Sunday, November 25, 2012

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Ernie Button's Vanishing Single Malt Scotch

Put that back. You can't just take any crap. 
Now. Single malt, 16 year old, taut, full flavor, warmer, not aggressive. 
Peaty aftertaste.
Takes out the fire but leaves in the warmth.

~ Frank (Brendan Gleeson)
28 Days Later

Abelour 103
We've all cleaned glasses with residue of drinks in them, but Ernie Button realized that something other than dirty dishes — something beautiful — was happening under our very noses. While putting a glass that had held Scotch whisky in the dishwasher, Button noticed a film of residue with fine, lacy lines on the bottom. Closer examination led to a photography project, Vanishing Spirits – The Dried Remains of Single Malt Scotch.
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. I have used different color lights to add ‘life’ to the bottom of the glass, creating the illusion of landscape, terrestrial or extraterrestrial. Some of the images reference the celestial, as if the image was taken of space; something that the Hubble telescope may have taken or an image taken from space looking down on Earth. The circular image references a drinking glass, typically circular, and what the consumer might see if they were to look at the bottom of the glass after the scotch has dried. A technical note about this project. The images were titled with the specific Scotch that the rings were created with. The number is a 3 digit number that has nothing to do with the age of the scotch. Merely a number to help differentiate between images.
To my eye, Button's vanishing single malt images look as much like photos taken from celestial telescopes or by undersea Arctic explorers than they do photos of something so warm, comforting and homey as single malt Scotch. A link to the project in his portfolio is  below.

Balvenie 125
Specimen - Glenfiddich 15
Macallan 103
Dalwhinnie 122

Goes well with: 

  • Photographer Ernie Button's seriesVanishing Spirits – The Dried Remains of Single Malt Scotch.
  • The Purpose of Good Liquor, in which I ship out a bunch of nice Scotch for no other reason than it would make someone happy. 

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