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It seems even some autos appreciate fine whisky

Discussion in 'Food Forum' started by Green_Manelishi, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. Green_Manelishi

    Green_Manelishi Knicker Knotter

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    May 4, 2006
    On the edge but not quite over ...

    Bruichladdich - Radical & Badly Behaved
    22 August 2008

    Some would say that headline accurately describes my friends at Bruichladdich. I don’t agree – well, maybe the radical bit. Those busy Bruichladdich people have been awash with British TV stars recently.

    Those of you who watch BBC imports in the USA and Canada may recognise James May, co-presenter of Top Gear motoring programme and Oz Clarke with whom he presents a wine travel programme. The duo were filming for Oz and James’ Great British Adventure, the third series, following on from their fun, educational wine tours in French and Californian vineyards. It will be broadcast on the BBC later this year so look out for it all those of you who get BBC programmes over the Atlantic.

    They attempted to run a high performance racing car on a special distillation of Bruichladdich - the X4 (sounds like a racing car itself) which is quadruple distilled. The car is a 150mph Radical SR4 racing car from Radical Sportscars, based in Peterborough in England. The engine was not modified in anyway at all.

    Bruichladdich’s unique quadruple-distilled X4 Islay Spirit was first tasted by wine & spirit expert Oz Clarke for proof before 3 litres were filled in to the car’s fuel tank. I’m not convinced he would know exactly how strong it was by tasting without the experience of a distiller. Oz Clarke’s knowledge of wines is fabulous but they’re obviously not the taste bud killers that whisky of this strength would be.

    Using an Atlantic shore road closed to traffic by the island’s 5 policemen and cleared of sheep and cattle, the car achieved a hair-raising 0-60 in 3.5 seconds over four runs. You can see the hair-raising bit from the photograph.

    “The exhaust smells much better than petrol”, said Duncan MacGillivray, Bruichladdich distillery manager, “Sure it’s a sustainable biofuel; but at £26 a litre, the Duty and VAT isn’t!” Fuel on Islay is about £1.50 - £1.60 per litre – usually 20 pence per litre more than in the most populated parts of the Scottish mainland but we won’t get into the debate about oil profits here. Duncan continued, “The police even tried to breathalyse the car but fortunately they had the wrong type of tester.” Apparently, running the car on X4 generated only 5bhp less than with its normal fuel.

    X4 Islay spirit was first distilled at Bruichladdich distillery at 92% ABV in 2006 and is maturing in casks. The clear spirit used in this experiment was distilled in spring 2008. As Bruichladdich MD Mark Reynier reminds us “Standard whisky would damage a car’s engine and management system and should not in any way be used to replicate this experiment.”

    I understand a film of the drive can be seen at the moment on YouTube on : .

    The second visit was from Martin Clunes, star of the comedy series Men Behaving Badly and who now stars in other programmes and films. Martin was on Islay for ITV this time filming a new series “The Islands of Britain”. Well, you couldn’t leave Scotland’s most whisky-populated island out of that. In 3 days filming at Islay’s Bruichladdich distillery he took an active role in the whole whisky making process - even distilling a cask of his very own.

    Jim McEwan said: “Martin and the crew were really surprised by the level of entrepreneurial activity on Islay compared to other islands they visited.” Martin also took part in a bacchanalian feast with local barley farmers in a remote hillside bothy, a highly convivial scene of men behaving badly.

    Other islands featured were Barra, Lewis, Uist, Eigg, Isle of Man and Scilly finding out what makes remote and far flung islands tick. No news as to whether this one will make it overseas or not.