The magic of Swarovski crystals

Good to know! I am not a crystal fanatic and most, especially the ‘art’ pieces, are garbage. But a great scotch from a heavy, substantial leaded crystal glass is soo nice.

This thing made me nauseous.


due, I think, to aggressive tactics on behalf of their local concern within our bar-distributor oligopoly, they are selling a TON of it in Atlanta. “Dew and a brew” is a very common drink special over the last five-ish years here.

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If you were careful you could crack that open and pour some scotch in it.


I’d suggest cutting with a water jet.

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Its mostly due to the global boom in whiskey sales. Bourbon is still leading it but as better bottlings get harder to find there’s ever increasing interest in scotch and Irish whiskies. China is especially driving a lot of it. Not only has Tully reopened its own distilery, but Kilbegan (which has mostly been a museum) is ramping up production, and Cooley which makes a lot of the best Irish whiskies has like doubled in size. Where as 10 years ago it was in danger of closing. Ireland went from having only 3 distilleries to better than 5 now. And brands that were once only available in Ireland are getting pretty trivial to find in the US.


I am not denigrating Irish whiskey in the slightest. Just a thought experiment.

Quite often I have wondered if it would be possible to build up a whiskey tradition in NW US. We have good barley, great distillers, but no cachet. How do you build cachet in a single lifetime?

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I would suggest to focus at making the tastiest, yummiest whiskey wide and far. Start there…

If you start now, couldn’t you be selling some Japhroaig in 8 years or so? (perhaps change the name, to avoid lawsuits?)

I have bought some whiskey from Portland before…Rogue’s Dead Guy (which was plain awful), and I got a clear whisky from somewhere else a few years ago - House Spirits, I think? That was an…interesting…experience (aged 3 hours?).

As much as I appreciate what rogue has done… Isn’t their whiskey awful?

I need to get my rear in gear. I have access to 150 acres of oak that would be free to me. The staves from these trees are never straight so you don’t build barrels from them, you use stainless barrels and insert staves :smile:

Hell, James would pay me to knock down an acre and plant fir.

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Isn’t it crap? White dog is the worst thing to happen to whiskey in decades.

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I have… Uh… Tasted several distilled concoctions that could be labeled as such, as in smeared heads hearts and tails… From other people. But others were a perfect blend of hearts and first run tails, which was great. So I have heard.

There are reportedly some methods to accelerate the aging.

Or do the unsexy thing all distillers know, use chips in stainless holding tanks and pump finely distributed oxygen through the distillate.

Shit, use hydrogen peroxide.

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We used a drop of hydrogen peroxide to make passable vodka from UV spectroscopy grade alcohol. Oh, the times…!

Aeration was used in other worksite to evict more volatile denaturation additives from cleaning-grade alcohol. Worked like a charm, double so when in tandem with a packed rectification column. Aerate a batch while distilling the previous one. Then use a gas chromatograph to check the purity, rerun distillation if insufficient. Oh, oh, oh, the times!

…I need a GC unit.
Well, make it GC-MS, these are way WAY sweeter…

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Gas chromatography? Are you crazy? Put some distillate on your finger, shake till it is dry, breath out of your nose three times then smell your finger.

If it smells, rerun (or wash your hands more frequently).

…or so someone told me.


We had the GC unit in the lab. Checking the peaks and the numbers from the integrator was way less prone to subjective error than the finger method. It also caught much lower levels of bad things (in this case, mostly aliphatic hydrocarbons) than what an untrained nose can detect.

…and using an internal standard you could even measure how much of the bad stuff you have there. And identify the bad one (and possibly infer its origin) if you ran four flights of stairs to the lab with the GCMS.

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Might you have the knowhow to clean up the poisonous ethanol blends that were mandated by the treasury during Prohibition?

Possibly, given the instrumentation.

With GC-MS, you look and see (if your MS spectrum library is worth something) and figure out the ways analytically.

With GC only, you have to guess a bit and try things from aeration through fractional distillation and freezing to adsorption on activated carbon, possibly combined with oxidation with e.g. peroxide. Certainly test the results with the instruments, to make sure you get clean product. And do not rely on the feedstock being identical batch to batch, they can change the recipe on drop of a hat and then you’d be poisoning the customers.

If you manage to score an ion mobility spectrometer, e.g. by relieving a DHS agent or a CBRN-specialist soldier from one, or (better, todo…) build one, you get less well defined peaks but a more portable instrument; the drift tube is way shorter than the capillary column. I wonder if the atmospheric ones (you can use dried purified air as a drift medium) could detect methanol, or if the mass difference against the atmospheric gases is too low…
Edit: possibly yes…