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September 13, 1890


JAMA. 1890;XV(11):401. doi:10.1001/jama.1890.02410370025005

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An official enquiry by Prof. Lyon Playfair's committee on British and foreign spirits and their adulteration, at the laboratory of the Inland Revenue Department, has been made unusually interesting from the fact that one of the members, Mr. Healy, obtained specimens, from the House of Commons refreshment bar, of the Scotch and Irish whisky dealt out to the honorable members. The report of the analysis has not been published. But there has been published the evidence of Dr. Bell, principal chemist at the laboratory above mentioned, regarding the brandy obtainable at the drinking places in London, to the effect that only four out of five were genuine, the other samples consisting of purified spirit flavored and colored. The mellowing of whisky, according to Dr. Bell, is a very uncertain element. He has seen a three-year old specimen which had lost none of its fusel oil, although generally speaking the time

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