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  1. #1
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    05.06.2011
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    6

    The Whiskey Debate

    Hello everyone.

    My characters like walking around Bree and will stop in the Prancing Pony from time to time. As some of you may know that is one of the hot spots for role players. On a few occasions I have witnessed characters ordering whiskey. I have also witnessed people complaining about characters that have ordered whiskey since they say it is against lore. Anti-whiskey's main reason is something about no corn in Middle Earth. Pro-whiskey's defense is 'But there was corn in the movies and corn in the game!' Anti-whiskey's response 'Those do not count!' and so on and so forth.

    So what are your opinions about it?

  2. #2
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    04.06.2008
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    3 Garden St, Dunberth, Bree
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    I didn't know this was a thing!

    It actually mentions 'corn' in Rings, but I believe corn used to be a general word for 'grain', not exclusively used for maize. So in that context it might just refer to wheat or something. I think the bigger issue is that there's never any mention of distillation in the books. Miruvor is called a 'cordial', which implies some kind of distillation, but that's about it. All other alcoholic beverages are fermented (beer, wine, etc.).

    History doesn't provide many sure answers either, since distillation was pretty common in Europe by the middle ages, that being the historical basis for the setting of Middle-earth.

    So, long story short, I wouldn't drink whisky in LOTRO just because it's not in the books.
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  3. #3
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    27.06.2007
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    640
    A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet. "Whisky" is an Gaelic term for water of life, just as "Brandy" is a French term for water of life. Since J.R.R. Tolkien was a linguist as well as an author, I'd say it is more appropriate for that strange looking fellow who just walked into the Inn to order a "whisky" than it would be to ask for a "glass of your distilled and or fermented alcoholic beverage". By the way, our characters weren't mentioned in the literature either, but I see them in game all the time.
    Elendilmir - Officer of the Mithril Crowns (The Oldest Kinship in LOTRO)

    "It doesn't matter how well you play, only how good you look while playing."

  4. #4
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    02.10.2012
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    174

    Wow, just ... wow

    1. In traditional English usage, "corn" refers to the grass-grains: before the voyages of colonial expansion, these were only wheat, barley and rye; maize was introduced to Europe from the Americas; people had been distilling whiskey in Scotland since at least the 15th century. So, "corn" does not mean "maize"; furthermore, any assumption that whiskey demands maize is uninformed.

    2. Even today, only a very few whiskeys are made using any maize at all, and these are considered "American" varieties.

    Some types of whiskey listed in the United States federal regulations are:

    Bourbon whiskey—made from mash that consists of at least 51% corn (maize)
    Corn whiskey—made from mash that consists of at least 80% corn (maize)
    Malt whiskey—made from mash that consists of at least 51% malted barley
    Rye whiskey—made from mash that consists of at least 51% rye
    Rye malt whiskey—made from mash that consists of at least 51% malted rye
    Wheat whiskey—made from mash that consists of at least 51% wheat

    Varieties of other cultures often require certain standards of production, and/or characteristics in production, to qualify for the nomenclature: for example, Scotch Whiskey is traditionally twice-distilled, and sometimes flavoured by treating the malt with peat-smoke; additionally, to be called, "Scotch", it must be distilled in Scotland and matured in-cask for a minimum of three years.

    HoG

  5. #5
    Registriert seit
    12.02.2013
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    USA west coast
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    192
    It also bears mentioning that the ancient Greeks understood the concept of distilling spirits. So, though northern europe was a mead/ale culture, distilled spirits are not beyond the realm of RP possible in a setting that's consciously derived from european/near east historical sources.

  6. #6
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    17.10.2013
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    Suffolk, England
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    3
    Hobbits seem to have an extremely sophisticated material culture, so the idea of whisky wouldn't jar for me at all. (Whiskey would be another matter…) As to what it's made from, Tolkien's Middle Earth is predominantly an Old World milieu, but with some important exceptions, such as potatoes and tobacco; I think he was basically trying to set the Shire up as a sort of C.18-19 rural idyll (at least as that existed in the popular imagination of the time), so I wouldn't see it as at all problematic to have crops like maize, tomatoes etc. Just because it doesn't appear in the core texts shouldn't rule something out in my opinion, since he could hardly have mentioned everything that existed in his world!

  7. #7
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    11.11.2010
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    894
    Zitat Zitat von Katerbug Beitrag anzeigen
    Hello everyone.

    My characters like walking around Bree and will stop in the Prancing Pony from time to time. As some of you may know that is one of the hot spots for role players. On a few occasions I have witnessed characters ordering whiskey. I have also witnessed people complaining about characters that have ordered whiskey since they say it is against lore. Anti-whiskey's main reason is something about no corn in Middle Earth. Pro-whiskey's defense is 'But there was corn in the movies and corn in the game!' Anti-whiskey's response 'Those do not count!' and so on and so forth.

    So what are your opinions about it?
    Rune keepers order whiskey.

  8. #8
    Registriert seit
    01.06.2011
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    Bristol, England
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    6.188
    Zitat Zitat von Aledhiel Beitrag anzeigen
    Hobbits seem to have an extremely sophisticated material culture, so the idea of whisky wouldn't jar for me at all. (Whiskey would be another matter…) As to what it's made from, Tolkien's Middle Earth is predominantly an Old World milieu, but with some important exceptions, such as potatoes and tobacco; I think he was basically trying to set the Shire up as a sort of C.18-19 rural idyll (at least as that existed in the popular imagination of the time), so I wouldn't see it as at all problematic to have crops like maize, tomatoes etc. Just because it doesn't appear in the core texts shouldn't rule something out in my opinion, since he could hardly have mentioned everything that existed in his world!
    Hobbits are supposed to be quite specifically 'English' (the Shire is essentially a diminutive parody of the late Victorian rural English Midlands of Tolkien's childhood, by inspiration), and so if anything they'd be drinking gin rather than whisky. (And maize would definitely be out of place, as it wasn't cultivated in England until last century).

  9. #9
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    19.01.2007
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    While I reserve the right to chuckle over what characters order in the Prancing Pony, unless it's something outright lore- or immersion-crushing, I don't say anything. Whisky or other generic terms (white wine, gin, bourbon, cider), I usually leave alone. I've seen players order: Zinfandel, "Lite" beer, and other off-lore things. Even more telling about how young some of the players are, on Landroval, many will order water, and some will pay for it. Then I feel old, realizing that not only don't the players realize that, not long ago, water was considered unsafe to drink... but up until the 1980s, nobody really wanted to pay for it.

    One time, someone asked for a "warm" ale, and I said, "Of course it's warm! What else would it be?" (It was a summer day in Bree.)
    Favorite Dev Quote from 2009: Graal: The lack of an instant threat catch up skill is one of the differences in tanking between Wardens and Guardians, just like Wardens dont have a easily used forced taunt. It is unlikely, but not impossible that this will change. Bottom line...Dont die.

  10. #10
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    25.09.2010
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    17
    Zitat Zitat von Katerbug Beitrag anzeigen
    So what are your opinions about it?

    Depends on whether we're talking about whiskey or whisky.
    Dopeler Effect: n. The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

  11. #11
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    Bristol, England
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    Zitat Zitat von Ellis Beitrag anzeigen
    While I reserve the right to chuckle over what characters order in the Prancing Pony, unless it's something outright lore- or immersion-crushing, I don't say anything. Whisky or other generic terms (white wine, gin, bourbon, cider), I usually leave alone.
    You don't think 'bourbon' is off? What next, hobbits drinking mint juleps?

  12. #12
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    19.01.2007
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    Zitat Zitat von Radhruin_EU Beitrag anzeigen
    You don't think 'bourbon' is off? What next, hobbits drinking mint juleps?
    Bourbon is somewhat off, but I like to pick my fights.

    Tolkien put in quite a deal of New World foods into Middle Earth, so who's to say bourbon can't have been made? Calling it "Kentucky Bourbon", however, would get a /tell from me, asking if the player is meaning to thumb their nose at lore. At least do something like 'Southfarthing Bourbon', if that's the case.
    Favorite Dev Quote from 2009: Graal: The lack of an instant threat catch up skill is one of the differences in tanking between Wardens and Guardians, just like Wardens dont have a easily used forced taunt. It is unlikely, but not impossible that this will change. Bottom line...Dont die.

  13. #13
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    Bristol, England
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    Zitat Zitat von Ellis Beitrag anzeigen
    Bourbon is somewhat off, but I like to pick my fights.

    Tolkien put in quite a deal of New World foods into Middle Earth, so who's to say bourbon can't have been made? Calling it "Kentucky Bourbon", however, would get a /tell from me, asking if the player is meaning to thumb their nose at lore. At least do something like 'Southfarthing Bourbon', if that's the case.
    While 'taters' etc. have been part of English culture for several centuries now, bourbon is as unmistakeably American as Mom and apple pie.

  14. #14
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    29.03.2007
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    118
    Whiskey doesn't have to be made from corn, that's only one variety. It can be made from Abby number of grains including rye and barley. Since we can grow grain to make breads it stands to reason that whiskey could be made as well. As someone else mentioned though, bourbon is a distinctly American creation. I myself tend to ignore the minor infractions just because they aren't really that terrible in the big scheme.
    Holris of Landroval

  15. #15
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    Something to add: whether to ask for whisk(e)y is up to you, but please for the love of Eru don't talk about shots!

  16. #16
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    02.09.2013
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    190
    From the description of miruvor and the thing the orcs drank, I at least get the feeling that there's some kind of spirit hinted at. It also seems like there exist some antiseptics too, like the "dark stuff" the Isengard orc had in that box.
    "I imagine you know the answer, of course, or can guess it as easy as winking, since you are sitting comfortably at home and have not the danger of being eaten to disturb your thinking."
    [The Hobbit, or There and Back Again; Riddles in the Dark]

  17. #17
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    07.04.2007
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    Brooklyn
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    Brandywine is a distilled beverage, so clearly they know the concept. And distilling grain started in the 1400s, shortly after the distillation of grapes (for brandy) became widespread. I see no reason why Middle Earth would not have distilled grains--they already use them for fermented beverages, so we know they're common crops.

    There are many things not explicitly stated in the books which we can assume occurred in Middle Earth.
    Work like no one is watching, dance like you don't need the money...

  18. #18
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    Zitat Zitat von Frisco Beitrag anzeigen
    Brandywine is a distilled beverage, so clearly they know the concept.
    The river's name isn't really supposed to be 'Brandywine'. That's the English equivalent of the 'real' Westron name the hobbits used for it, which was a play on words: Bralda-hîm, 'heady ale', from the original Branda-nîn, 'border water', itself taken from the Elvish Baranduin ('golden-brown river').

    You bet there are many things not explicitly stated in the books

  19. #19
    Zitat Zitat von Radhruin_EU Beitrag anzeigen
    Something to add: whether to ask for whisk(e)y is up to you, but please for the love of Eru don't talk about shots!
    I giggled but agree....
    Crickhollow, Heavy-RP, and Elves.
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  20. #20
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    19.01.2007
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    Distillation processes would be around, for the various grains, hops and other stuff. So, I could see a Southfarthing Vodka from taters, or if I feel like being silly, instead of Scotch Whiskey, you get your special Dunlending brand of single-malt whiskey called Duvodiadditch.
    Favorite Dev Quote from 2009: Graal: The lack of an instant threat catch up skill is one of the differences in tanking between Wardens and Guardians, just like Wardens dont have a easily used forced taunt. It is unlikely, but not impossible that this will change. Bottom line...Dont die.

  21. #21
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    Zitat Zitat von Ellis Beitrag anzeigen
    Distillation processes would be around, for the various grains, hops and other stuff. So, I could see a Southfarthing Vodka from taters
    You could hardly call it 'vodka', though. 'Poteen' would be a lot closer to home, but if you were writing a story you'd really have to come up with a name for the stuff that sounded like something hobbits might have come up with. Like 'tumbledown', maybe ("because that's what you'll do when you've had a few").

  22. #22
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    Zitat Zitat von Radhruin_EU Beitrag anzeigen
    Like 'tumbledown', maybe ("because that's what you'll do when you've had a few").
    I love this! Would you mind if I added this to the drink list for my RP tavern?

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  23. #23
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    Zitat Zitat von amimain2 Beitrag anzeigen
    I love this! Would you mind if I added this to the drink list for my RP tavern?
    Be my guest

  24. #24
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    30.03.2007
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    Zitat Zitat von Ellis Beitrag anzeigen
    Distillation processes would be around, for the various grains, hops and other stuff. So, I could see a Southfarthing Vodka from taters, or if I feel like being silly, instead of Scotch Whiskey, you get your special Dunlending brand of single-malt whiskey called Duvodiadditch.
    "Ardbalgraig"? "Caol Uch-Luth"?
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