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Directed Graph of Alcoholic Beverages?

  1. Jul 29, 2016 #1

    Stephen Tashi

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    As a mere beer drinker, I am handicapped in watching sophisticated dramas when the conversation involves other alcoholic beverages. There's sherry, gin, whiskey, scotch etc. Sometimes I look up the definitions of these things, but since I don't drink them the definitions don't stick in my mind. Could someone please present a nice annotated graph showing how alcoholic beverages are defined and related (or not related) to each other ?

    A directed graph would be nice. It would show things like "wine" being the parent node of subdivisons like "port".

    What would the root of the graph be ? Are all these things "spirits" ? Are they all "liquors" ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 29, 2016 #2
    This is an interesting topic.
    I would be interested it that classification as well. Here are basic definitions for start.
    Wiki says:
    "A distilled beverage, spirit, liquor, hard liquor or hard alcohol is an alcoholic beverage produced by distillation of a mixture produced from alcoholic fermentation. This process purifies it and removes diluting components like water, for the purpose of increasing its proportion of alcohol content (commonly expressed as alcohol by volume, ABV).[1] As distilled beverages contain more alcohol, they are considered "harder" – in North America, the term hard liquor is used to distinguish distilled beverages from undistilled ones, which are implicitly weaker.

    As examples, this does not include beverages such as beer, wine, and cider, as they are fermented but not distilled. These all have relatively low alcohol content, typically less than 15%. Brandy is a spirit produced by the distillation of wine, and has an ABV over 35%. Other examples of distilled beverages include vodka, gin, rum, and whisky."

    Don't confuse liquor with
    A liqueur (US /lɪˈkɜːr/ or UK /lɪˈkjʊər/) is an alcoholic beverage made from a distilled spirit that has been flavored with fruit, cream, herbs, spices, flowers or nuts and bottled with added sugar or other sweetener (such as high-fructose corn syrup). Liqueurs are typically quite sweet; they are usually not aged for long after the ingredients are mixed, but may have resting periods during their production to allow flavors to marry.

    This can turn into a long discussion as there are so many types of alcohol! There could be long posts about various types of wine, beer and all the fruits and grain that can be distilled.
    Here's basic wine guide http://winefolly.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/basic-wine-101-guide-infographic-poster.jpg#big
    types of beer http://brookstonbeerbulletin.com/types-of-beer/
  4. Jul 29, 2016 #3
    Most liquors are categorized by the grains used to make them. Corn for bourbon, rye for whiskey, wheat or potatoes for vodka. Scotch contains smoked malt. Gin is flavored with juniper berries. Most liquors will contain more than one grain. Rum is made from sugar cane.
  5. Jul 29, 2016 #4

    m k

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    pre/post ferment | pre/post distill

    primary/secondary addenums

    That would be eight main columns.

    Whiskey barrel is then post distill secondary addenum and malt pre ferment primary addenum.

    Location base is bit fuzzy.
    What if barrel is stored abroad.
  6. Jul 29, 2016 #5


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  7. Jul 29, 2016 #6


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    I don't think a simple graph would work, and a tree structure will be rather complicated.

    As others have indicated, alcoholic beverages are identified by the source material that is fermented, the process from fermentation through aging to bottling, the alcoholic content, and additives.

    Whisky does not simply mean smoked malt. Malt refers to germinated grains, which can be barley (most common), oats, rye, wheat and rice.

    Even is Scotland, there are several types of Scotch Whisky (single malt, single grain, and various blends) and varieties according to region, e.g, Islay, Highland, Highland and Lowland. I'm not sure about Campbell or Campbeltown.

    Even Sherry is complicated. Sherry is described as a 'fortified' wine "made from white grapes that are grown near the town of Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia, Spain." How specific can one get?! And still there are varieties.

    One of my favorite liqueurs is Patxaran, or Pacharán. It is a sloe-flavoured liqueur commonly drunk in Navarre and the Basque Country, the Pyrenees and elsewhere in Spain. I was introduced to while on travel in Salamanca. We had it as an after dinner, after desert drink.
  8. Jul 29, 2016 #7

    Fervent Freyja

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  9. Jul 29, 2016 #8


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    Interesting table, but I don't mix my beers, tequlias or whiskies. I prefer Imperial Stouts and Porters, and Scotch or Orkney Ales, particularly those aged in the appropriate Whisky or Bourbon barrels.

    I like my Scotch neat - no ice, no water, just pure Scotch.

    I like my tequilas neat. Great with good Mexican or Spanish food.

    There are also forbidden states, e.g., vodka and orange Tang, and vodka and root beer!
  10. Jul 30, 2016 #9

    m k

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    Where are other mezcals.

    And Medicine Man, the milk rascal of Edinburgh.
  11. Aug 3, 2016 #10
    Most definitely not with salt and lemon as it's taken a lot over here. Soooooo gross.
  12. Aug 3, 2016 #11
    Brandy Old Fashioned Press is my drink!
  13. Aug 3, 2016 #12
    Usually just a pilsner type beer most likely Cristal Alken
    On a terrace i usually go for a dark abbey beer like Grimbergen Double or Chimay Blue

    With these latter beers you better pace yourself as they are a tad stronger than a simple pilsner.

    Spirits I don't really like although I can enjoy the occasional gin and tonic.
  14. Aug 8, 2016 #13
    I'm not sure what you're asking for is even possible, or if it would be helpful. I worked in a liquor store in college, and basically everything starts out as wine or beer. Beer can be made from any grain, and wine can be made from any fruit. But then you have something like vodka or tequila, which starts out with potatoes or agave, respectively. Or rum, with sugar. I don't think you could classify them as either one. Of course, the cheap stuff is grain alcohol anyway, so most vodkas, tequilas, and rums are going to be half grain neutral spirits, which is basically cheap, unaged whiskey.

    Within those categories, you also have a lot of arbitrary names for what is chemically, and practically, the exact same thing. For example, Cognac and Armagnac are both brandies, but they come from specific regions. It's like with Champagne, if it doesn't come from that region then it's technically just sparkling wine. There are also types of beers or wines made under special conditions. Like Eiswein is just white wine, but the grapes are allowed to freeze on the vine before harvest.

    Don't even get started on whiskeys. They're all defined by different proportions of grains, how long they're aged, and what they're aged in.

    It's even more complicated if you want to put it in a historical context. The original alcoholic beverage is beer, but it was made with bread and fruit. So if that were to be distilled, would it be whiskey or brandy?
  15. Aug 9, 2016 #14


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    image.jpeg image.jpeg Whiskey is a tree by itself.
  16. Aug 9, 2016 #15
    Perfect, now to create trees for the other types of alcohol and patch them together :D
  17. Aug 9, 2016 #16


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    The single malt branch needs at least four or five branches itself: Highland/Campbeltown, Lowland, Speyside, Islands (Skye and Islay).
  18. Aug 11, 2016 #17


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    Then there's the abstainthe tree:
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