It’s Whisky Jim, but not as we know it…

DISCLAIMER: This Blog Post, whilst based on ‘actual things’ may well run away with itself and contain conclusions and assertions of dubious scientific merit… Plus it was written into the (really, very) wee hours and may be influenced by utter delirium…

It is the distant future, the year 19841999, 2001, ?, fossil fuels are totally exhausted and it turns out cold fusion was just childish science fiction *ahem* – “but how will the distilleries keep running?” I hear you cry and “how on earth are we going to power our hover mobiles for our trips over to the Islay festival???”

My god, I… I don’t know… Please tell me there’s a way‽  [<- interrobang]

Well, assuming that the robots haven’t (in the words of New Zealand’s premier folk band) poisoned our asses with poisonous gases by then, there may just be a way of solving both of these pressing conundrums…

Back in 2010 boffins at Edinburgh Napier University developed a biofuel for cars made from the two main by-products of whisky production: the pot ale and the draff. Samples of these by-products were provided from the nearby Glenkinchie distillery.

Fast forward to 2012 and the director of the university’s Biofuel Research Centre Prof. Martin Tangney has formed a new company, Edinburgh Napier University’s Celtic Renewables Ltd., to commercialise the process with the dream of making it available at the pumps!

The biobutanol produced is said to provide 25% more power than bioethanol fuels and unlike other biofuels can even be used in unmodified petrol cars (or your standard petrol run hover mobile).

On closer inspection this sample doesn’t appear to be pot ale or draff but I’d better taste it to be sure…

Meanwhile plans got under way back in early 2008 between the Combination of Rothes Distillers (CoRD) and Helius Energy to build a biomass heat and power plant in Moray that would burn draff to generate electricity whilst converting pot ale into organic fertiliser and animal feed.

Construction of the £60m project commenced last May with work due to finish in 2013 when it will utilise by-products from 16 Speyside distilleries including Glenlivet and Macallan. Unlike Diageo’s own bioenergy plant at the Cameronbridge distillery, the Rothes plant will also provide electricity for public use, enough for 9,000 homes supposedly.

So it is that in the distant apocalyptic future the whisky industry, having been self sufficient in terms of their energy requirements as long as anyone can remember, carries on regardless and even powers small towns and villages within a certain proximity to the distilleries. The inhabitants of these pockets of civilisation, some of the last remaining on Earth, are able to visit each other with relative ease in their hover mobiles and aircraft for both leisure and of course to trade the prized commodity of whisky.

The only thing that could possibly stop this coming to pass and thus spell the end for all mankind is if there was some kind of  total collapse in people’s interest in whisky between now and Judgement Day in the coming decades… Quick! With this much at stake it is imperative that we travel back in time to the year 2012 and impress upon humanity the importance of their continuing, nay growing, love for whisky!

To the DeLorean!!!

Well there you have it. If you don’t drink whisky then you Sir are endangering humanity. Think about that.

Unless the whisky industry becomes self-aware… Oh God.

!

P.S. That’s an entire whisky-related science fiction Blog post without a single mention of Ardbeg Space Whisky! (Oops.)

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