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Saturday, 20 December 2008

Whisky - Chemical up-date from the RCS-Chemistry World

Quote: "Donnez de l'eau à un Ecossais, il fera du 12 ans d'age!"

"Give water to a Scot and he'll make a 12 year old mature malt whisky"

A materials chemist well worth knowing, especially at this time of year as the New Year 2009 approaches. Victoria "Gill" RCS, Editor at Chemistry World is well named for the article she wrote.

In "A Whisky Tour",
Victoria attempts to unlock some of the mysteries of Scotch malt whisky, and asks if whisky - Scotch to thze rest of the world, is the most chemically complicated drink in the world?

Put in a nut shell or should I say in a cask, whisky is a law in it's own right!

-The finely-tuned process of Scotch whisky production is governed by its own law -the Scotch Whisky Act
-There are 92 malt whisky distilleries in Scotland, and each one has a slightly different process with different stills, malts and casks for maturation
-Under the Act, Scotch whisky must be matured for at least three years, during which time the spirit reacts with compounds in the timber casks
-Chemists continue to study the complex effects of dilution on the sensory perception of whisky flavours.

Then some start their physical chemistry career studying bubbles in liquid steel publish in lessor known conference proceedings etc while others, more experienced, study bubbles in champagne, and publish via the ACS-American Chemical Society in no joking

SOUCE RCS Chemistry World

Bubbles in Champagne

Bubbles in Liquid Steel on Refractory surfaces
21. J. Alexander, G. S. F. Hazeldean and M. W. Davies: ‘Chemical Metallurgy of. Iron and Steel' 1973
Cited by:
(1)Smets S.; Parada S.; Weytjens J.; Heylen G.; Jones P.T.; Guo M.; Blanpain B.; Wollants P. in
Behaviour of magnesia-carbon refractories in vacuum-oxygen decarburisation ladle linings
(2) J. Alexander, G. S. F. Hazeldean, and M. W. Davies: "Chemical Metallurgy of. Iron and Steel", Iron and Steel Inst., London, 1973, p. 107. cited by
George Langford and Robert E. Cunningham in Steel casting by diffusion solidification