20080730

Unlocking the secrets of bourbon

William M. Dowd photo

From Chemistry World:

Researchers based in Germany have picked out the molecules responsible for the aroma of Kentucky bourbon, in order to understand -- and perhaps control -- the spirit's flavor.

Such is the diversity of whiskey ... that even after 40 years of research, its flavor chemistry is still not fully understood. Over 350 volatile compounds have already been discovered in whiskey. But, as with other food and drink, only a fraction of these molecules can actually be smelt by the human nose, so contributing to the spirit's aroma; the others have no interaction with human olfactory receptors, says Peter Schieberle of the Technical University in Munich. ...

Schieberle's group have now isolated those aroma components in an American bourbon which are key to its flavor. ... Schieberle says that now his team has identified bourbon's aroma blueprint, they are following all 45 compounds through the whiskey making process.

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6 comments:

iknowtruthismine said...

I had a girlfriend a few years ago, who analyzed our sex life to the point where it wasn’t fun any more.

I would hate to do that with Bourbon, except maybe to find out what gives Jim Beam that peculiar flavor that gags me every time I attempt to get it past my nose.

William M. Dowd said...

Gee, I’m sorry about your sex life. And, since I consider Jim Beam bourbon a food group, I’m sorry to hear that you dislike the world’s top-selling brand. Life has been truly unkind to you.

Buster said...

Hmmm How many gag-inducing attempts do you make before you stop drinking that brand?

And would a new brand have saved the sex life?

Inknowtruthismine said...

I wouldn’t concern yourself too much about my sex life. Like the taste of Jim Beam — just because something is the best selling doesn’t make it good. Look at Coors Light, George Bush, and Wonder Bread, for example, unless slipped to me by a well intentioned host.

The other problem was with her. Can always get a different bourbon to remedy the first problem, as well as getting a new “her” fixed the other concern also.

William M. Dowd said...

Nicely put.

Bourbon Fan said...

Dear iknowtruthismine:

While it may be true that "just because something is best selling doesn't make it good," the fact that it IS best-selling certainly increases the chances it is quite good. And Jim Beam certainly is that.