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why is caramel allowed?

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why is caramel allowed?

Postby Marvin » Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:48 pm

Why is caramel allowed in scotch whisky? Surely it makes a mockery of all the whisky reviewers who go on about the colour of a whisky?
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Postby Jan » Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:00 pm

It's all about consistency - the distilleries & blenders believe that consumers would be put off if the colour of their favourite tipple changed colour from batch to batch. They are probably right, at least in regards to the average purchaser of whisky.

A lot enthusiasts, here and elsewhere, think the use of E150 - spirit caramel should be abandoned, as it is suspected it has an impact on flavour. The distilleries on the other hand, maintains that the miniscule amounts used, can't be tasted.

Personally I don't know if its right or not - the fact is, that more than one of my personal favourites has E150 added - and they taste fine to me...

The malt maniacs has done an interesting experiment on this issue:

http://www.maltmadness.com/mm17.html#17-01

It has also been discussed here in the past:

Enemy # 1: Caramel
Coloured malts

Cheers
Jan
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Postby Marvin » Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:11 pm

Why do whisky tasters often describe a whisky's colour though? They seem a bit stupid to me, as it's going to be based on the amount of caramel added!
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Postby sgsoloplayer » Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:48 pm

I like caramel taste in whisky, so pour it on!! hahaha, in all honesty I like the taste and it doesnt bother me much that they do it.
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Postby sgsoloplayer » Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:51 pm

I like caramel taste in whisky, so pour it on!! hahaha, in all honesty I like the taste and it doesnt bother me much that they do it.
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Postby Marvin » Sat Oct 21, 2006 10:34 pm

Sure, but do you not laugh when you see reviewers describing a malt's colour?
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Postby sgsoloplayer » Sat Oct 21, 2006 10:38 pm

I agree with you there... while scotch color may be asthetically pleasing, it does not (for me) have any bearing on whether I like the scotch or not
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Postby Di Blasi » Sun Oct 22, 2006 4:25 am

I like my whisky natural, without any added junk. Keep it simple and real and don't add any caramel color!
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Postby Marvin » Sun Oct 22, 2006 4:31 am

Di Blasi wrote:I like my whisky natural, without any added junk. Keep it simple and real and don't add any caramel color!


Anyone know which ones dont add caramel??
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:11 pm

I would challenge any whisky aficionado to try and detect caramel colouring from different whiskies. Certainly, there are whiskies out there from which it is (particularly if backed by prior knowledge) easy enough to detect that caramel is added. Then again, some add it more subtly..

I would not even pretend to know from taste all whiskies to which caramel colouring is added to. And lets remember, it IS a colouring, not a flavour ingredient unlike some seem to think.

It isn't like some seem to think, that thick molasses is added to the whisky in sufficient quantities! This is another myth of whisky manufacturing, similar to the one about the quality of the water that is used to dilute whisky to 40% or 43% somehow affecting flavours.
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Postby Marvin » Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:15 pm

M.R.J. wrote:I would not even pretend to know from taste all whiskies to which caramel colouring is added to. And lets remember, it IS a colouring, not a flavour ingredient unlike some seem to think.


It does have a flavour though. Ever tried Coke without caramel in it?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:27 pm

Again. Marvin - cola is *not* scotch. Living in Edinburgh, I'm quite certain you are in a prime position to sample the difference. :lol:

Please discuss this issue with experts, they are rather prolific around your very own turf. I am quite certain again that you will indeed find the issue is not all that big. 'Caramel' is not poured in at large, it is and will be a colouring ingredient.
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Postby Marvin » Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:31 pm

Bit of a condesending attitude to take with me there I think, espesially since in the other thread I have just highlighted that you clearly dont even know what caramel actually is.

I'm well aware that cola is not scotch, I am using cola as an example.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:48 pm

Please see response in the other (same) discussion chain you've started.

Again, I would personally not be all that concerned. Lagavulin 16yo is still a great dram to me - with E150.

Purists ahoy! ! :wink:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:51 pm

And my sincere apologies Marvin, if you took offense in any statement I made. I certainly did not wish to offend you, I just find this topic pops up every now and then, and it is getting rather old for me personally :wink:

Lets have a 'dram of peace' should we ever meet!

All the very best,
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Oct 23, 2006 7:03 am

Why is this conversation happening in two different places? Marvin, it's a good conversation and I think it would be better served to be seen in one subject area, not two.
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Re: why is caramel allowed?

Postby duckmcf » Mon Oct 23, 2006 7:16 am

Marvin wrote:Why is caramel allowed in scotch whisky? Surely it makes a mockery of all the whisky reviewers who go on about the colour of a whisky?

Quite agree.
I can barely believe that they're allowed to add water.... ;-) Mein Gott Ardbeg Still young is wonderful. I wish they'd release a 10yo cast strength, but I digress.....

Over the years I've been to a few professionally hosted tastings and one that sticks out is where we were walked through the flavour that caramel imparts. Even with my untrained palette at the end of the night it was easy to identify the caramel tainted blind sample in the bunch - think butterscotch sauce.

Of course, everything I've typed could be complete bollocks and the host of the tasting selected a particularly extreme example of a caramel enhanced whisky to push his own particular agenda....
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