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Whisky from the Spirit Safe versus Cask Strength Whisky

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Whisky from the Spirit Safe versus Cask Strength Whisky

Postby Onefortheditch » Fri Jul 25, 2008 2:44 pm

I have 2 questions.

Whisky from the spirit safe has a gaelic name beginning with "c", but I can't remember it. Does anyone know it as its annoying me?

Cask strength whisky which is 50-60% abv can burn the roof of your mouth off, yet spirit safe whisky which can be 70% abv seemingly tastes quite sweet (perhaps with a hint of apple) and won't burn the roof of your mouth off. How can this be??
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Re: Whisky from the Spirit Safe versus Cask Strength Whisky

Postby fishboy » Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:05 pm

I've heard new make referred to as "clearic" - is this the word you're searching for?

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Re: Whisky from the Spirit Safe versus Cask Strength Whisky

Postby Leither » Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:15 pm

As FB says, clearic I think is the word you are after.

As to why it tastes smoother than CS aged spirit - not sure, but my guess would be that clearic is simply pure spirit (or in chemical terms simply ethanol) but after maturing in wood it will pick up more flavour compounds and congeners (fatty acids) from the tannins and vanillins in the wood, therefore it will taste more complex and as such more mouthfeel or burn. Hope that makes sense!

Is'nt it amazing what you can remember from Higher Chemistry! I remember once we made alcohol by fermenting orange juice, it tasted foul but as we were all 14 year olds we sure gulped it down. :thumbsup:
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Re: Whisky from the Spirit Safe versus Cask Strength Whisky

Postby Bruichladdict » Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:23 pm

You are quite correct with regards to the new make's properties. Pure ethanol is virtually tasteless, it is a distant cousin of water afterall! In fact, were it not for the warming effect of ethanol, the only clue you were drinking it would be your rapid inebriation.

Many of the flavour components will come from wood, however a poorly distilled new make can also taste foul depending on when distillation begins and ends. The foreshot will contain some methanol, which can taste foul and the feints will contain higher molecular weight compounds (i.e. more complex molecules) which will definitely have a good or bad taste.

So depending on how narrow, early, and/or late the cut, the new make may or may not have strong flavouring.
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Re: Whisky from the Spirit Safe versus Cask Strength Whisky

Postby Willie JJ » Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:48 pm

Bruichladdict wrote:You are quite correct with regards to the new make's properties. Pure ethanol is virtually tasteless, it is a distant cousin of water afterall! In fact, were it not for the warming effect of ethanol, the only clue you were drinking it would be your rapid inebriation.

Agreed, but new make is not pure alcohol (I'm sure you know this Bruichladdict it's just for clarification). It typically comes off the still in the low 70s%, so there are a lot of flavour compounds already in with the alcohol of the new make. That's why it's so fruity and delicious. I love new make. :D
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Re: Whisky from the Spirit Safe versus Cask Strength Whisky

Postby oldrip57 » Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:15 am

A couple of points, not necessarily contrary to anything else posted earlier:
  • 'foreshots' and 'feints', in American whiskey, are called 'heads' and 'tails' and, indeed, are not good things. They are over-concentrations of congeners, fusel oils and esters (in layman's words, taste/smell elements) produced as the still is heating up and/or cooling down during a production run. They are 'taken off' and redistilled, State-side.
  • personally, I've never found that even high-proof/abv whisk(e)y burns the roof of my mouth but, then, I don't gulp it, either. Except for a very few special bottlings, most are chill-filtered, which removes some of the remaining congeners/esters/fusel oils, in fact 'stripping' it of some of its taste elements. Also, I find beginning a pour in the center of the tongue, where there are far fewer taste receptors, allows me to gradually introduce it to the remaining tastebuds :). Anyhow, that whisky from the spirit safe will be un-filtered, and contain ALL the flavor elements vis-a-vis the alcohol content, somewhat taming it.
(You may have convinced me to end my night with a pour of unfiltered, 72.4% abv George T. Stagg, which I haven't assayed for awhile. I have the dregs of a bottle, plus one on the shelf, with only a few months till a new issue. Why not, eh?)
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Re: Whisky from the Spirit Safe versus Cask Strength Whisky

Postby Onefortheditch » Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:36 am

Thanks - clearic is the word I was looking for, but now I'm not sure if its Gaelic or not?

And the explanations about clearic v cask strength sound about right!

:thumbsup:
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Re: Whisky from the Spirit Safe versus Cask Strength Whisky

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jul 28, 2008 4:18 pm

The term is spelt "clearach" and AFAIK it was invented by Michel Couvrier to label his underage malt spirit that he couldn't call whisky. His was not clear as it contained a sizable portion of much older whisky.

The traditional terms in the whisky industry are:

new make
new spirit
white dog
Last edited by Deactivated Member on Mon Jul 28, 2008 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Whisky from the Spirit Safe versus Cask Strength Whisky

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jul 28, 2008 4:24 pm

There's a joke in there about angels and clearics, but I'm damned if I can pin it down.
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Re: Whisky from the Spirit Safe versus Cask Strength Whisky

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jul 28, 2008 4:47 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:There's a joke in there about angels and clearics

There might have been if that's how it had been spelt.
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Re: Whisky from the Spirit Safe versus Cask Strength Whisky

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jul 28, 2008 6:55 pm

Well, that explains it. That, and the fact that the pin was top-heavy with dancing angels.
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