Un-frothed whisky

page 70  

The substance in Tasmanian whisky rarely mentioned: surfactant

Image courtesy Drexel

Image courtesy Drexel


The three sacred ingredients of whisky are said to be barley, water and yeast—not that there is any yeast in a whisky bottle —or barley for that matter, and some might argue yeast is a process rather than an ingredient, but it is added along the way, it is important: I'm not quibbling about the holy trinity But could there be a fourth ingredient in whisky? There are several unmentioned ingredients in whisky, but the assertion is a spell-breaker, and no one wanted any of them mentioned. I didn't even submit surfactant for publication because it was never going to be published. I correct that below.

Note: the linseed paste was published.


Several substances in Tasmanian whisky are never mentioned. One is linseed paste, which finds its way into the whisky through the "glue" that seals the rims of the cask heads. Another is surfactant. It is a tipped into the fermenters to quell their frothy exuberanceing. No one thinks anything of adding it and no one ever mentioned it to me as part of the process. Whether (as with yeast) distilling destroys it, I do not know; whether it affects the taste of the whisky—who can say?— but it is added.

Bernard LloydComment