Art

Vanishing Spirits: Rice-Based Whisky

In yesterday’s post, photographer Ernie Button showed us that barrel-aged gin can leave behind an evaporation pattern remarkably similar to scotch whisky. But even among whiskys not every spirit uses the same grains.

Here we see patterns left behind by a 10-year-aged, rice-based whisky. The stains are entirely different than those of (barley-based) scotch. The rice leaves behind stains with distinct regions, including a radially uniform rim and an interior reminiscent of satellite photos. Presumably the interaction of rice and the cask leaves the whisky with surfactants and polymers that behave rather differently than those of scotch.

It takes time for spirits to take on character from the casks they’re aged in. Tomorrow we’ll take a look at just how much aging is necessary for scotch’s patterns to emerge. (Image, research, and submission credit: E. Button; see also)

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