A few months ago, I was diagnosed with Celiac disease; an autoimmune disorder where ingestion of gluten caused damage in the small intestine. Per doctor’s orders, no more gluten!
Okay, what the hell is gluten? Up and until the appointment I thought "gluten free" was a diet fad.
gluten: a substance present in cereal grains, especially wheat, that is responsible for the elastic texture of dough. A mixture of two proteins, it causes illness in people with celiac disease.
Grains?! Such as barley, wheat, and rye? The same barley, wheat and rye used to make my beloved whiskey?! The same barley, wheat, and rye to be used in the +$100k worth of stills I JUST purchased! NOOOOO!!!!
Time for some Raw Research…
“According to the National Institutes of Health's Celiac Disease Awareness Campaign, distilled alcohol is inherently gluten-free. This includes gin, vodka, scotch whisky, and rye whiskey. Although whiskeys are derived from wheat, barley, or rye, the distilling process removes the gluten proteins.”
Woooo! There was one helluva party in the Raw office that night!
To be sure, I decided to do my own research to confirm. A test from AOAC Performance Tested Research Institute was ordered to conduct a test on Weller Special Reserve “the original wheated bourbon.” The test detects gluten levels as low as 10 part per million.
Mad scientist in action….
Test results…Negative for gluten. Confirming the claims the gluten protein does not carry over in the distillation process. A pour of Weller was immediately consumed with no ill effects.
A subliminal moment with a buffalo after discovering my dream was still alive!
Note, this applies to American Whiskey with no flavor additives only. Whiskies that add coloring (Japanese, Canadian, Irish, and Scotch) have yet to be tested. Cheers to American Gluten free whiskey!
Boom! A Gluten free shot of knowledge!