Scotch whisky and Pure Food

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Scotch whisky and Pure Food

Unread postby bourbonv » Tue Sep 27, 2005 10:06 am

Going through the Taylor scrapbook from 1904, there are many newspaper articles on the Pure Food and Drug movement. Several mention the crack down on imported wines and spirits. Chief Chemist Wiley states that he doubts there is a barrel's worth of real scotch in all of America as many brands are nothing more than neutral spirits flavored and colored with creosote to give it a smokey flavor.

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Unread postby BourbonBalls » Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:35 am

Interesting Mike....

Is any of that, or a version of that still going on today?
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Unread postby gillmang » Thu Sep 29, 2005 3:22 am

I think this is very rare or non-existent in North America. Blends are the area where one can find cheap whisky at a low price but it is all real whisky. I have heard that in some parts of the world however, counterfeiting of famous brands still goes on, e.g., Johnnie Walker or another famous brand may still be sold under a false label where the contents are not genuine and may be some kind of coloured or flavoured vodka. This problem seems to recur from time to time in some emerging economies. In Wiley's time, what he referred to as non-genuine was not just bad whisky (cheap blends made mostly from grain, as opposed to malt, whisky) but non-whisky that was flavoured in some way to mimic whisky. That kind of fraud on the market surely does not exist today even where counterfeiting occurs. National Prohibition had brought back the era of imitation whisky but again that would be a rare thing to see today, I think.

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Unread postby bourbonv » Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:34 pm

Mike,
No, I don't think that this is true today. Remember, Great Britian had there own debate and version of the Pure Food and Drug Act at about the same time. The big difference is that blends won greater respect with the British government than they did in the U.S. I would suspect that the reason was that the British were ahead of the Americans when it came to selling by the bottle with fewer barrels being sold as the primary container.

I also doubty that in Wiley's time if compound scotch was being sold in the British Isles. Such compounds were probably made in the U S.

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