Whisky Galore: Nakege and Wonstar
This book goes into extensive detail about the Traditional
Heritage Craftworks company on Nakege, comparing and contrasting the
production of bourbon there with the Irish-style whisky on Wonstar.
Nakege orbits very close to a red main sequence
star, inside the orbit of the system's secondary star, a bright red dwarf.
The temperature on the world is affected primarily by the proximity
of the secondary, which causes the average to fluctuate from -2 to 25 degrees.
Nakege orbits the primary every 58.4 standard days (52.9 local
days of 26.5 hours); the secondary orbits the primary every 167.9 standard
days. Because of the two suns, the days are long and night vanishes completely
at the peak of summer. The cycle of temperature corresponds to a short
but productive growing season, midsummer occuring every 89.54 standard days
(81.1 local days). Fast-growing varieties of grains can complete their
cycle in the time available, while white oak responds to the bisolar seasons
with tight ring growth in a full deciduous cycle.
THC was founded by Artur Gravella in 735. He
was a professor of distilled beverages at Plankwell University on Rhylanor,
who decided to put aside academic distinction for what he called a real
contribution to the arts and sciences. He landed on the world and set
up the first camp in 737. First to be established was subsistence agriculture
in the lake region, followed by a class E starport to the northeast of the
farming area. A rail link was built connecting the starport area to
the outskirts of the first town, Crow. Once the colony was declared
self-supporting in 751, work began on the crops necessary for bourbon production.
White oak forests were seeded from original Sol heritage varieties,
aiming for a large genetic diversity to reduce the chances of a local Nakege
factor wiping out the trees. Also planted were trees to provide natural
cork for stoppers.
On Sol, White Oaks take at least 20 years to reach
acorn-producing age. Rotation length when farmed intensively can
be as short as 60 years, although for unmanaged forest 120 years is more
reasonable. Individual trees can easily live over 600 years. Thinning
early and regularly after 10 years is the best way for maximum production.
Artur Gravella died in 762, and his son Eneri took
over the family business. He too wanted the bourbon production to
be traditionally perfect, and decreed that the white oak forests should
not only become self-sustaining, but should be farmed with low intensity
methods. That would normally mean at least 120 years in the cycle.
Here on Nakege, though, the climate and light allowed the forest
to be fully established in just 90 standard years.
Eneri died in 814 -- he was not to see the forest
mature. His children, daughter Alicia and son Elyot and their families,
would be the ones to see the first tree cut.
At that point, bourbon production started in earnest.
Master coopers built the charred white oak barrels that are required
to mature the true bourbon. Aging warehouses were built to store the
barrels while they matured. Pot stills were built using local copper,
which had been mined for many years. The white oak was also used
to build the large fermentation vats. Glassblowing had been established
for many years too, and the design of the hand-blown glass bourbon bottles
dated back to Artur Gravella's original concept.
Maize, rye, and barley had already been grown since
the colony's inception. Wells were already drilled deep into the limestone
bedrock, producing a calcium-rich water ideal for the best bourbon.
The first seven distillations and fermentations were
poured on the ground in a ritual sacrifice. This incidentally --
and probably more importantly -- allowed the sour mash to become established
for consistency of fermentation.
Since then, the production line -- if one can call
such small batch bourbon a production line -- has run continuously. Bourbon
is aged until the master distiller says it's ready, and then it's bottled
[history of the Tukera Lines
[Nakege in the Third
and Fourth Frontier Wars]
[side industries: furniture,
bourbon sugar, etc.]
[layout and extent of the
[contrast with Jungleland
whisky production on Wonstar, an ultra-premium small batch distillery]
[contrast with North Whipsnade
whisky production on Wonstar, a high quality moderate size producer]
[contrast with Ancient Mariner
whisky production at Seaview on Wonstar, a premium high volume distillery]
[contrast with Jerrold's
Original whisky production on Wonstar, a mass-market volume production
[the feasibility of a THC-style
traditional approach on Wonstar]
Included in an appendix are the complete test procedures
to verify the authenticity of a bottle of Blockade Bourbon without opening
it. Tests are given by tech level, with notations as to what certainty
of authenticity can be deduced from each test. Complete confidence
of authenticity can be achieved at tech level C; reasonable confidence
is achieved at tech level 9, but requires destructive testing of small
glass and wax samples.
(to be completed)