority of casual drinkers do not.
Yes, "a lie is a lie", and 1608 should be regarded as such.
Alan.
Alan
New member
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Postby Ciaron Mc Carthy » Thu Jun 14, 2001 7:12 pm

Bushmills claim to be the oldest is false.It is however along with kilbeggan the oldest among the distilleries of the UK and Ireland.When will the scots and wannabe scots concede that Ireland is the cradle of whiskey and not distilling,WHISKEY a distillate of malted grains which is then aged wood.Since 1770 the Pubs and Inns of Ireland sold AGED WHISKEY from the wood from establised distilleries,casks from spain and Portugal where put to use.Dublin was to whiskey what bordeaux is to wine,Potstill whiskey from dublin was beyond reproach,which brings me to my main reason for writing.Powers gold label has never been reviewed it is the best selling whiskey in Ireland since 1895 a potstill blend of extreme beauty,no there is no smoke,tar,oilskins,seagull dropings it is crystal clear needs no directions and no palate of cast iron is required to appreciate it.Go on and give it a try.A great mag otherwise.
Ciaron Mc Carthy
New member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 1:01 am
Location: göteborg sweden

Postby Ciaron Mc Carthy » Sat Jun 23, 2001 10:51 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial, Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Iain:
<B>I hate to agree all the time :-), but I agree with Lex on this.

The WM article tells us that Black Bush contains 80 per cent malts in the blend. This is very interesting - it suggests a far higher malts content than in a Scotch whisky.

But I know that the Bushmills spokesman has misled the WM reporter (intentionally or not) regarding the date Bushmills received its first licence. The claim is definitely untrue.

If he misleads the journalist on the relatively trivial matter of the date of the first licence, can we trust the accuracy of the statement that Black Bush contains 80 per cent malts?

This is just a plea for honesty and accuracy in product information.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Ciaron Mc Carthy
New member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 1:01 am
Location: göteborg sweden

Postby Ciaron Mc Carthy » Sat Jun 23, 2001 10:53 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial, Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Iain:
<B>I hate to agree all the time :-), but I agree with Lex on this.

The WM article tells us that Black Bush contains 80 per cent malts in the blend. This is very interesting - it suggests a far higher malts content than in a Scotch whisky.

But I know that the Bushmills spokesman has misled the WM reporter (intentionally or not) regarding the date Bushmills received its first licence. The claim is definitely untrue.

If he misleads the journalist on the relatively trivial matter of the date of the first licence, can we trust the accuracy of the statement that Black Bush contains 80 per cent malts?

This is just a plea for honesty and accuracy in product information.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Ciaron Mc Carthy
New member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 1:01 am
Location: göteborg sweden

Previous

Return to Whisky Magazine

Whisky gift and present finder