Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Stretching Global Warming to cover bourbon

I am not a big Kentucky bourbon fan but stretching the consequences of global warming to cover ruining the aging of Kentucky bourbon might be going a bit too far.

In aging the bourbon -

The whisky is aged in treated barrels made of white oak which are then carefully stored to take advantage of seasonal temperature fluctuations. "When the temperature rises in the summer, the bourbon expands," Jones says, "and with lower temperatures in the winter, it contracts. This movement gives the bourbon its amber color and oak flavor.

Producers consider these temperature variations so critical that during the course of their storage, barrels are shifted from the lower racks in the warehouse to the upper racks. However, the 3-degree Fahrenheit average temperature increase predicted for the state over the next 100 years will mean less variation between winter and summer temperatures. The study's sorry conclusion: "In the future, global warming may affect the weather patterns which are essential in Kentucky for the aging process."
First you have to believe the temperature rise, then you have to believe the effect on the aging and that if anything changes that the whisky brewers won't change their tactics to continue to produce good whiskey in the event of any change. If you are worried about global warming let's focus on something that could have a real and lasting detrimental effect, like rising sea levels wiping out coastal cities.

From OnEarth magazine via Treehugger.

No comments: