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Can lasers lead to a better whisky?

But the news I read today gave me pause for thought: a group of researchers at St Andrews, Scotland have developed a way of testing a bottle of whisky using lasers, and the tests are so accurate that they can distinguish between two bottles of whisky identical apart from having been finished in different barrels for last two years of their maturation.

It's a fantastic development, intended to cut down on whisky counterfitting which affects all those who enjoy the spirit. We're curious though - if you take the technology a few steps further, might we one day be able to precisely manufacture great whiskies, using a machine to judge quality? It would be a mixed blessing - one of the biggest thrills Gillian gets is when she noses a barrel that's been quietly ageing and discover a fantastic whisky that's been hiding away, and I know that whisky drinkers get the same thrill when they discover a hidden gem on the shelves. I think we'd certainly lose some of whisky's magic and mystery if we handed it all over to science.

Maybe it's worth giving up that magic for better whisky - what do you think?

This week's blog came from Sian Whitelock, commercial director at the Penderyn Distillery


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