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Any One for a Scotch? - Page 131

post #1951 of 3328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post

There are probably five hundred of the things around here but people might look askew if I brought in scotch to sample.

Is it really that it's never been done before? Or that no one in the Industry has access to this kind of equipment? If a bona fide expert says that some kinds of plant material produce phenols and some kinds don't, do we really need to second guess?

I can't help being uncertain as to where the facts lie in this. The WhiskyScience blog seems to my inexperienced (and ignorant) eye to be offering up pretty "scientific" data. Perhaps based on GC/MS spectrometer results? If such results indicate that phenols themselves produce medicinal flavours, does speculation...even common sense speculation...trump?

I suspect it is a mistake to dismiss those findings out of hand.
post #1952 of 3328
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewYorkIslander View Post


I even have my wife drinking Laphroaig! We love it.

 

Laphroaig 10 was the first Scotch whisky I ever drank, and I loved it. It was, literally, a random selection, back in my final year of college. The liquor store had six scotches and didn't know anything about them, so I picked that one at random. Loved it straight off, although my wife is a bigger fan of the peat than I am.  These days Bunnahabhain and Bruichladdich trade places as my favorite Islay malts. 

 

I got hooked on the single-cask, independently bottled editions a while back. This was last night's tasting (not pictured, a Caol Ila 12):

 

 

 

post #1953 of 3328
Just grabbed a bottle of Dunkeld Atholl Brose from Gordon MacPhail. Have not tasted it yet, but it was on sale and intrigued me enough that I thought it would be worth a try. Anyone ever had Atholl Brose before and care to comment on what I can expect?
post #1954 of 3328
For anyone in New York, Chambers St Wine is doing a tasting of Arran and Kilchoman tonight from 6 - 8.
post #1955 of 3328
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Is it really that it's never been done before? Or that no one in the Industry has access to this kind of equipment? If a bona fide expert says that some kinds of plant material produce phenols and some kinds don't, do we really need to second guess?

I can't help being uncertain as to where the facts lie in this. The WhiskyScience blog seems to my inexperienced (and ignorant) eye to be offering up pretty "scientific" data. Perhaps based on GC/MS spectrometer results? If such results indicate that phenols themselves produce medicinal flavours, does speculation...even common sense speculation...trump?

I suspect it is a mistake to dismiss those findings out of hand.

I'm sure plenty of distillers routinely perform those types of experiments. Problem is telling who exactly is a bona fide expert, and who is a self-trained hack. I'd (probably) trust someone who worked for a big distiller, but someone who runs a blog? Hard to say without looking at their credentials. Lots of pseudo-scientific stuff in fields like this.

I don't know enough about flavor/scent chemistry to have anything useful to say there. It's a pretty complex topic.

I just pulled up a couple papers on it. I'll read 'em tomorrow and see if anything interesting comes up. Doubt they'll get as specific as medicinal flavor vs other notes though.
post #1956 of 3328
Quote:
Originally Posted by denning View Post

Just grabbed a bottle of Dunkeld Atholl Brose from Gordon MacPhail. Have not tasted it yet, but it was on sale and intrigued me enough that I thought it would be worth a try. Anyone ever had Atholl Brose before and care to comment on what I can expect?

 

Never heard of it before, but a google search reveals it's a whisky liqueur rather than a single malt. G & M describes it as "A luxurious golden blend of single malt whisky, honey and carefully-selected herbs, Dunkeld Atholl Brose is a unique product steeped in Scottish history."

 

post #1957 of 3328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post

I just pulled up a couple papers on it. I'll read 'em tomorrow and see if anything interesting comes up. Doubt they'll get as specific as medicinal flavor vs other notes though.

I am pleasantly surprised! Found a paper in the Journal of The Institute of Brewing, title was "Origins of Flavor in Whiskies and a Revised Flavor Wheel," and it had a nicely comprehensive listing of the chemical roots of various flavors and even mouthfeel components. Very nice.

They say that "medicinal" notes come from cresols, while "peaty" comes from phenols. I'm not entirely sure why the cresols would taste like iodine, perhaps they trigger the same flavor receptors as iodine itself. The paper doesn't mention them being iodized compounds, although that's also possible I guess.

The "flavor" components are mostly aldehydes and esters. They break it all down pretty in depth.

The specific flavor compound of each whisky depends on the mash bill, how it's fermented (which sugars end up in the final product), and what's in the smoke and how hot it gets. All the reactions are detailed.


Also, ~15% of the UK population has a genetic mutation which renders them much less sensitive to phenols, which radically changes how they perceive the whisky. Interesting stuff.


Could send it to anybody that's interested. Pretty heavy stuff though.
post #1958 of 3328
Tonight is Caol Ila 10 and then Bruchladdich Rocks
post #1959 of 3328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post

Could send it to anybody that's interested. Pretty heavy stuff though.

I could use a break from root partitions and quantum field theory. PM in bound.
post #1960 of 3328
Best Glenfarclas? How would you compare to Balvenie generally?
post #1961 of 3328
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewYorkIslander View Post

Best Glenfarclas? How would you compare to Balvenie generally?

This can be a very open-ended question. Best to specify a price range.
post #1962 of 3328
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewYorkIslander View Post

Best Glenfarclas? How would you compare to Balvenie generally?


Glenfarclas is much more heavily sherried than Blavenie. All the expressions that I've tried have a treacly note. Think Christmas pudding - spices, dried fruit, toffee, etc. At the most extreme it can be cloyingly sweet IMO. If you haven't had it before, I'd try a couple of expressions in a bar before buying a bottle.

post #1963 of 3328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Longmorn View Post

You are, but I mean that in the nicest possible way biggrin.gif .

That's okay - I remember when good vintages of Chateau Latour could be had for ~$300. We all have stories like this.

I remember when I could've bought the 1989 Latour and 1989 Haut Brion for $99. I bought one bottle each of '89 Mouton Rothschild and '89 Margaux instead. Had I not been a complete moron (and poor post-college person), I would've bought 6 btls of all four.
post #1964 of 3328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntsman View Post

I'm not sure I get how the implication necessarily follows from the prior statements.

The phenols (a huge class of chemical compounds which can create a huge range of flavors) come from the burning peat, and that peat is composed of decayed muck from a whole range of types of vegetative matter. Hypothesis: More medicinal whiskys are made from malt that has been roasted over peat with a higher amount of seaweed/saltwater in it. Thus, that peat gives off a collection of phenols that are richer in the particular phenols that yield medicinal notes.  Supposedly, there are like three different types of seaweed that have been found in peat; a green, red, and the brown kelp-like seaweed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by why View Post

I'm not a chemist but from what I do know I'd say Huntsman is right. Also, many 'science of alcohol' websites are psychobabble. I'm also willing to bet that flavors like iodine do in fact come from iodine itself as Gibonious suggested.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Huntsman makes a convincing case and I'd like to take it at face value...it is, after all, what I've believed for some years now.

But it re-raises the question--some peats won't have any appreciable iodine (kelp or salt water) in them, simply because of geography. So some heavily peated whiskys should be nearly free of any medicinal flavours while at the same time retaining the smokiness and the peat reek. [and at one point in time I suspect most if not all SM Scotches were dried and distilled over peat as it was the most common and readily available fuel in Scotland.]


Edited by gopherblue - 1/31/13 at 2:37pm
post #1965 of 3328
Quote:
Originally Posted by gopherblue View Post



 

 

Nice!

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