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Julie-uk-nz

gluten-free Alcohol.......

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Hi,

I'm sure we've discussed this many times on here but the more i read the more i'm confussed.........

I have the following brands and would like to know if i can drink them or if i should give them away:

- 42 below vodka

- Absolut Peach vodka

- Alize (Bleu & Gold passion)

- Glenfiddich Scotch Whiskey

- Southern Comfort

- Stolichnaya russian vodka

Any info would be fantastic

Julie

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It looks like Southern Comfort and Glenfiddich is ok too and as far as i can tell all vodka is ok too especially SKY. Maybe i should have done some more research before i posted this. The only one i'm unsure about now is the Alize <_<

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It depends where you are....

Its my understanding that NZ is zero gluten and the UK is low gluten... the same bottle will be OK in the UK and not in NZ...

The technical reasons behind this are rather long and complex....

The bottom line is each distillation is unique... the chance of getting any gluten or gliadins is pretty small? but present.

You could view this like CC in a shared production line... if they run a test after 50,000 packets of plain crisps then they are liekly to get a different answer than if they just switched from a product containing gluten and you get the first batch...

I have emailed several manufactuerers of Whisky and whiskey with very specific questions.... you are welcome to do the same but to date NONE of them have responded.

What I ask is if they can guarantee that zero gluten will be found in ANY of their product if tested by instrumentation with a detection limit of hundreds of ppb. So far not a single one has answered. I have previously emailed them asking if their product is gluten free and the usualy answer is "according to CUK the product is safe for celiacs"... but as soon as I write it in scientific terms and ask them directly... they just refuse to answer... so its your call.

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Some where on this sight I read some thing about vodka. That was yesterday but now I am not finding it. I thought I wrote a reply to it but then again who knows I guess. Any way, I have read that if a alcohol is distilled it is ok to drink. So I am wondering if any one out there is drinking Black Velvet and/or Wild turkey and honey? I use to drink both of these but since getting sick have not had any and am scared to try it. So any help with this from some one who knows first hand from drinking it whould be so nice.

Thank you

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Julie, isn't it so frustrating when trying to find something to drink, only to find out there is no information on the label about ingredients, well there don't appear to be here on NZ bottles.

Sometimes I feel like playing Russian Rouletter, but I am too chicken to even do that.

Yes in NZ it is meant to be zero gluten, and all labels must state if gluten is in the product, but that does not appear to apply to alcoholic beverages.

Frustrating, it just about drives one to drink.

No seriously, I just stick to wine or Coruba. But since going gluten free, I might as well say I am a non drinker. At times I am too scared to drink, in case I go over board and will not be responisble for what I eat. I used to worry about not being responsible for what I do, but now it is more worrying about what I might ingest. It must be an age thing.

Cathy

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it's so frustrating, i think it's going to be a case of trail and error.........sky vodka is gluten free and Jose Cuervo tequilla is fine too, but on the spirit front thats all i know and i've been too scared to try others. <_<

I suppose we'll just have to keep adding to this forum as we find info, thanks for the info so far though, it all helps!

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First thanks for the replies. Yes I have seen that list. That is why I have the question about things being distilled being safe. I drink Captain Morgans rum's so I know they are good to go, and easy for drinking also. But as I said above I use to drink Black Velvet and also Wild turkey and Honey. But have not had either since getting sick. Would really like to try them again but was really hoping some one else out there was drinking them to tell me yes or no on them.

Also looking at the list that hathor gave me to see again says Scotch Whiskey is ok to drink. So I have been to the liquor store to look for it. I am finding Scotch and finding Whiskey but not Scotch Whiskey. So can any one tell me what the difference is between Scotch, Whiskey, and Scotch Whiskey.

Thank you,

Grump

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So can any one tell me what the difference is between Scotch, Whiskey, and Scotch Whiskey.

There is no difference between Scotch and Scotch Whiskey. Scotch is a type of whiskey, but there are other types as well. So while all Scotch is whiskey, not all whiskey is Scotch.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whisky

Usually people call it Scotch rather than Scotch whiskey, according to this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotch_whisky The only complication is in the UK, where whiskey means Scotch :lol:

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I'm not a doctor, so this is not medical advice. I'm a celiac whisky enthusiast with a degree in Biochemistry. Here is my take on the whisky discussion. It is not as simple as saying that (all) whisky is gluten-free simply because it is a distilled product. But, there is hope ...

Distillation works very well to eliminate gluten, because the molecular weight of gluten is at least 1000 times that of ethyl alcohol and the other desired end products of the process. I can go through a doorway, but an 18-wheeler can't. It's the same principle. The science of distillation is well established, and has been for a couple of hundred years. I have been to numerous distilleries in Scotland and seen the process first hand. Will manufacturers ever say definitely that their product contains absolutely no gluten? No, they are afraid we will sue them in a class action if we find one molecule in there with an analytical device. The thing to bear in mind is that whiskies fall into a couple of groups. These are the basic types, and how I view their safety for myself:

The "Single Malt Scotch Whisky" (usually 10 or 12+ years old):

The product of one SINGLE distillery, not mixed with anything else. Glenfiddich and Glenlivet have claimed to be gluten-free at various times, although their web sites don't show that now. I have no doubt that they, and all other single malts, are gluten-free. There is no malt in "malt whisky" - the "MALT" refers to the malting (or germinating) of the barley to get it started in the fermentation process. "Single Malt" is a legal term in Scotland, and any blending would disqualify them. They get their color from spending 10+ years in oak casks, which are often used sherry or bourbon casks (which contained pure spirit). They are distilled twice for purity. I regard them as safe, and delicious. In the US, I buy these at Trader Joe's, which has a good selection at great prices.

Other "Scotch Whiskies", that don't claim to be "Single Malts":

These are whiskies made up of a blend of other, less mature whiskies, and are cheaper, like Johnnie Walker, and premium blends like Chivas Regal. JW is made up of 50 different whiskies blended together. They may be gluten-free, but immature whisky is colorless (or very pale), so to give it some color and/or flavor they may add caramel, or some "grain whisky" to it. This is unpredictable - I never drink them, and I much prefer single malts anyway.

Irish Whiskey (note the "e"):

Like Scotch, but distilled three times, e.g. Bushmills, Jamiesons. They can be "single malts", but most commonly available ones are blended. The single malts are very pure and smooth though. Bushmills has both a single malt and a blended product.

With Scotch or Irish: If it does not say "Single Malt" (with an age in years) on the bottle, then it is blended. It may or may not actually say "blended", but if it does not specify, then it definitely IS blended. Single Malts will always explicitly identify themselves as such, with an age, on the bottle.

Bourbon and American Whiskey generally:

Made by a different process, but are distilled as part of that process. The issue here is that whiskey that is only matured for a few years, like these products, may be colorless or very pale when it comes out of the cask. So, they MAY add some "grain whisky" (not distilled) back into the final mixture for color and/or flavor. These have to be evaluated on an individual basis. I saw recently that Jack Daniels now says on their web site that the product is free of gluten, and others (like Makers Mark) have been reported to be gluten-free.

Slainte Mohr! (Gaelic toast meaning "good health/life".

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I'm not a doctor, so this is not medical advice. I'm a celiac whisky enthusiast with a degree in Biochemistry. Here is my take on the whisky discussion. It is not as simple as saying that (all) whisky is gluten-free simply because it is a distilled product. But, there is hope ...

Distillation works very well to eliminate gluten, because the molecular weight of gluten is at least 1000 times that of ethyl alcohol and the other desired end products of the process. I can go through a doorway, but an 18-wheeler can't. It's the same principle. The science of distillation is well established, and has been for a couple of hundred years. I have been to numerous distilleries in Scotland and seen the process first hand. Will manufacturers ever say definitely that their product contains absolutely no gluten? No, they are afraid we will sue them in a class action if we find one molecule in there with an analytical device. The thing to bear in mind is that whiskies fall into a couple of groups. These are the basic types, and how I view their safety for myself:

The "Single Malt Scotch Whisky" (usually 10 or 12+ years old):

The product of one SINGLE distillery, not mixed with anything else. Glenfiddich and Glenlivet have claimed to be gluten-free at various times, although their web sites don't show that now. I have no doubt that they, and all other single malts, are gluten-free. There is no malt in "malt whisky" - the "MALT" refers to the malting (or germinating) of the barley to get it started in the fermentation process. "Single Malt" is a legal term in Scotland, and any blending would disqualify them. They get their color from spending 10+ years in oak casks, which are often used sherry or bourbon casks (which contained pure spirit). They are distilled twice for purity. I regard them as safe, and delicious. In the US, I buy these at Trader Joe's, which has a good selection at great prices.

Other "Scotch Whiskies", that don't claim to be "Single Malts":

These are whiskies made up of a blend of other, less mature whiskies, and are cheaper, like Johnnie Walker, and premium blends like Chivas Regal. JW is made up of 50 different whiskies blended together. They may be gluten-free, but immature whisky is colorless (or very pale), so to give it some color and/or flavor they may add caramel, or some "grain whisky" to it. This is unpredictable - I never drink them, and I much prefer single malts anyway.

Irish Whiskey (note the "e"):

Like Scotch, but distilled three times, e.g. Bushmills, Jamiesons. They can be "single malts", but most commonly available ones are blended. The single malts are very pure and smooth though. Bushmills has both a single malt and a blended product.

With Scotch or Irish: If it does not say "Single Malt" (with an age in years) on the bottle, then it is blended. It may or may not actually say "blended", but if it does not specify, then it definitely IS blended. Single Malts will always explicitly identify themselves as such, with an age, on the bottle.

Bourbon and American Whiskey generally:

Made by a different process, but are distilled as part of that process. The issue here is that whiskey that is only matured for a few years, like these products, may be colorless or very pale when it comes out of the cask. So, they MAY add some "grain whisky" (not distilled) back into the final mixture for color and/or flavor. These have to be evaluated on an individual basis. I saw recently that Jack Daniels now says on their web site that the product is free of gluten, and others (like Makers Mark) have been reported to be gluten-free.

Slainte Mohr! (Gaelic toast meaning "good health/life".

WOW! What a great post for your first. I read it three times. Very interesting. Thank you for your expertise.

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If I can ask a question given your expertise ...

Is the distillation process sufficient to eliminate yeast in the final product? I'm unsure of the relative sizes of yeast versus gluten. (Yeah, I could try looking this up, but it is easier to ask someone else :rolleyes: ) I am supposed to be yeast-free, but there is no definitive explanation of what this entails. In particular, there is disagreement about whether distillation is sufficient to remove yeast from vinegars and distilled alcohols. As far as alcohol is concerned, I've seen: not enough yeast stays in any product to have a reaction; wine, beer, & cider are a problem, everything distilled is OK; rum, gin, vodka & tequila are OK; vodka & tequila are OK; and NOTHING is OK. There is disagreement about Scotch in particular, although some distinguish between single malt and blended.

If I understood the science involved, I could make a more informed decision, than simply picking the list that conforms to my desires :lol:

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Hmmmmm .... here's how it seems to me, although I have not specifically researched yeast. As yeast is a fungus, a single-cell animal, a cell of yeast would be way bigger than the gluten proteins, and so all yeast would be left behind in the distillation process (along with the gluten). I think that the reason that there is uncertainty about the yeast content of various distilled products is that a less pure product may be added back into the product to give it color and/or flavor. This is not the case with single malt whiskies, but could happen with blended whiskies, because we just don't know what they are blended with (literally 50 whiskies are blended together to make Johnnie Walker scotch). This is also a common practice with bourbon, as the product may only spend a few years maturing in a cask, so they may add some "grain alcohol" mixture into the product for color/flavor, and that mixture may have yeast and gluten remaining in it.

As an Australian living in the US, I'm just grateful that good single malt scotch is relatively cheap here!

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Thanks. What you say makes sense. Fortunately, I prefer single malt anyway :lol:

The confusion about alcohol seems to be mirrored in the same way with vinegar. To my mind anyway, distillation would remove any gluten, and certainly any yeast. Celiac lists used to say to not have vinegar but they've gotten away from that. (Some people still say they react, but I wonder if it is to the acidity of the vinegar or something else.) Some yeast-free lists say all vinegars are out; others don't list it at all. If nothing is added back to the vinegar, or the alcohol, no allergen should remain.

I guess I have to go buy a bottle of my beloved Glenfiddich or experiment with something else. Do you have a favorite?

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I did some reading up on the issue of caramel color in whisky, and it seems a little more complicated than I thought. I have been able to come across some examples of whiskies that claim to be color-free. Most are expensive, exclusive productions, but it is quite possible that many good scotches are color-free. A post on this board quoted a company response stating that the Macallan whisky was color-free. Great, because the sherried flavor of Macallan is fantastic. It seems that a "single malt scotch" (to meet the legal definition) has to be free of all additives etc, but caramel color is allowed as an exception - so that makers can get a consistent color to the product, as whisky comes out of different casks in slightly different colors.

Here's what I am thinking for myself: The caramel color is probably made from corn syrup, although there is no guarantee on that. The color is used to make things browner, so a yellow scotch like Glenfiddich, or Glenlivet is probably caramel free (or very low). Also, the major whisky makers produce big quantities, and achieve consistency by mixing a very large number of casks together when they bottle it, so they would have less reason to use caramel for consistency. Blended whiskies are made up of less mature whiskies, which are going to be less naturally colored when they come out of the cask (they get their color from spending time absorbing it from the wood of the casks), so they would need more caramel color in the production process to appear the classic "golden brown".

To summarize, I reckon I will:

Prefer single malt scotches that are verified to be caramel free (Macallan, yay!)

Assume that yellowish single malts are color free (Glenfiddich, Glenlivet)

Give myself another trip to Scotland so I can ask every distillery about the color on the tasting tours.

Research the caramel issue to evaluate the risks. Scotch is consumed in small quantities (unlike Coca Cola), so just how much color and (possible) gluten am I risking? That's an open issue at this point.

Avoid blended whiskies, or any whisky-derived product like Southern Comfort - I'd be very surprised if that stuff ain't colored.

Pour myself a drink and try not to think too much about this.

Cheers.

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Have you seen this list?

http://www.celiac.com/st_prod.html?p_prodid=271

Glenfiddich is my favorite and I've never had a reaction.

Have you noticed a reaction after having any of the things on your list? If not, you are probably fine.

So all brands of rum are fine?

Goody! I can add rum to my eggnog tonight!

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