What the aftertaste of Scotch looks like...
November 19, 2012 4:59 PM   Subscribe

Vanishing Spirits - The Dried Remains of Single Malt Scotch.

"The idea for this project occurred while putting a used Scotch glass into the dishwasher. I noted a film on the bottom of a glass and when I inspected closer, I noted these fine, lacey lines filling the bottom. What I found through some experimentation is that these patterns and images that you see can be created with the small amount of Single-Malt Scotch left in a glass after most of it has been consumed. The alcohol dries and leaves the sediment in various patterns. It’s a little like snowflakes in that every time the Scotch dries, the glass yields different patterns and results." -Ernie Button, photographer
posted by jammy (16 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
That's very pretty. I'm curious how he's lighting these shots, though, because that seems to be a big part of how they come out.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:05 PM on November 19, 2012

My iPad hates his website. Why must artists, who should have better visual sense, inevitably have horrifically designed websites? Is that a required class in art school or something?
posted by leotrotsky at 5:06 PM on November 19, 2012 [11 favorites]

I'm guessing that photographers feel obligated to create visually interesting websites to demonstrate graphic design cred, but since they on the whole don't have experience in web design the final product is overdone and buggy.

My main criticism, though, is the waste of scotch.
posted by eurypteris at 5:14 PM on November 19, 2012 [4 favorites]

Dried Scotch or colonoscopy? Take the quiz.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:33 PM on November 19, 2012

Overthinking or overdrinking? You decide.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:43 PM on November 19, 2012

Beautiful photos, though I wholeheartedly agree about the web design. I'm also sad there's no photos of Laphroaig in there, since I'm pretty sure the remnants of Laphroaig quarter cask would look like the Eye of Sauron.

Can I also just take this moment to complain about the scene in Skyfall when James Bond takes a glass of 50 year old Macallan as a shot? The ghost of Ian Fleming needs to kill the hell out of every single person involved in that scene, since they all apparently think that that's an acceptable way to consume single malt. Jesus christ.
posted by ZaphodB at 5:54 PM on November 19, 2012 [4 favorites]

There is never any dried remains of Scotch around my place.
This is because it never lasts long enough to dry.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 6:10 PM on November 19, 2012

I am, right now, writing my grant request to the Manitoba Arts Council. Materials required: Nikon D3x; a case of 16 year Lagavulin; a case of 18 year Talisker; a case of 10 year Ardbeg; a case of 10 year Laphroiag; a case of ...
posted by kneecapped at 6:46 PM on November 19, 2012 [5 favorites]

Dried Scotch or Cocteau Twins album cover? Take the quiz, they're both Scottish anyways.
posted by the painkiller at 7:47 PM on November 19, 2012

I must admit, I wake up to a whisky snowflake on my bedside table fairly frequently.

I initially thought this would be about drying whisky to produce an edible powder - an empty glass of Laphroaig has a really pleasant, sweet smell that I can imagine being used in some molecular gastronomy dish.
posted by lucidium at 7:47 PM on November 19, 2012 [4 favorites]

I can only assume that this guy makes a mint selling these photos to people who like scotch and to think of themselves as artistic.
posted by kenko at 8:12 PM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

I initially thought it would be dried scotch that could be reconstituted with everclear and distilled water.
posted by fings at 8:49 PM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Add some sugar to make Scotch mints.
posted by benzenedream at 9:44 PM on November 19, 2012

Maybe this residue can answer a question--is it possible for a celiac to get ill from whisky? Are gluten molecules transported through the distillation process? A celiac friend of mine got ill from drinking whisky, and it doesn't make sense that that could happen.
posted by oneironaut at 7:29 AM on November 20, 2012

Gluten being a protein shouldn't distill, even with the vapor point depression of all of that ethanol and water coming off the solution. I wouldn't rule out a psychosomatic response especially it they think that gluten can be distilled. The more likely explanation is that they drank too much whiskey. The residue (to my eye) looks like the normal salts found in all water along with possibly some oils from tannins and resins from the wood used for barrel aging.
posted by koolkat at 8:00 AM on November 20, 2012

I'm also sad there's no photos of Laphroaig in there

Photos of Laphroaig remnants are very easy to find.

and i mean that in the best way, i love laphroaig
posted by FatherDagon at 10:30 AM on November 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

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