The Significance of a Whiskey Glass in Culture and Society
Hey there, let’s talk about something truly mesmerizing – the hidden beauty that lies in the world, waiting to be discovered.
And today, I want to take you on a journey into the captivating artistry of photographer Ernie Button.
It all started eight years ago when Ernie noticed something quite peculiar at the bottom of an empty whisky glass.
Picture this: Ernie, placing a used Scotch glass into the dishwasher, and suddenly, his eyes catch a glimpse of a delicate residue, a fine lacework of lines adorning the glass’s base.
He couldn’t just let this discovery pass by unnoticed. And so, a brilliant idea was born.
Ernie embarked on a photography project that would eventually become a stunning series titled “Vanishing Spirits – The Dried Remains of Single Malt Scotch.”
Armed with colored lights to accentuate the intricate details and create an otherworldly effect, he set out to capture the essence of these enigmatic landscapes.
What he found was truly remarkable.
Different whiskies had their own unique behaviors.
Peaty whiskies, for instance, could be a bit unpredictable, sometimes leaving behind intricate rings, and other times, not.
Aged whiskies, whether Scotch, bourbon, or Irish, revealed the most captivating patterns, while young whiskies and their white counterparts left none at all. Notably, neither did cognac nor wine.
Naturally curious about this phenomenon and why it occurred with some liquids and not others, Ernie turned to the boundless realm of the internet.
Here, he stumbled upon the expertise of Professor Howard A. Stone from Princeton University, a specialist in fluid mechanics.
Ernie shared his wonderment, and Professor Stone and his team generously welcomed his questions, providing invaluable insights into this captivating phenomenon.
What they discovered was a fascinating dance of science and artistry.
The team, led by Professor Stone, conducted experiments using a mixture of water and ethanol in proportions similar to whisky.
Through video microscopy and careful observation, they unveiled the secrets behind these mesmerizing patterns.
It all came down to surface tension and the different evaporation rates of water and ethanol – the essential ingredients in whisky.
This intricate process is known as the Marangoni effect.
Here’s how it works: When the last traces of whisky gracefully linger at the bottom of the glass, they evaporate in a unique way.
Ethanol, with its lower vapor pressure compared to water, is the first to evaporate.
As ethanol concentrations rise due to the evaporating liquid, the receding contact line expands.
At high ethanol concentrations, such as those found in whisky, this contact line retreats, carrying tiny particles along with it.
These particles are then artfully deposited in captivating ring-shaped patterns.
What’s truly remarkable is that these patterns aren’t just beautiful; they also have real-world applications, particularly in manufacturing.
The ability to deposit a thin film of particles is a sought-after skill in various industries.
So there you have it, a journey into the captivating world of whisky glass residue art, where science meets art in the most unexpected way.
Ernie Button’s photographs and Professor Stone’s research have unlocked the hidden beauty within a glass of whisky, proving that even in the most ordinary moments, there’s extraordinary beauty waiting to be discovered.
Cheers to the wonders of science and art! 📷🥃✨