THE analysis of potable spirits has within recent time acquired increased importance on account of the attention now given by medical men and others to the characters of potable alcohol, and also on account of the action of inspectors under the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts in connection with the attempts which are being made by various local authorities throughout the country to put a stop to the misdescription of spirits. The Acts under which the Excise authorities work unfortunately contain no adequate definition of such articles as whisky and brandy, and this omission has undoubtedly facilitated the manufacture of factitious spirits. At the present time there is practically no official control over the sale of ardent spirits beyond ensuring to the customer, solely in the interest or the Revenue, that their alcoholic strength shall not be below a certain minimum. The Revenue authorities arc not concerned to know whether what is called whisky is a pot-still or a patent still spirit, whether it is made from raw grain or malt, or whether it is old or new. To them it is a matter of little moment whether what is called brandy is genuine grape spirit, or whether it is a rectified spirit obtained from maize cr potatoes, flavoured with so-called essence of brandy and coloured with caramel.
Guide to the Analysis of Potable Spirits.
By S. Archibald Vasey. Pp. ix + 87. (London: Baillière, Tindall and Cox, 1904.) Price 3s. 6d. net.