A Scottish distillery said Monday it was reviving a centuries-old recipe for whisky so strong that one 17th-century writer feared more than two spoonfuls could be lethal.
Risk-taking whisky connoisseurs will have to wait, however — the spirit will not be ready for at least 10 years.
The Bruichladdich distillery on the Isle of Islay, off Scotland's west coast, is producing the quadruple-distilled 184-proof — or 92 percent alcohol — spirit "purely for fun," managing director Mark Reynier said.
Whisky usually is distilled twice and has an alcohol content of between 40 and 63.5 per cent.
Bruichladdich is using a recipe for a spirit known in the Gaelic language as usquebaugh-baul, "perilous water of life."
In 1695, travel writer Martin Martin described it as powerful enough to affect "all members of the body."
"Two spoonfuls of this last liquor is a sufficient dose; if any man should exceed this, it would presently stop his breath, and endanger his life," Martin wrote.
Reynier put Martin's test to the claim and consumed three spoonfuls.
"I can tell you, I had some and it indeed did take my breath away," Reynier said.
Bruichladdich, a small privately owned distillery founded in 1881, plans to make about 5,000 bottles of the whisky, which Reynier estimated would sell for about 400 pounds (US$695, euro590) per case of 12 bottles. Although whisky lovers can place their orders now, the actual spirit will not be delivered for about 10 years.
"You get a better drink if you wait because of the basic oxygenation through the oak barrels," Reynier said.