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  1. #1

    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
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    3 Garden St, Dunberth, Bree
    Posts
    1,006
    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
    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

    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
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    USA west coast
    Posts
    197
    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
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Suffolk, England
    Posts
    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
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    894
    Quote Originally Posted by Katerbug View Post
    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
    Quote Originally Posted by Katerbug View Post
    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.

 

 

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