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「天使的分享」是給上帝課的稅

2016/10/5 — 9:40

作者提供圖片

作者提供圖片

【文:Mr.J @ whiskiology】

Whiskiology Tutorial 威士忌教室:"天使的分享是給上帝課的稅"、"Imagining Angel’s Share as the Tax we Pay God"

不論威士忌新手或老手,都一定聽過「天使的分享」。當威士忌於木桶陳年熟成期間,透過木桶的「呼吸」,讓桶內酒體外的蒸氣與周遭環境的空氣進行交換,成就酒液持續進行化學作用的條件。按蘇格蘭業界的講法,每年平均大約有2%的酒體流失至空氣之中。在亞熱帶與熱帶地區的話,酒體流失更多,按年可有5-9%「被上帝打稅」,蘇格蘭人傳統上都將這流失的酒體浪漫化地稱作「天使的分享」(Angel’s Share)。

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Whether you’re a rookie or a veteran, you gotta heard about this whisky terminology, “Angel’s Share”. During the maturation process of whisky, through the “breathing” of the cask, there gonna be exchange between the evaporated liquor and the air at the warehouse, which helps maintaining the conditions of chemical reactions for the whisky to mature. The average annual loss of volume for Scotland distilleries is about 2%; while in tropical or subtropical areas, the liquor generally evaporate faster, there would be 5-9% being “taxed by God” every year. The Scottish refers this losing portion as the Angel’s Share, Mr. J thinks that’s kinda romantic.

當然,木桶的本質、倉庫的形態與設計、儲存期間的安排、周遭環境的特性等對酒體流失後「酒精與水的比例」有決定性影響,但大體來說,傳統的「平鋪式倉庫」(dunnage warehouse)因較潮濕,陳年後酒體的「量」通常都保持較高的狀態,但酒精的「強度」則會下降;「層架式倉庫」(rack warehouse)剛好相反,強度保持但酒量下降。Mr. J閱讀過一些資料,說近代部份業界翹楚甚至能將兩者都保持一定高度,非常利害。

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Of course, the nature of the cask, types and designs of the warehouse, arrangements at storage, characteristics of the surrounding, etc., all are crucial in affecting the ratio between “alcohol and water” after the liquor loss from evaporation. However, in general, the traditional dunnage warehouse are more humid, and thus the whisky after maturation would result in higher volume but lower in strength (average loss for Scotland distilleries is about 4-5% ABV every 10 years). Things are exactly the opposite in racked warehouse. The strength would remains high, and the volume would be lower. Mr. J has read some related materials saying some of the leading edge warehouses would keep both numbers high after decades of ageing.

浪漫化地說,喝威士忌是與上帝交易,我們給上帝課稅,上帝就為我們將威士忌熟成、提升風味。所以裝瓶以後,沒有了Angel's Share,在密封的酒瓶中威士忌也不會再熟成。以後,若聽人說買一瓶10年的威士忌回家安放10年,它就會變成一瓶20的威士忌,你要知道那是很大的誤解哦!

Put it in an aesthetic way of speaking, drinking whisky is like making a deal with God. We pay Him taxes, He helps us mature the whisky and improves its flavours. Hence after bottling, where there ain’t no more Angel’s Share inside the sealed bottle, the whisky stopped its maturation. In the future, when you hear people say “buying a bottle of 10 years old whisky, putting it aside for 10 years, you gotta get yourself a 20 years old whisky”, you know that’s just WRONG.

 

Original Photo Source(s): Wikipedia, andhttp://sohowhisky.com/help.asp

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