Why We Love Whiskey

That bottle of delicious…bourbon. Brownest of the brown liquors…so tempting. What’s that? You want me to drink you?

-Lionel Hutz, The Simpsons

It’s not like we need another reason to enjoy whiskey. Neat, on the rocks, just a splash of water (the connoisseur’s preferred method), or mixed…it never fails. It goes great with steak, potatoes, veggies, breakfast, music, starry nights in the country, dive bars in the city, romance, a broken heart, good friends, and those times when all you want to hear is your own thoughts. It’ll get you drunk, laid, slapped, laughing, crying, and occasionally face down on the sidewalk.

And it’s going to save the world.

Scottish scientists have discovered that compressed barley husks – used during the malting, germination, and mashing process that converts sugar into alcohol – have the ability to remove pollutants such as pesticides, benzene, and heavy metals from polluted water.


The team is hesitant to get into details on how the treatment system works until they have patents in place, but they says it works by binding pollutants in the water using the residue of husks after fermentation – called “draff” – to bind with and remove the pollutants in the water. The water is then supposedly clean enough to drink, removing about 95 percent of most contaminants in lab tests.


While this process is not exactly technologically superior to water treatment solutions that modern science has come up with, it sure beats the use of chemicals and other dispersants used in some regions of the world. Take a natural waste product that is usually thrown away and use it to clean up drinking water for millions of people? I’d call that clean tech progress for sure.

Be careful, though. This process is new and requires further testing before it can be reliably used without making your bassist hit on a transvestite, who, to be fair, had great legs and he never called her anyway after realizing his mistake.