Artificial Tongue Knows More About Booze Than You, Can Prove It

Fake whiskey is about to take a serious licking

By Kirk Miller

 
Whisky
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09 June 2017

Here's a toast to modern times. Today, we can rapidly age whiskey using sound waves and chemically craft 20-year-old rum in six days.

And here, science strikes again: German researchers have created an artificial tongue that can tell if you’re drinking fake whiskey. Which yes, is a thing if you're not aware. We'll explain.

The tongue is actually a grouping of 22 glowing dyes engineered to react with spirits and create unique patterns based off of different flavors and characteristics. Already, the system can figure out the whiskey’s brand, age and country of origin.

The real benefit? According to Dr. Uwe Bunz, an organic chemist at Heidelberg University who worked on the study, “This could be used to look for counterfeit whiskies both on the mass market end and also at the super-high end.”

This seems to be more of a problem overseas: The Daily Mail suggests that up to 30 percent of all spirits in China are fake.

Still, with whiskey prices hitting near seven figures at auction, it’s nice to have an incontrovertible way to prove you’re in good spirits.

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