Monday, February 27, 2006


weapons-grade whisky

A 17TH-CENTURY firewater, more than two spoonfuls of which was said to be enough to kill a grown man, is to be revived by a whisky distillery in Scotland.

A single drop of the ancient drink of “usquebaugh-baul” was described by the travel writer Martin Martin in 1695 as powerful enough to affect “all members of the body”. He added: “Two spoonfuls of this last liquor is a sufficient dose; if any man should exceed this, it would presently stop his breath, and endanger his life.”

Twelve barrels of the world’s most alcoholic whisky, or enough to wipe out a medium-size army, will be produced when the Bruichladdich distillery revives the ancient tradition of quadruple-distilling today. With an alcohol content of 92 per cent, the drink may not be the most delicate single malt ever produced but it is by far and away the world’s strongest. Malt whisky usually has an alcohol content of between 40 per cent and 63.5 per cent.

With the first spirit run expected at lunchtime today, the distillery urged whisky lovers to tune in live on its webcams — “that is, if the distillery doesn’t blow up in the process”.

The US Secret Service admitted in 2003 that it had been monitoring the distillery because the difference between distilling a fine whisky and making chemical weapons was “just a small tweak”.

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