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Nuclear bomb tests help to identify fake whisky
Telegraph (U.K.) ^ | May 2, 2009 | Richard Gray

Posted on 05/02/2009 11:45:37 PM PDT by Schnucki

Radioactive material flung into the atmosphere by nuclear bomb tests is helping scientists to fight the multi-million pound trade in counterfeit antique malt whisky.

Bottles of vintage whisky can sell for thousands of pounds each, but industry experts claim the market has been flooded with fakes that purport to be several hundred years old but instead contain worthless spirit that was made just a few years ago.

Scientists have found, however, that minute levels of radioactive carbon absorbed by the barley as it grew before it was harvested to make the whisky can betray how old it is.

Researchers at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, which is funded by the National Environmental Research Council, discovered that they could pinpoint the date a whisky was made by detecting traces of radioactive particles created by nuclear bomb tests in the 1950s.

They can also use natural background levels of radioactivity to identify whiskies that were made in earlier centuries.

Dr Tom Higham, deputy director of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, said: "It is easy to tell if whisky is fake as if it has been produced since the middle of the twentieth century, it has a very distinctive signature.

"With whiskies that are older, we can get a range of dates but we can usually tell which century it came from. The earliest whisky we have dated came from the 1700s and most have been from 19th century.

"So far there have probably been more fakes among the samples we've tested than real examples of old whisky."

The technique the scientists use is known as radiocarbon dating and is more commonly used by archaeologists to date ancient fragments of bone and wood.

It relies upon the fact that all living organisms absorb low levels of a radioactive isotope known as carbon 14,

(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: nuclear; whiskey
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1 posted on 05/02/2009 11:45:37 PM PDT by Schnucki
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To: Schnucki
Aged whiskey?

"Eat your heart out, Jack Daniels!"


2 posted on 05/03/2009 12:00:35 AM PDT by Jeff Chandler ("Mr. President, I support you but not your mission. I'm showing my patriotism through dissent.")
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To: Schnucki
Whiskeyor whisky. What is the correct spelling. Maybe the non aged spirit grew an E.
3 posted on 05/03/2009 12:02:47 AM PDT by Global2010 (Catholics Come HomeAddress:http://www.catholicscomehome.org/about-us.phtml)
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To: Tijeras_Slim

Glowing report !


4 posted on 05/03/2009 12:16:27 AM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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To: Global2010

spelling all depends on whether your talking scotch or bourbon. Jack is a bourbon whiskey while scotch is common in Britain.


5 posted on 05/03/2009 12:33:24 AM PDT by mtnjimmi (“When you choose the lesser of two evils, always remember that it is still an evil.” Max Lerner)
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To: Schnucki

Years ago I read of a fellow who would pour for his guests from a Chivas Regal bottle filled with inexpensive pedestrian whiskey. Nobody ever could tell.

Nouveau riche posers buy for prestige, not for inherent quality. Art, whiskey, or autographed baseballs, not many actually can tell the difference. Nor do they really care as long as the people they want to impress are fooled.


6 posted on 05/03/2009 12:46:01 AM PDT by tlb
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To: tlb

Lots of bars do that. They keep two bottles of the same brand, one with the real stuff and the other filled with cheap stuff.

Most people can tell if they are getting the real stuff the first or second drink — but the alcohol itself numbs the tongue and after the third one, they can barely tell what they are drinking, let alone what brand it is.


7 posted on 05/03/2009 12:52:01 AM PDT by Ronin (Moderate Taliban? Oxymoron. Obama voters? Plain morons.)
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To: Schnucki

There was a bar in London I think about 20 years ago that specialized in rare booze that you could by by the shot for amounts of like $100.00 or $2000.00 from bottles that were collected from old and rare collections such as Napoleon’s actual, personal bottles of brandy, or such.


8 posted on 05/03/2009 1:06:44 AM PDT by ansel12 (Romney (guns)"instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people")
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To: Global2010

“Whiskey” is the common American spelling.

“Whisky” is the common Scottish spelling.


9 posted on 05/03/2009 1:12:28 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: Schnucki

More dividends from Atom for Peace!


10 posted on 05/03/2009 1:13:32 AM PDT by Red Dog #1
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To: NVDave

Thanks for the clarification.

What is the draw for those who enjoy Scotch Whisky (or bourbon ect.)

Does it actually taste good to those who enjoy it?

Is a man thing?

Curious.


11 posted on 05/03/2009 1:20:54 AM PDT by Global2010 (Catholics Come HomeAddress:http://www.catholicscomehome.org/about-us.phtml)
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To: Global2010

If you make the effort to aquire a taste for it, it makes a huge difference.
I’ve only recently started exploring bourbon, and I can already tell you the difference between a shot of Jack Daniels and a shot of Woodford Reserve.


12 posted on 05/03/2009 1:33:15 AM PDT by LongElegantLegs (not restricting a freedom, but punishing those who abuse their freedom to the detriment of others.)
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To: Global2010

Of all the whiskeys I prefer a good Irish. And yes it is a taste thing, what else? And while I oft times have a bit of ice it’s best taken neat at slightly below room temperature in small wee sips.


13 posted on 05/03/2009 1:45:29 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Global2010

Blue label all day all night 0_0


14 posted on 05/03/2009 1:58:02 AM PDT by happinesswithoutpeace (There was a hole here, it's gone now)
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To: mtnjimmi; Global2010

Not to be too nit-picky, but Jack Daniels is not Bourbon.
Read the bottle. It is a Tennesee Whiskey.
Bourbon is made in Kentucky.
Woodford Reserve is a very good bourbon.
I also like Jim Beam Black, another bourbon.
Okay, Makers Mark, too.


15 posted on 05/03/2009 2:31:07 AM PDT by gigster
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To: gigster
Most bourbon is made in KY, but not all...geography isn't part of the definition.
16 posted on 05/03/2009 3:19:47 AM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: tlb

Anybody used to drinking Chivas or other “good stuff” can tell right away. I suspect in the example you mention, they certainly would have made the distinction in a side by side consecutive test.


17 posted on 05/03/2009 3:22:45 AM PDT by Freedom4US
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To: Global2010

If it’s from Canada or Scotland, the spelling is whisky. If it’s American or Irish, it’s whiskey.


18 posted on 05/03/2009 3:37:32 AM PDT by Squawk 8888 (TSA and DHS are jobs programs for people who are not smart enough to flip burgers)
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To: Schnucki

As long as I’m not flying the same or next day, I am more than willing to carry out tests... as are most of my fellow pilots.


19 posted on 05/03/2009 3:54:55 AM PDT by ERJCaptain
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To: gigster; mtnjimmi; Global2010
Just to be picky, Jack is sourmash Tennesse sipping whiskey.

Famous Grouse is a much better blended Scotch whisky than Chivas.

Old Charter Ten and Glenlivit 18 are my favorites.

20 posted on 05/03/2009 4:09:02 AM PDT by razorback-bert (We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.)
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To: tlb

I won $10 betting I could tell the difference between Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, and Knob Creek.


21 posted on 05/03/2009 4:13:09 AM PDT by ko_kyi
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To: Schnucki

If it cannot be determined by taste, why are people paying more for it?


22 posted on 05/03/2009 5:53:13 AM PDT by SampleMan (Socialism enslaves you & kills your soul.)
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To: Schnucki

I’ll drink to that!


23 posted on 05/03/2009 5:56:50 AM PDT by 2harddrive (...House a TOTAL Loss.....)
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To: Global2010

I grew up in Florida. Tried American whiskey (bourbon) and did not like it.

The first time I tried Scotch, when I was about 30, I thought it was horrible. Later found out that it was probably due to it being nasty, cheap crud.

About ten years later a friend got me to try a good scotch (The Macallan) and I’ve been a scotch drinker ever since. Yes, it does taste good. Fantastic in fact. My tastes have evolved towards the smokier, peaty type of scotches from Islay, such as Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Caol Ila, or Talisker from Skye. There are some others that are enjoyable such as the aforementioned Macallan or Balvanie Double wood, which are sweeter and not smoky.

It’s hard to explain, after having been a non whiskey drinker for so long. Maybe it’s genetic, as I am of Scotch-Irish stock.

Is it a man thing? Not sure.


24 posted on 05/03/2009 6:37:24 AM PDT by ExpatGator (Extending logic since 1961.)
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To: razorback-bert

Ah yes, the Grouse. Without a doubt the best scotch for the money.


25 posted on 05/03/2009 6:39:19 AM PDT by ExpatGator (Extending logic since 1961.)
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To: ko_kyi
I won $10 betting I could tell the difference between Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, and Knob Creek.

I will bet that the purveyor / retailer made more. /grin

Just goes to show that EVERYONE is an individual and have different tastes and desires. The communist dream of a cookie-cutter 'common man', is a nightmare and this is one of Communism / Socialism's main myths and faults.

I am not you and boy are you ever lucky!

I can't buy into the idea that just because you are in government you know how to run banks and autos for everyone even though you have whiskey, whisky, bourbon and even VODKA drinkers out there. Yet still they persist in "I'm from the government and I am here to help you!" God save us all!

26 posted on 05/03/2009 6:45:37 AM PDT by SES1066 (Cycling to conserve, Conservative to save, Saving to Retire, will Retire to Cycle.)
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To: ExpatGator
Ah yes, the Grouse. Without a doubt the best scotch for the money.

My current favorite is Dalwhinnie

27 posted on 05/03/2009 7:23:43 AM PDT by Uriel-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: XeniaSt

I’ve not tried it, but it’s on my list of future investigations. Thanks for the recommendation.


28 posted on 05/03/2009 7:26:26 AM PDT by ExpatGator (Extending logic since 1961.)
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To: razorback-bert

I haven’t quite yet developed a full appreciation of some single-malt Scotchs. I have a bottle of The Ardbeg, which is like taking a bite of charred,smoldering peat.
I have not yet had either Old Charter Ten, or Glenlivet 18.
I shall have to diligently search for them, and report back to you,sir.

(What I like about FR is we start to talk about the F-35 JSF,and end up talking about Scotch.)


29 posted on 05/03/2009 9:39:47 AM PDT by gigster
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To: razorback-bert

OOPS, I was thinking of another post.


30 posted on 05/03/2009 10:02:11 AM PDT by gigster
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To: Gondring

I read that approx. 99% of bourbon is made in Kentucky.
Some say that the water used in Kentucky makes the biggest difference.

Now, you can use the same method, and ingredients, and it will be mighty close, but true afficianados (or snobs) would beg to differ.

I’m in Denver today, and they make a very good Colorado Whiskey here, but I don’t think they would dare call it
“Bourbon”.

For me, I will have to “research” the subject in more depth
(of the glass).


31 posted on 05/03/2009 10:17:28 AM PDT by gigster
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To: Global2010

Yes, it actually tastes good.

Now, we must qualify the situation: bad, cheap, nasty whisk[e]y tastes... well, bad, cheap and nasty. And most whiskey/whisky out there is cheap, nasty crap.

Take a top-shelf vodka and take a low-end nasty vodka - side by side. Put a little splash into two glasses. Taste them side-by-side.

All that crap you can taste in a cheap vodka? Now put that into a cheap whiskey, and add some straw/oak sort-of color and add in some even nastier crap for the ‘nose’ and aftertaste of the drink, and you have the cheap whiskey experience. Cheap whiskey tastes like paint thinner and iodine.

Most cheap whiskey/whisky is not MALT whisky. This is an important differentiation - cheap, “vat” whisky is often made from corn spirits, and then blended with ever so little malt whisky to attempt to give it a hint of the ‘nose’ and taste of real single-malt scotch. It doesn’t work. Put a fine, 100% single malt side-by-side with a cheap, nasty blended whisky and you can see a) that there IS a difference, b) that you don’t need to be some hoity-toity whisky snob and self-styled ‘expert’ to identify which one is the “real” scotch, and c) there is a point in drinking real single malt whisky, and there’s no point in drinking the cheap nasty crap once you’ve tasted the Real McCoy.

Now, in American whiskeys or whiskey-like spirits, you have the same situation. You have the vast preponderance of mass-produced paint thinner and varnish removers posing as a drinkable spirit, and then you have the really good stuff.

In all things, quality costs money. For a bottle of whiskey/whisky, quality starts at about $30/bottle (750ml) and goes up. That said, there is little point in paying huge money for a bottle of single malt that has been aged more than about 18 years. Most all the character of a good whiskey has been sorted out somewhere between eight and 18 years in the cask. 12 to 15 years appears (from my observation, which is not complete - I’ve had only about 35 single malt whiskies in my day) to be optimum. 25 years and up seems to me to be an exercise in spending exponential increases in money for sub-linear increases in character or quality.

Bourbon is corn whiskey aged in oak barrels. The difference between real bourbon and nasty bourbon is that the real bourbon is distilled, then put into barrels and aged for several years. Jack Daniels is one such product, and their single barrel product is the “real” deal. (I’m not shilling for them, just pointing out that they’ve cottoned onto the single malt idea in bourbon - and they’re marketing it effectively).

Nasty corn squeezin’s is industrial corn mash distilled into a clear alcohol, then blended with a hint of bourbon to get some flavor. Again, the cheap, nasty character comes through all too often.

See where I’m going here? The secret to good spirits in general (whether whiskey, whisky, bourbon, rye, gin, vodka, tequila, whatever) is to pay for quality, which necessarily costs more because there’s so much less of it. Tequila is another spirit where the mass-production stuff tastes horrible, but the real, 100% blue agave tequila — ah, that’s a whole different experience entirely.

I’ve seen several women drink whiskey/whisky, but many women seem to prefer watering down their drinks. A couple drams of whisky and most women are tottering on their feet, whereas guys my size aren’t even noticing the effect yet. Watering down whisky/whiskey is something of a sin among whisky drinkers - a little water added to cask strength whiskies (approx 60 to 65% alcohol is cask strength) is useful for allowing more of the aromatics to escape to your nose, but watering the drink down the way too many people do with “scotch on the rocks” (scotch, ice and water — and when the ice melts, you have merely disinfected water) is just criminal. For “proof” (43% alcohol) whisky, I drink it straight (”neat” in whisky lingo) and for 55%+ cask strength, I’ll add a little dollop of water to my glass — but never ice.


32 posted on 05/03/2009 2:27:27 PM PDT by NVDave
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To: gigster

You’re right, of course.

I lump it in with bourbon because to me, I quantify these things by the feedstock - ie, corn is bourbon, malted barley is whiskey, rye is rye, etc.

Woodford is a bourbon I rather like. It seems to be a quality product.


33 posted on 05/03/2009 2:33:29 PM PDT by NVDave
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To: NVDave

Why is blended whiskey never mentioned in these threads? Scotch and bourbon, Scoth and bourbon. What’s wrong with Canadian Whiskey?


34 posted on 05/03/2009 2:37:55 PM PDT by csmusaret (http://www.aipnews.com/)
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To: NVDave

Your post should have a “sticky” as they call it on other forums - It should stay near the top. Great post. I learned a lot.


35 posted on 05/03/2009 2:44:35 PM PDT by Hardastarboard (I long for the days when advertisers didn't constantly ask about the health of my genital organs.)
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To: LongElegantLegs

Jack Daniels is NOT bourbon.


36 posted on 05/03/2009 3:30:46 PM PDT by 2nd amendment mama ( www.2asisters.org | Self defense is a basic human right!)
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To: 2nd amendment mama

Well, excuse the holy hell out of me.

WR and Fighting Cock, if it pleases you. I was just trying to give an example of something that most people would be familiar with.


37 posted on 05/03/2009 5:29:53 PM PDT by LongElegantLegs (not restricting a freedom, but punishing those who abuse their freedom to the detriment of others.)
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To: NVDave

Sounds good to me, Pal.
I think the only way to settle all of this is at a dark-paneled bar with a couple of “comparison” rounds.

Are ya with me?


38 posted on 05/03/2009 8:10:20 PM PDT by gigster
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To: csmusaret

There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with it, per se. It just is neither fish nor fowl for whisk[e]y adherents of the US, whom prefer either Scotch or American whiskeys like bourbon, Tennessee whiskey, etc.

If I had to put my finger on one characteristic of Canadian whiskeys that I don’t like, and I think is the issue that makes Canadian whiskeys of limited popularity in the US, it would be this: their ‘finish’ is too sweet, or seems to be cloying. I’m not some hoity-toity gourmand wanker writing columns and books, so I can’t put it into words as accurately or floridly as others might, but if we were at an appropriate establishment for the vending and consumption of adult beverages, I believe I could show y’all what I mean in a side-by-side test.

Obviously the Canadians like it, and they’re not dropping like flies from drinking it, so there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with it. The nose is OK, the start of the taste is OK, for me it is the finish. And since most of us tend to drink whiskey in sips, the finish is rather important...


39 posted on 05/03/2009 10:08:08 PM PDT by NVDave
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To: csmusaret

Oh, and “blended” whiskies. Here’s what I think about them:

The aim of blending is one or both of two things:

1. To create uniformity in large scale bottlings.

2. To allow the dilution of a pure product with something like clear spirit made from straight distilled corn mash - purified moonshine, if you will.

I’d rather pay for and drink the 100% undiluted product. I gots only one liver, might as well use it for only the good stuff.


40 posted on 05/03/2009 10:11:57 PM PDT by NVDave
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To: Cailleach; ReneeLynn; Beowulf9; dorothy; FrPR; MrsPatriot; Dr. Eckleburg; DieHard the Hunter; ...
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Pipes and Drums of FreeRepublic ping!

This is an ultra-low-volume ping list (typically weeks to months between pings, for matters related to Highland bagpipes and Scotland).
FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this list.

Going to the Games? Organize a Clan FReeper get-together!

41 posted on 05/04/2009 11:14:23 AM PDT by sionnsar ((Iran Azadi | 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | "Also sprach Telethustra" - NonValueAdded)
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To: sionnsar; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ..

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
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Okay, so, this probably isn't pingworthy for GGG -- still, it's about radiocarbon dating, and I think I got a whiff of booze on someone's breath when I signed on this morning, so...
Scientists have found, however, that minute levels of radioactive carbon absorbed by the barley as it grew before it was harvested to make the whisky can betray how old it is.
Thanks sionnsar!

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

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42 posted on 05/04/2009 11:25:47 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________ Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: SeaDragon

goodness


43 posted on 05/04/2009 11:40:27 AM PDT by RikaStrom (Bitter? Who me? Nah, I'm just clinging to my guns!)
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To: Schnucki

Now who said Nuclear Weapons were bad for mankind?


44 posted on 05/04/2009 11:41:07 AM PDT by dfwgator (1996 2006 2008 - Good Things Come in Threes)
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To: sionnsar

Ahh... the water of life.

;-)


45 posted on 05/04/2009 11:42:14 AM PDT by RikaStrom (Bitter? Who me? Nah, I'm just clinging to my guns!)
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To: Cardhu

ping


46 posted on 05/04/2009 11:52:51 AM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 105 of our national holiday from reality.)
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To: null and void
Damn! I did not think you would find out but fake is the only whisky that I can afford. But I do mix it with fake OJ to make it drinkable.

Now my cognac is sort of up there in the medium price range as it is not mixable with anything I like or could make.

Good to hear from you Nully.

47 posted on 05/04/2009 12:05:47 PM PDT by Cardhu (Be happy, today you will be the youngest you will ever be.)
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To: SunkenCiv; Schnucki
Aye but they're after sayin' cold water's protectin'.

Cheers


48 posted on 05/04/2009 12:06:04 PM PDT by Lady Jag (Communism - Hezbollah + Al Qaeda + Obama + StoneAge = CHAOS)
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To: csmusaret
Top, I'll echo NVDave's thoughts on blends. I've tried to find a few that would sit well as an 'everyday' standby - being a cheap so-n-so at heart. Old Grouse settled at the top. But for weekends and special occasions, nothing can touch a good single malt. Balvine Double Wood, and Tobermory (an un-peated Scotch) are very good mid-priced favorites of mine.

For a good Canadian, I highly recommend Forty Creek as the best bang for your buck.

49 posted on 05/04/2009 12:06:17 PM PDT by LTCJ (God Save the Constitution - Tar & Feathers, The New Look for Spring '09)
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To: tlb
"Nouveau riche posers buy for prestige, not for inherent quality. Art, whiskey, or autographed baseballs, not many actually can tell the difference. Nor do they really care as long as the people they want to impress are fooled."

A number of 20th century art forgers were motivated not by the money, but to make asses out of the critics and collectors.

50 posted on 05/04/2009 12:09:50 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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