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Umnalted Barley

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Umnalted Barley

Postby Pure Pot Head » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:25 pm

Maybe someone out there knows something about this. I was reading up on Guinness history today (all whiskey lovers should love Guinness - the ultimate whiskey chaser!). It seems that Arthur 2nd began to incorporate unmated barley in 1799. This was because the 'government' had begun imposing a tax on the malt and oats but not the alcohol. And hence Guinness as we know it was born.

Now I know that for the same reasons, the Dublin distilleries where the revenue could keep an eye on things as opposed to out in the country similarly had begun the practice of including unmalted barley and hence one of the key attributes of the large Dublin whiskies was established. Pure Pot Still whiskey rather than malt only whiskey or malt with other grains.

Now, to my question. There is a bit of a story in Dublin that Arthur 1st Guinness and John Jameson were great friends. In fact, when Arthur Guiness got married in St Mary's Church, now a bar/nightclub appropriately!), John Jameson's brother or cousin was the minister (who's headstone is on the wall there still). The story goes that it was John Jameson who taught Arthur Guinness how to improve his beer (as the guys at Jameson maintain!) but now I think it might have been more in terms of business advice concerning taxation if there's any truth in it at all. The dates certainly correlate as does the link with The Church. Does anyone else have any light to throw on this tale?

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Re: Umnalted Barley

Postby corbuso » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:43 pm

I can only say that the use of unmalted barley was a trick from distillers since at one time, the taxes were on the malted barley.
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Re: Umnalted Barley

Postby Pure Pot Head » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:14 am

A trick form the distillers no doubt, and like everything else about whiskey making, it's a story of accidents and tricks that then came to define the taste locally an dregionally. Therein lies the fascination. It would be unthinkable now for say Powers or Jameson to leave out the ingredient and strip out what has been a core aspect of their style for over two hundred years. I certainly hope they never do.

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