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What Whisky Industry Practice should be outlawed?

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What Whisky Industry Practice should be outlawed?

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:56 pm

Click on this link: http://www.thewhiskywire.com/2010/11/wh ... mmons.html

It takes you to an interview with Sam Simmons, global ambassador for Balvenie.

In the interview, the second to last question and answer exchange goes like this:

Q: What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?

A: On the business side: more consolidation. On the consumer side: more enthusiasts and democratic community growth. Behind the scenes, exposure of an industry practice that I believe should be quietly outlawed before it becomes news.

What do you think is the 'industry practice' that Simmons thinks should be outlawed?
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Re: What Whisky Industry Practice should be outlawed?

Postby rogerdodger » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:44 pm

I presume there are several possibilities, but might he mean the obvious candidate: adding colouring?

Not much of a secret to those on this and other such forums but still not generally known, particularly as it does not have to be labelled as such in the UK.
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Re: What Whisky Industry Practice should be outlawed?

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:17 pm

I thought it would be something other than coloring, as everyone knows about that.
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Re: What Whisky Industry Practice should be outlawed?

Postby bredman » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:25 pm

Novice Scotch Fan wrote:I thought it would be something other than coloring, as everyone knows about that.


Only a tiny proportion of the whisky buying public is aware of added colour. They are perhaps thrown slightly by the occasional claims of "natural product" and "made with just barley, yeast, and water". I have told many non-enthusiasts about added colour in whisky/whiskey, the reaction is one of two, either surprise followed by a mild annoyance that they were unaware, or unwavering disbelief.
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Re: What Whisky Industry Practice should be outlawed?

Postby nash60975 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:37 am

I've listened to a few interviews of distillers discussing the addition of color, and it seems that such a miniscule amount (hundredth to thousandth of a percentage per gallon) is added in the majority of cases that it has no effect on flavor. It is simply to provide continuity of color between bottles on the shelf, which to us enthusiasts seems unnecessary, but would be confusing and disconcerting for the lay drinker. Now for those who are adding it to truly alter the color to make a spirit seem older/richer/etc., I disagree more adamantly with the practice.

I'm not sure if this is the one they're referring to, but I would be more supportive of eliminating chill-filtering, since this does indeed remove esthers and other components which would have otherwise contributed flavor and body. Just encourage people to not put Scotch in the fridge/freezer and they'll never know...
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Re: What Whisky Industry Practice should be outlawed?

Postby bredman » Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:30 pm

nash60975 wrote:I've listened to a few interviews of distillers discussing the addition of color, and it seems that such a miniscule amount (hundredth to thousandth of a percentage per gallon) is added in the majority of cases that it has no effect on flavor.


If that's what the industry says then it must be true. :roll:

I remember a rum producer saying "of course we add caramel colour it's where the flavour comes from". :lol:

nash60975 wrote:It is simply to provide continuity of color between bottles on the shelf, which to us enthusiasts seems unnecessary, but would be confusing and disconcerting for the lay drinker. Now for those who are adding it to truly alter the color to make a spirit seem older/richer/etc., I disagree more adamantly with the practice.


I'm not convinced the "lay drinker" is particularly bothered, especially when selecting full bottles to consume at home, which often come in coloured glass.

nash60975 wrote:I'm not sure if this is the one they're referring to, but I would be more supportive of eliminating chill-filtering, since this does indeed remove esthers and other components which would have otherwise contributed flavor and body. Just encourage people to not put Scotch in the fridge/freezer and they'll never know...


I prefer my whisky to be non-chilfiltered. But chilfiltering bothers me less than colouring. Non-chilfiltered whisky will become cloudy with water added, not just ice, but water at room temperature will turn (many) whiskies cloudy. Bladnoch sell a ncf 40% whisky that comes cloudy in the bottle. As we all know 46% is the limit where this effect ceases, so i have no issues with chill-filtering all whiskies sold at less than 46%.
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Re: What Whisky Industry Practice should be outlawed?

Postby rogerdodger » Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:39 pm

What he said.
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Re: What Whisky Industry Practice should be outlawed?

Postby Willie JJ » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:16 am

bredman wrote:
nash60975 wrote:I've listened to a few interviews of distillers discussing the addition of color, and it seems that such a miniscule amount (hundredth to thousandth of a percentage per gallon) is added in the majority of cases that it has no effect on flavor.


If that's what the industry says then it must be true. :roll:

And of course the industry must say it, because the addition of flavouring is illegal.

Personally, I think the practice that should be outlawed is charging more than £20 for a bottle of whisky. :)
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Re: What Whisky Industry Practice should be outlawed?

Postby AdamMY » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:33 am

Willie JJ wrote:
bredman wrote:
nash60975 wrote:I've listened to a few interviews of distillers discussing the addition of color, and it seems that such a miniscule amount (hundredth to thousandth of a percentage per gallon) is added in the majority of cases that it has no effect on flavor.


If that's what the industry says then it must be true. :roll:

And of course the industry must say it, because the addition of flavouring is illegal.

Personally, I think the practice that should be outlawed is charging more than £20 for a bottle of whisky. :)



Why so high as 20 pounds? If we institute a price ceiling, how about it has to sell around the world for a pence each!
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Re: What Whisky Industry Practice should be outlawed?

Postby Ganga » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:43 am

I'm with Willie. Although, it is the pricing scheme they have for "limited" editions that are in the 10s of thousands.
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Re: What Whisky Industry Practice should be outlawed?

Postby nash60975 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:34 am

Point taken on trusting people in the industry, but I still think there are a number of distillers producing high quality expressions who use coloring without the goal of noticeably altering the flavor. And I openly acknowledge that there are many who use it for flavoring.

In contrast, products such as Rum, cognac, and tequila are widely known for having huge amounts of artificial flavoring added, and also do not have the regulation or oversight that the Scotch industry has established over the past 180 years (This of course does not mean that many Scotch distillers don't do it anyway).

In regards to chill filtering, I was just sharing that I find that it might change the flavor to be more bothersome than it appearing cloudy.
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Re: What Whisky Industry Practice should be outlawed?

Postby bredman » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:09 am

nash60975 wrote: And I openly acknowledge that there are many who use it for flavoring.


I think with rum they add a lot and it may have some flavour. With whisky, i think it's more of an 'effect' than a quantifiable 'taste'. And not an effect that everyone agrees on.

nash60975 wrote:In regards to chill filtering, I was just sharing that I find that it might change the flavor to be more bothersome than it appearing cloudy.


On a thread on a different forum i remember the vast majority were more bothered about chillfiltering. Only a few of us were more concerned about added colour.
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Re: What Whisky Industry Practice should be outlawed?

Postby Ganga » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:15 pm

I don't like the addition of e150. I believe that past bottlings (think 80s) were far more offensive for the addition. I had a few I described as tasting like artificial carmel. Some were IBs and some were OBs.

I also much prefer UCF products and even more so cask strength.

Like my friend, the Great Dane, I prefer to spend my money on the whisky and not the bottle and packaging.
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Re: What Whisky Industry Practice should be outlawed?

Postby Blue Note » Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:11 pm

I think what the Balvenie rep. is referring to is the addition of e-150 caramel colouring. The reason it may become an issue is that is has been proven to contain a carcinogen. I just heard on the news that Coke and Pepsi are removing it from their recipes for that reason and I assume that other drink manufacturers will follow. I expect the whisky industry is paying attention and would act to avoid any negative publicity.
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Re: What Whisky Industry Practice should be outlawed?

Postby bredman » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:20 am

We will have to wait and see. Coke et al. all use e150d, whisky industry uses e150a. They are produced in a different way (anyone consuming e150d needs their heads looking at imo), e150d has additional chemical processes and contains sulphites and ammonium. E150a may yet survive the media attention.

Slow coming though, any part-time scientist will tell you all burnt sugar is carcinogenic, and they have been saying this for decades. I read an essay once explaining that caramel colour when tested on lab animals is also immunosuppressive, even the incompetent FDA admits this.
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Re: What Whisky Industry Practice should be outlawed?

Postby Ganga » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:39 am

Hm, wouldn't alcohol in your whisky be a bigger health issue?
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Re: What Whisky Industry Practice should be outlawed?

Postby Willie JJ » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:42 pm

What? Sorry what did you say? :o
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