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Let’s Turn Whisky Into A Healthy Beverage! — Dramming
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Let’s Turn Whisky Into A Healthy Beverage!

by Oliver Klimek on April 18, 2012

Have you ever wondered why so many – especially male – maltheads including yours truly have a body figure that is  – how shall I put it – a tad on the plump side? Here is the reason: It’s all that cask strength whisky these guys are drinking!

Do you know how many calories the alcohol in a 30 ml dram of cask strength whisky at 60% ABV has? 100! Yes, you heard right. And you can tell by their looks that those maltheads – or rather maltbellies – usually don’t stop after just one dram… But that’s not all, a true whisky lover wants to have his whisky un-chillfiltered. That sounds like a good thing, but from a health perspective it isn’t one at all. Chill-filtration very effectively removes fatty substances from the whisky. Yes, greasy slimy fat unloading its calories on top of those from the alcohol!

But luckily there is a solution to this problem. What may come as a surprise to many, the drink we can learn from is … vodka! Last year Beam Inc. acquired a brand going by the catchy name of Skinnygirl which was founded by Bethenny Frankel specializing in low calorie pre-mixed girlie cocktails. Beam has now announced to add a Skinnygirl vodka named Naked along with aromatized versions including such exciting new flavours as cucumber.

The secret of this naked skinny beauty is as simple as it is ingenious. Like all truely great ideas it makes you wonder why nobody had thought of it before: Just add water! Pure genius. A calorie-reduced 60 proof (30%) vodka turning booze into a health drink and opening the doors to an all new market!

As we all know, Beam Inc. is essentially a whisky company. Vodka and other spirits are just minor additions to their ever-growing portfolio of brands. Now wouldn’t it be exciting to transfer this brilliant concept to whisky? Slimming by Dramming. For Beam this could mean making big bucks by making big bellies disappear. Bottling whisky at 30% would effectively cut the calories of a cask strengh malt in half, every single one of them.

Unfortunately there still are those wicked whisky regulations making this impossible. 40% ABV legal minimum on both sides of the Atlantic. Come on and ease up, you legislators, for the sake of public health. The Scotch Whisky Association fighting in first line in the war against obesity thus helping the struggling National Health Service to get back up on its feet again. Wouldn’t this be a lobbyist’s dream come true?

Of course whisky distilleries who already sell their newmake could jump onto this healthy bandwagon immediately while staying perfectly legal. How about a Glenglassaugh Spirit Drink That Eats Your Fat?

And when the regulations will finally allow it, there will be limitless opportunities for whisky compaines to modernize thir product ranges. Just as en example, let’s stick with Beam. Their global whisky portfolio is just about perfect for this new age of responsible whisky drinking.

Beam’s Core brand evidently would need to be the first one to be tackled. But simply introducing a new Jim Light won’t do the trick. That sounds just too much of cheap canned beer. But call it Slim Jim, and I bet it will conquer the market. In combination with their new vodka they would even be able to offer the Perfect Marriage of a longdrink. Just add some zero calorie soda water to the mix to get the Slim’n Skinny Highball. And you can add as much ice as you want to it without sacrificing the health benefit.

Beam’s new Irish acquisition Cooley could have their workhorse Kilbeggan renamed to Kilbelly bottled at 30%. This would pack an additional punch for their fight against Jameson on the Irish whiskey front.

But also for Scotch whisky there are plenty of possibilities. Beam’s Teacher’s blend has such an unattractive name, why not call the new version Lean Lad? I am sure Johnnie will not only walk, he will run for cover in response to this marketing attack. And could there be a better name than Slender Stag for the new expression of Ardmore Single Highland Malt? This would be the perfect match for your suet-free haggis on Burns Night.

For the ultra premium Scotch single malt market segment there would have to be something very special. I propose a whisky matured for 18 long years in a virgin French oak cask, peated to a staggering 200 ppm and watered to a staggering 20%, bone dry and thinned to perfection: The Laphroaig Anorakxic, a luxury malt for the ultimate connoisseur who can’t get enough of getting less.

Special thanks to @dashjperiod on Twitter for introducing my to the skinny girl

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

sku April 18, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Where did you get that picture of me? I though I had all the copies.


Oliver Klimek April 18, 2012 at 6:46 pm

The internet doesn’t forget anything….I didn’t know that was you, though. A rare exception to the rule. I guess you can just carrry on drinking CS 😉


Josh Feldman April 29, 2012 at 7:27 am

In a world where they’ll sell “diet” packs of food labelled “100 Calories” consisting of tiny packets of 3 cookies, or tiny tubes of a dozen potato chips; for the same prices as regular sized packages with higher calorie counts… is it any wonder that watered down hooch would be labelled as “diet” hooch. Anything is “diet” if there’s just less of it.

My theory about why whisky lovers tend to be pudgy (and I’m tipping the scales at just over 300 pounds and 6 feet tall as I write this) is that whisky makes you want to sit and mellow out. And it’s incredibly calorie dense – as you properly point out. Weight watchers charges 4 points a dram. This is the same amount of points as the same volume of Snicker’s candy bar (the one with caramel, nougat, peanuts, enrobed in chocolate). Think about that the next time you’re doing shooters with doubles off of a skinny girl’s belly button at Coyote Ugly Bar.

The only solution is to exercise more – and to do it before you start knocking back drams. I find it useful to practice Jason Debly’s “Slow Whisky Movement” moves of zen meditation and deep nosing. Half an hour nosing before sipping. Ten deep sniffs between sips. Make a dram last an hour (at least).


I’m totally doing it with the blind tasting tonight. I’m drinking all six – but taking six hours to do it!


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