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Whisky pours

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Whisky pours

Postby rthomson » Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:06 am

How long have the 35 ml stainless steel (pewter?) measures been in use in Scotland? I know that pours used to be more toward the 25 ml size and they gradually moved upward to 35 ml but I'm more interested in when the transition to the more exact measures as opposed to freehand pours occurred. It's possible that there are locales in Scotland that do a free pour but every pub I've visited always pours into a 35ml measure and then transfers the whisky to the glass. Has it been this way for a long time or is this a recent development?

Ron
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Sun Dec 03, 2006 3:55 pm

As far as I know the measure has always been in existance and I always thought that the free pour was an American invention but I'm not sure. However the original pours over this side of the pond varied depending on where you were...

Back in the day the standard UK single measure of spirits in a pub was 1/6 gill in England, 1/5 or 1/4 in Scotland and 1/4 gill in Ireland. This has now been replaced by either 25 ml(1/6) or 35 ml(1/4) measures. But in ireland we have actually the 35.5ml measure as standard as that is the exact amount of a 1/4 gill.

A gill equated to 142ml. But it made more sense in imperial measure times. There were 4 measures in a Gill, 4 gills in a pint. 2 pints in a Quart. and 4 quarts in a gallon. It was all very easy to work out in those days.
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Postby Drammer » Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:13 pm

irishwhiskeychaser wrote:A gill equated to 142ml. But it made more sense in imperial measure times. There were 4 measures in a Gill, 4 gills in a pint. 2 pints in a Quart. and 4 quarts in a gallon. It was all very easy to work out in those days.


Easier to imagine i'm sure, but easier to work with? I doubt it.

The imperial system is flawed IMO, the liquid volume system is OK i guess, but the length system is really weird, 1,760 yards in a mile, 3 feet in a yard, 12 inches in a foot. Not to mention rods, chains and furlongs. The metric system is far superior in this, 1000 metres to the kilometre, and 100 cm to the metre. the name implies the amount also, kilo=1000 cent=100 deci=10 and so on.

I've never understood the imperial system.

Anyway, here in holland they use standard sizes for drinks, they pour using a special bottle attachment with some sort of valve system that pours out standard amounts.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Dec 04, 2006 6:47 am

I've seen those in Canada, as well--they can be set for exact half-ounce or one-ounce pours, or whatever you want, I suppose. Everything is metered, and at the end of the day the bar owner knows exactly what has been poured.

Reminds me of an Irish lad I met in St-Malo who implored the barmaid to "let your hand shake, let your hand shake," to no avail.

Yeah, the free pour in the States...wonderful to wander into a bar where the staff know nothing about whisky, and pour three, four, five ounce servings. Unless you have to work the next day!
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:31 am

Drammer wrote:
Easier to imagine i'm sure, but easier to work with? I doubt it.



Don't get me wrong, if I think of the imperial system in relation to metric I'm as confused as anybody. And the reason we use metric now is because it is a better and simpler system. A litre is a litre no matter where you go in the world and there is no confusion.... but a US gallon or a UK gallon :shock: Give me metric any day. And in modern terms the metric system is much easier to use but I was talking about drams.

So on the Imperial system, with halfing and quatering measurements it was an easier way to work out a measure of something. If I had a pint of whiskey or a litre of whiskey it would be easier for me to measure out a dram from the pint rather than from a litre if I did not have the aid of any measuring device.

If we sold our drams in 25ml as opposed to 35ml measures now that would be a different story. But my point was only that imperial measurements in relation to them selves were easy to work out, in relation to metric it makes absolutely no sence.
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Postby rthomson » Mon Dec 04, 2006 5:05 pm

Thanks for the replies. The city of Seattle can be highly restrictive and controlling when it comes to alcohol and I've wondered if they would ever start requiring measured pours. I think they won't go that route but if it should happen it wouldn't be much of an adjustment for me, the great majority of my dramming is done at home.
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Postby Reggaeblues » Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:09 pm

One of my pet hates re: whisky is the 25ml measure! it's expensive and frustratingly small.

Did anyone ever see that Glenlivet ad i posted about a while back? it was in a book on whisky i gave to my Lucie's dad one christmas.

A black and white photo depicted two gnarly scowling scots sitting in a distillery with a bottle of glenlivet and two glasses. the caption read( as i recall):

"The English tell us we have to serve our beloved glenlivet in 25ml portions. You know what we think of the English..."

Quite so! I doubt they'd be much happier with 35ml...
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Postby vitara7 » Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:21 pm

forget the mesures, better with just aheavy right handed pour ;)
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:32 pm

Dextrist!
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Postby Drammer » Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:54 pm

irishwhiskeychaser wrote:
Drammer wrote:
Easier to imagine i'm sure, but easier to work with? I doubt it.



Don't get me wrong, if I think of the imperial system in relation to metric I'm as confused as anybody. And the reason we use metric now is because it is a better and simpler system. A litre is a litre no matter where you go in the world and there is no confusion.... but a US gallon or a UK gallon :shock: Give me metric any day. And in modern terms the metric system is much easier to use but I was talking about drams.

So on the Imperial system, with halfing and quatering measurements it was an easier way to work out a measure of something. If I had a pint of whiskey or a litre of whiskey it would be easier for me to measure out a dram from the pint rather than from a litre if I did not have the aid of any measuring device.

If we sold our drams in 25ml as opposed to 35ml measures now that would be a different story. But my point was only that imperial measurements in relation to them selves were easy to work out, in relation to metric it makes absolutely no sence.


one quart is 1.14 litre, so for guesstimating purposes I always interchange them freely. But glad you agree, because I've dealt with some hard core imperialists... :P
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