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Tuesday, 28 August 1906

Mr FOWLER (Perth) .- I wish to put before the Committee an expert opinion in regard to the advantage of maturing spirits of all classes which I had intended to quote when speaking on the second reading ; but the volume was not then available. Mr. J. A. Nettleton, F.C.S., an authority of very considerable weight, at page 236 of a work which is, I believe, regarded as the principal exposition of the methods of manufacturing spirits in the United Kingdom, the processes of maturing, and the general regulations connected with Excise and Customs, says -

In pot still whiskies the by-products range from 40 to 80 grains per proof gallon, the variations in quantity and quality within these narrow limits, vary considerably affecting their flavour. In patent-still spirit or whisky, scarcely any by-product other than propyl alcohol is collected. Both descriptions of spirit, however, are, so far as the consumer's practical tests are applied, decidedly improved by storage in good wine casks.

He proceeds to explain what I have already tried to impress upon honorable members, that although the chemical processes and changes which take place are not very well understood, practical experience shows that it is of advantage to mature spirits by storage in wood. Like the Chairman of the Tariff Commission, I have no objection to the modification proposed by the honorable and learned member for Angas, in view of the custom existing in some of the States which has been recognised as legal and proper, on the understanding that the concession is to apply only for a limited period.

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