New Tests Spot Suspect Scotch

The whiskey business in Scotland is a £800 million/year industry ($1.2 billion) . With that much money flowing, knockoff brands are pervasive. But a newly developed test can rapidly and accurately tell real scotch from fake, on-site.

Tests to tell if the whiskey in the bottle is the same as the whiskey on the label have existed for years, but they've always required samples to be sent off to labs for analysis - which can take days, if not weeks, to return results. Which prompted researchers in the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow to develop a new system that, using mid-infrared spectrometry and immersion probes to check the concentration of ethanol in the spirit as well as examine the dried residues, can be used on-site and return fast, accurate results. So accurate that the team correctly identified all 17 test samples of blended whiskey recently: eight authentic and nine counterfeit. [PhysOrg]