Researchers at Andrews University in Scotland have figured out the best way to test scotch-whisky authenticity-fire a laser at it! It sounds like a perfect Star Wars moment for alcohol lovers, doesn't it? But no, they're serious. It was all developed to prohibit scotch counterfeiting.
By placing a drop of whisky on a thin plastic chip and then illuminating it with a fiber optic laser and analyzing the drop with another, the scientists can observe the fluorescence as the whisky scatters the light. This is known as the Raman signature. (It would be some Star Wars aficionado stuffed with ramen noodles that would name it the Raman signature, don't you think?!)
Anyway, that fragmentation and range of light will be indicative of the age, brand and cask of the whisky. And since all that's needed for the test is a drop, that means the rest of the bottle is going to waste . . . or is it? Can I join the team?
Although great for the eventual compilation of a database of whisky fragmentations, the laser test is geared for stores and distributors who would be purchasing in bulk and want to ensure quality, instead of the average consumer. That being said, it does help ensure quality for consumers by making sure the bottles we're throwing down our piggy-bank savings on are actually quality.
I'm all for a good whisky and laser shooting, especially if they are together. If you happen to see a guy running around with a bottle of Jack and a Clone costume on firing lasers everywhere (even though it's after Halloween already), you know what's up.
Whisky and lasers . . . just too cool!