I wonder what the proof on a whisky mean ??
The second is this, I know that whisky is made of barley, water, yeast only and nothing else, but the whisky tasting descriptions always include words like, honey, fruity,etc.
I wonder where those tastes come from ?
Thank you all !!!
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Flavours other than barley and yeast mostly come from elements which are extracted by [edit: from, not by] the wood, or which combine with elements from the wood and the original barley and yeast. The inside of the barrels are often charred which creates all sorts of active compounds. Most of the fruity tastes are esters. Not sure about honey (never tasted honey in a whisky personally but I might call that something else, perhaps just sweet). Many sweet tastes are associated in particular with 'sherry' and 'port' oaks, as opposed to 'bourbon' oak. These flavours and scents are kind of like the artificial flavours and scents purposely created in a lab that have nothing to do with the original, but in this case they are serendipitous and indigenous to the way whisky is made and aged.
Not the best answer I'm sure but no one else has responded yet so I hope it helps.
[This message has been edited by hpulley (edited 31 March 2003).]
Proof is another (older) measure of the strength of an alcoholic liquid.
It had its origins in days when a simple test was needed that the liquor did indeed contain a *correct* measure (or more) of alcohol. And it was indeed a simple test.
Some of the liquor was poured over a little gunpowder and ignited. If the alcohol content was adequate, then it would burn 'just right' with a steady blue flame and eventually ignite the gunpowder. If there was insufficient alcohol then it would fizzle out and the gunpowder would be too wet to burn. The 'just right' condition 'proved' the liquor and it was declared to be '100% proof'.
This simple test was clearly cumbersome to perform and was later replaced by using a specially graduated hydrometer to measure the specific gravity. This was far more objective and allowed precise statements to be made as to how much different it was from being 100% proof. This gave rise to "under-proof" and "over-proof" measures.
100 proof (UK) = 57.06 %AbV
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