Well we are in to 2011 and hopefully I will manage more than the 7 posts I managed in the whole of 2010! Must try harder. Anyway I was reading Bad Whisky by Edward Burns - a cracking book about the adulteration of whisky (and many other things) in Glasgow at the end of the 19th century and I came across a fact that I had never seen before. (I now see it was posted on Malt Maniacs in 2006 so I am a little behind the times).
Anyway the jist of the story is that two Monkeys helped to bring in the immature spirits - it was thought that the fusel oil in new make spirit was bad for the health and that by maturing whisky in wood it reduced the fusel oil in the spirit making it safer to drink.
To prove this theory two Monkeys were made drunk. The first got drunk on new make spirit and "was seen to become quarrelsome" which they put down to the Fusel oil which at the time was "well known for making men fighting drunk".
The second Monkey got drunk on aged whisky and it became "markedly hilarious". In the true spirit of science though when the monkeys sobered up they swich the drink that they had - the monkey that had been angry seemed to "cheer up" and the happy one to become "aggressive".
It is not recorded though how the could tell that the monkeys were sober or how long they left them before switching the drinks. It all makes sense really if you were drinking new make spirit all day and you could see your mate drinking matured whisky you would get a bit pissed off - but you would certainly cheer up seeing the smug grin later being taken off his face as they take away his old whisky and replace it with new make!
Any on the back of this Greenlees brothers released a whisky called The Monkey Special - sheer brilliance. If anyone sees a bottle I would definitely be interested in it! However a word of warning - it is amazing how many pictures come up in google when you search for pictures of drunk monkeys!
Does make you think though! Those guys that are always angling for a fight on a Saturday night maybe it is not their fault - its not that they have drunk to much alcohol they have just been drinking too much Fusel Oil!