Physicists have figured out a way to determine the authenticity of rare whiskey without opening the bottle with laser light.
Why it matters: Demand for rare Scotch whiskey has increased in recent years, but there are also reports of counterfeits. The new technology can help determine if your four-digit single malt is actually root gut – before you buy.
What happens: In a recent journal, researchers at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland (apparently) a method of using spectroscopy on a whiskey bottle, as Jennifer Ouellette reported in Ars Technica.
- Researchers can shine a laser light into the whiskey bottle, which refracts the light into a spectrum of wavelengths that correspond to different chemical compounds.
- These chemical compounds can be used to determine the origin of whiskey.
- Because a glass vial can produce a large spectral signal itself, which interferes with the results, the researchers shaped the laser light into a ring, which reduced the noise from the vial.
Note: The Scotch Whiskey Research Institute in Edinburgh (apparently) is experimenting with portable spectrometers that workers can use to authenticate rare whiskeys.
Background: A study from 201
Points: And that’s why I drink bourbon.