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Old 03-26-2007, 08:17 PM   #1
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Allergic to Single Malt??? Or was I poisoned.

I purchased a 1.75L bottle of SPEYBURN 10year singlemalt.
I consumed 2 oz of the whisky and had a bad reaction. Red marks appeared overnight on my arms, chest and neck. Other symptoms were a "bloody" taste in my mouth and redness in my throat.
I have never had this sort of reaction to any other Scotch Whisky. And I believe I may have had an allergic reaction to an ingredient in it. Or perhaps it was tainted.

What grains are used in scotch production?

I had a similar but more severe reaction years ago to Rye whiskey. Yet I eat Rye bread with no problems.
I have tried many different brands of scotch blends over the years but nothing like this has ever happened.

Needless to say, I will not consume the remainder of the bottle until I know if one of the ingredients is an allergen.

What do you think happened to me?
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Old 03-26-2007, 08:46 PM   #2
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I wish I could be the one to answer your question, but outside of your speculation about an allergic reaction, I won't pretend. Wait until a couple days go by. The single malt experts like Vince and Cybrus eventually work their way around to reading this forum, and more reliable help will come your way. Hope you feel better with time. If not, by all means, check with your doctor.
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Old 03-26-2007, 09:24 PM   #3
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I think you must be allergic to a yeast used in the production of the Scotch. All bacteria should have been killed by the alcohol and if there was poison in it it is unlikely you would be better a day later. Odd that you do not react to the yeasts in other alcohols though. Another possibility is that you are allergic to the oak cask the Scotch was aged in. Do you react to oak otherwise?
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Old 03-26-2007, 09:46 PM   #4
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Single Malt Scotch Whisky contains; Malted Barley, Yeast, and water. Unless it was caused by the specific crop of barley or yeast used for that batch, you shouldn't have a reaction if you aren't sensitive to single malts. If you said it was a blend I'd be more apt to think it was the whisky due to blends having numerous different grains in them. Consult with your Dr for a better answer.
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Old 03-26-2007, 09:57 PM   #5
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As far as an allergic reaction to rye whiskey, but being able to eat rye bread, I became extremely lactose intolerant during my late teens, completely unable to drink milk. No problem whatsoever with ice cream or cheese, yogurt, etc., just can't drink milk, although Lact-Aid milk is okay. I just plain stopped drinking milk back then period, although I used Lact-Aid when it was an experimental product that came in vials that you treated milk with yourself, by putting a certain number of drops in the milk, and then waiting a period of time. At that point, the milk was more tolerable for lactose intolerant people. Years later, I was amazed to see milk containers labeled Lact-Aid. Evidently, it was a product that caught on, and eventually milk was sold with the Lact-Aid treatment already applied.

Still can't figure this one out though, although Reno and Muerte have provided excellent answers to the possibilities.
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Old 03-27-2007, 04:40 AM   #6
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Yep - I'd have to lean towards the yeast as that is the only common ingredient between the scotch and the rye. Unless the rye was really one of the blended Canadian whiskeys. Those usually have several different grains in them. If that was the case, it could be a barley issue perhaps?
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Old 03-27-2007, 03:16 PM   #7
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It happened last weekend and it went away within a day.
As far as oak, I was a woodworker for many years and lived daily in oak sawdust so it shouldn't be the oak.

In researching this I have found that grain allergies are quite rare, and since you confirmed that the ingredients were just Malted Barley, Yeast, and water there isn't much to be allergic to there.
Does anybody know if Speyburn uses old or sherry barrels for their ageing?
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Old 03-27-2007, 06:57 PM   #8
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I believe they do, as almost all single malts are aged in used casks, because they don't have the wood over in Scotland to make their own new barrels.
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Old 04-07-2007, 06:24 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by sierra69mk
It happened last weekend and it went away within a day.
As far as oak, I was a woodworker for many years and lived daily in oak sawdust so it shouldn't be the oak.

In researching this I have found that grain allergies are quite rare, and since you confirmed that the ingredients were just Malted Barley, Yeast, and water there isn't much to be allergic to there.
Does anybody know if Speyburn uses old or sherry barrels for their ageing?
they use old Bourbon barrels , I have a few open Spayburns right now, one at work, one in the Qtr.Deck & one in the kitchen ( for medicanl use ) , & I to have had a reaction to spayburn, I broke out in handcuffs after consuming an entire bottle one day last summer then decieded to clean my shotgun , there were cobwebs in the barrel & I Blasted them out hahahahaha
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Old 04-07-2007, 09:21 PM   #10
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Keep in mind I am not a doctor, but am an EMT for an ambulance company. In my opinion you did have a allergic reaction. Also the bloody taste in your mouth could have been from your throat. Sometimes you can have an ulcer in the lining of your esophagus either from acid reflux or one of any other options. The alcohol could have caused that ulcer to rupture causing the bloody taste in your mouth. The redness and hives is very possibly an allergic reaction. I would go talk to your doctor though and see what in the scotch could have made you do that. Until that time I would avoid it if I was you. Hope that helps some.
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Old 04-08-2007, 08:48 AM   #11
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I've had bad reactions to blended scotch in the past. It is entirely possible to have an allergic reaction to malt. I switched to Cognac, Tequila or Gin.
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