This blog is probably the most boring blogpost like everrrrr on my blog. It is not even about Whisky. It is not even about Barley. It is about any research I could find with the word “Terroir” in it. I am sure Mark Reynier will smile.

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When I only search in the “Journal Of The Institute Of Brewing” for “Terroir” one gets 6 hits. Which is, in my opinion, totally weird. You would expect research into this topic to be published in this Journal. The research you do get is (as per January 2018):

As you can see (just kidding) non of the studies are relevant to whisky. The first is about Hops. I did write a blog about that study. The others deal with yeast, South-African white wine and Brandy.

These 1905 and 1014 studies do mention a very different use of the word “Terroir” which is highly interesting. Two quotes from the studies.

“Thus only the finest wines (in the brandy distiller’s sense of the term), and those having very little disagreeable “terroir” can be used in the simple pot-still. The more simple rectifying apparatus, again, is suitable for the less aromatic wines and the more complicated types for wines of a strong “terroir” or for sick wines.”

Philip Schidrowitz Ph.D., F.C.S. 1905

“Tho white wines of the Cape are peculiarly liable to “casse” or turbidity, and this tendency is accompanied or preceded by an increase in the colour of the wine, a more or less pronounced bitter flavour, and a very characteristic earthy odour or “terroir.”

Horace T. Brown LL.D., F.R.S., 1914

Did the last study mean “peaty”? Cool!

Anyways, I was listing “Terroir” relevant studies about whisky. When you do just a search for “Terroir” you get 818 hits. (as off January 2018)

Here is the list of studies investigating terroir of whisky:

  • ….

Right, non exist! If you do not believe me do this search on the Wiley Online Library. You do get 26 hits (as off January 2018) but non of them are Whisky related.

When you combine “Terroir” with “Barley” then you get 44 hits. (as off January 2018). Honestly, most of those studies also are highly irrelevant. It seems that very little to no research has been done containing these words.

Maybe the terminology or Jargon is not commonplace in the world of whisky. This might explain the seeming lack of “Place” related studies with respect to Barley or Whisky. I should try and find out if “Terroir” is just the wrong word!

Interesting. At least now I know that looking for “Terroir and Whisky” is a “dead end” in the Scientific community.

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