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  1. #1
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    Checkin' out the legs

    I guess when people talk about a whiskey's legs they are talking about the streams that run down the side of the glass after the drink has been swirled.

    What are they exactly?

    What do they tell us about the whiskey?

    How can we read them?

  2. #2
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    Re: Checkin' out the legs

    (al)chemically, i don't know...

    aesthetically, i love those that cling and cling high...then randomly begin that slow drip drop of 'legs' and beads...love all the terms that can be involved...viscosity being a favorite...
    HUP!

  3. #3
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    Re: Checkin' out the legs

    Edo,

    Here is my personal rendition. I do not present this postulation as fact. The subject of legs is one that can be easily explained by a physicist and there are several geometric algorythms to analyze surface tension and viscosity in laminar flow on multiple coordinate planes using calibration standards with accuracies traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology; however, that's just too dang much info. That could slow down intake and that's a bad thang.

    Legs are a result of the difference in surface tension between water and alcohol. The legs could tell a trained observer the approximate percent of alcohol in the drink but there is no need to try as the amount is usually printed on the bottle. To appreciate a fine set of legs, tilt the glass at an approximate 45 degree angle and roll the glass with your fingers to coat the glass walls. Now hold the glass straight up. A lighted background is helpful.

    As the liquid is pulled down the sides by gravity it will form lines. several laws of physics and chemistry take place and demonstrate results with amazing precision. The alcohol and water, coupled with gravity do some stuff.

    If the alcohol forms a ring that looks like a pearl necklace over time then this is a high classed drink. Enjoy your drink with social grace. For this is a thing of beauty.

    If the legs are long and lean but close together. Appreciate but don't be too hurried in your consumption. Take your time. The drink will warm and open to you if handled right.

    If the legs are thick, far apart and not well defined then burping and farting is okay, just drink the bourbon and let er rip and have a good time.

    To truly enjoy and even experiment with this appreciation, you should avoid public scrutiny. Try it with wine and spirits of different alcohol percentages and observe the results. It won't take long for you to see a predictable pattern.

    You may even find that certain patterns produce a result that indicates you are going to enjoy drinking what's in the glass. You get to decide which pattern produces the most desirable experience.

    finally, observing the legs won't tell you anything more than what you can read on the bottle, feel and taste on the tongue. But, and this is a big butt, fine legs and pearl necklaces on your favorite crystal stemware produces a wonderful allegory of the female form. And that makes the bourbon taste a lot better.

    Swirl, observe, sniff, taste, repeat. Enjoy.
    Often I am forced to deal with the fact that I prefer bourbon over dealing with facts.

  4. #4
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    Re: Checkin' out the legs

    Quote Originally Posted by Dramiel McHinson View Post
    Edo,

    But, and this is a big butt, fine legs and pearl necklaces on your favorite crystal stemware produces a wonderful allegory of the female form. And that makes the bourbon taste a lot better.

    Swirl, observe, sniff, taste, repeat. Enjoy.
    freudian slip?
    bibamus, moriendum est
    Sipology Blog

  5. #5
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    Re: Checkin' out the legs

    Swirl, observe, sniff, taste, repeat. Enjoy
    Ah yes, whiskey and women . . . .

  6. #6
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    Re: Checkin' out the legs

    Quote Originally Posted by Dramiel McHinson View Post
    Edo,

    Here is my personal rendition. I do not present this postulation as fact.
    Your personal rendition was far better than fact. Thanks!!!

    btw- I recently got a couple glasses like the one in your avatar. Highland Park single malt is giving one "glencairn glass" away with each bottle -at least where I buy. Intuitively operating for the last few week as you instruct in your post, I've found this glass works equally excellently for looking at legs in single malt, bourbon, rye; or a cheap scotch blend-whose leg-characteristics, along with your post, now legitimize my burping and farting.

  7. #7
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    Re: Checkin' out the legs

    Quote Originally Posted by edo View Post
    a cheap scotch blend-whose leg-characteristics, along with your post, now legitimize my burping and farting.
    I think we may have stumbled onto the secret to long and joyous life
    Often I am forced to deal with the fact that I prefer bourbon over dealing with facts.

  8. #8
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    Re: Checkin' out the legs

    The #1 definition of legs = residual sugar. The wider the drip = more.

    The #2 definition of legs = alcohol, meeting the residual sugars = viscosity.

    The #3 disposition of legs = arch, strength, and drip rate. Cling factor. The wider or narrowing of the arch depends on a number of components, i.e., alcohol, residual sugar etc., and the drip rate depends on another number of different factors. All having to do with the nose, taste, and finish of the liquid.

    I can usually tell how long or whether the finish will sustain itself by the legs. Observe, take notes, and watch for patterns.

    Moreover, use a good glass. The porosity of a glass can alter the legs. Use an original Glencairn or a Reidel of choice; tulip or cognac xo.

    BB

  9. #9
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    Re: Checkin' out the legs

    Quote Originally Posted by Buffalo Bill View Post
    Moreover, use a good glass. The porosity of a glass can alter the legs. Use an original Glencairn or a Reidel of choice; tulip or cognac xo.

    BB
    A good glass is one thats not empty, isn't it???

    On a more serious note, Legs, being a function of how the liquid adheres to the side of the glass is a good way to predict lenght of finish, if it clings to the glass it will also linger in the mouth/throat longer!
    "I'm and optimist, even if the glass is half empty, there's still more in the bottle!!!!!"

  10. #10
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    Re: Checkin' out the legs

    The more you observe the finer qualities of drip rate and width in the glass, the more you'll begin to see patterns and certain idiosyncrasies that combine with taste and texture, symmetry. It forever fascinates me... BB

 

 

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