What Is Artificial Colouring in Whisky?

artificial colour in whiskey

What Is Artificial Colouring in Whisky?

Whisky production has been around for centuries and over time, the process has evolved and changed. One of the changes that have taken place is the use of artificial colouring in whisky production. The use of artificial colouring has become a controversial topic in the world of whisky, with some people advocating for it, while others are against it.

Pros’ of Artificial Coloring:

  • Consistent appearance: Artificial colouring is used to make sure that the whisky has a consistent appearance. This is important as consumers have come to expect a certain appearance from the whisky they buy.
  • Covering up imperfections: Whisky production is not a perfect process, and sometimes, the product may not meet the desired colour standards. Artificial colouring can be used to cover up these imperfections.

Cons of Artificial Coloring:

  • Affects the taste: Artificial colouring can affect the taste of the whisky. This can lead to a difference in the taste between batches of whisky, which can be unpleasant for consumers.
  • Misleading: Some consumers feel that the use of artificial colouring is misleading and that the whisky is not a pure product.

Alternatives to Artificial Coloring:

  • Oak barrel ageing: The natural colour of whisky can be improved by ageing it in oak barrels. This method is often used by whisky producers who want to produce a natural product.
  • Natural colouring agents: Some whisky producers use natural colouring agents such as caramel, instead of artificial colouring. This can give the whisky a natural appearance, while still ensuring consistency.

While some people feel that it is necessary for consistency, many believe that it is misleading and affects the taste of the whisky. Whisky producers have a choice between using artificial colouring or alternative methods such as oak barrel ageing or natural colouring agents. Ultimately, the decision will depend on the producer’s goals and values.