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Issue 90 - Happy Times

Whisky Magazine Issue 90
September 2010


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Happy Times

Dave Broom discusses whisky fuelled cars and a new excellent watering spot.

It can't have escaped your notice that Edinburgh's Napier University has filed a patent for a new biofuel produced from pot ale and draff. Though this does beg the question what Scotland's cows are going to eat, it could be good news for the motorist. For two years, the team at Napier has been processing samples from Glenkinchie, the end result of which is biobutanol, a fuel which it is claimed gives 30 per cent more output power than ethanol and which can be used by any current model of car. Could we see petrol stations selling whisky fuel?

More pertinently, will each distillery take advantage of what is surely a heaven-sent marketing opportunity and have its own biobutanol pump? Could we see Glenrothes' vintage biobutanol; Macallan's luxury fuel (only for use in Rolls Royces); Bruichladdich's issuing of a different fuel for every make of car in the world? When will the Biofuel Maniacs emerge claiming that they can detect a difference in exhaust fumes between Mortlach and Tullibardine? Will Islay biofuels be banned from the mainland because of the overpowering smell of peat? Diversification is inevitable.

Prior to the Napier announcement, I was musing over that very point when at lunch with a Young Athenian of my acquaintance. The question of how the small distiller can compete was being discussed and we were chatting about how most distilleries these days were making multiple styles of new make spirits.

“It use to be that making a single spirit consistently was the key...

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