back to article Be still, our drinking hearts: Help Reg name whisky beast conjured by Swedish distillers and AI blendbot

Swedish distillery Mackmyra has released a whisky infused with the goodness of AI. Keen to reinforce workplace stereotypes, The Register went to check it out. We first noted Microsoft's foray into the world of whisky blending back in May, when early results of Redmond and Mackmyra's efforts were sampled. The distillery has …

  1. Shonko Kid


    - the desktop companion?

  2. Rabster

    Glen Turing?

    1. Edwin

      Sven Turing

      Just to make it a little more Swedish

  3. Richard Gray 1

    Machine learning



    1. Giovani Tapini

      Re: Machine learning

      With sufficient whisky my machine certainly stops learning entirely...

  4. Marcus Fil

    The Famous Nous

  5. Kubla Cant


    cooking whisky

    1. Snowy Silver badge

      Re: Blended?

      If it is not good enough to drink it is not good enough to cook with either!

      1. Muscleguy

        Re: Blended?

        Agreed, recipe time: take two salmon steaks and fry to perfection in butter. Remove from the pan and keep warm to rest. Add cream to pan and scrape up the crusty bits then add a good dram of Talisker 10yo and mix. Let it bubble a bit then serve with new potatoes and a good salad and of course the whisky cream sauce and a glass of the whisky in question to have with.

    2. ibmalone

      Re: Blended?

      If they're mixing only their own spirit it's not regarded as a blend. Fun fact, when there's an age statement it's referring to the youngest whisk(e)y in the bottle, but even 'single' malts are often blended by the distillery. (Interestingly a lot of the big names are now making non-age statement single malt 'special editions', which potentially means they're mixing in stuff all the way down to three years.) 'Blended' is when grain whisky is added to the mix.

      Then again, if they're blending only their own spirit I don't see quite why revealing their blend choices would be, "like, the end of the game." Since it's information that's only useful if you've got their barrels.

      As for the general idea... I tried Pendryn shortly after it came out. This was in a tasting consisting of people who liked whisky and people who knew nothing about whisky (a blend...). In a group of over 20 there was one person who liked it. Haven't touched it since, but they're still making it so I guess either it's improved or the Welsh are even more patriotic than I thought. There is now some stuff made in England that I haven't had the courage to touch yet. I'm sure the Swedes can make whisky, eventually.

      1. Muscleguy

        Re: Blended?

        I'm a whisky drinker and someone gave my wife a bottle of Penderyn (with a tasting glass) and we got to know it and I quite liked it. Not enough to want a bottle in my whisky cabinet but inoffensive and a pleasant enough tipple.

        1. ibmalone

          Re: Blended?

          I'm willing to believe it's improved since. This was the early stuff that would have been the first couple of years they actually made. It's one reason there are so many gin distilleries popping up, but nowhere near the number of new whisky distilleries. With gin you can experiment on small batches and swap recipes fast, but with whisky you have to wait years before you know how it turns out, so on top of the length of time for investment the learning curve is necessarily much slower.

      2. Rabster

        Re: Blended?

        There's a Breton whisky called Armork that's well worth a go.

        1. ibmalone

          Re: Blended?

          I'll be honest and say I haven't even managed to work through all Irish and Scotch varieties yet...

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Blended?

          Breton whisky called Armork that's well worth a go

          And the output from the English Whisky Company is usually well worth the price. I especially like their Rum Cask line (used to be called "Chapter 7" but I think the name confused people).

          It's about £50/bottle. Really, really not something that you buy to drink in bulk.

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Blended?

        but even 'single' malts are often blended by the distillery

        Unless it says "Single malt, single barrel" on the bottle it's safe to assume that it's blended from lots of casks.

        Of course the words "single barrel" add about 30% to the price and it isn't always worth it because each barrel can vary in flavour - sometimes positively, sometines negatively.

  6. David Robinson 1

    Three Bit, because it's a bit better than two-bit rotgut.

  7. JimP


    A.I.side (pronounced eye-side, spelled to avoid lawsuits from Apple)

    Glen P Complete (blended with batch normalisation)

    (for after brexit) Bugger Scotch

    Deep Tipple

    The Singularity Malt

    Proof (obv.)

    The MacLearning

    Damp mosquito is an obvious Scotch reference too, but should be damp midge.

    1. Daniel von Asmuth

      Re: Mr.

      I was thinking of 'Moist Midge' or 'Mac Robot'.

    2. Danny 2

      Re: Mr.

      I was talking to a wry Scottish vegan ecologist about why vegans can't eat honey when it seemed to me it was mostly a workers rights issue (more honey, shorter flowers). Apparently bees are forced to die to make our honey. Like we force them to back to their factory.

      "Bees are essential", I said, "but what how would you feel about using science to wipe out useless parasitic species such as the midge? Bats eat them but bats eat other things too, midges just make other species lives hell"

      "Ah, no", she replied. "Midges play a vital part in Scotland's ecosystem. If we didn't have midges then we'd be over run with English tourists".

      [I feel I may have told that anecdote here before. I keep telling the same folk the same stories until they get sick of me and I'm thinking I should just write my 1001 shitey anecdotes down in a blog. I used to use Wordpress for a different purpose but can anyone here recommend a similar web tool that isn't so surveillancy?]

      1. Muscleguy

        Re: Mr.

        In many Scottish lochs in the winter a couple of meters down there's a layer of hibernating midge larvae. Plenty of native fish and amphibia eat midge larvae but there are so many of them plenty get left wnen the fish etc also hibernate.

        But those midge larvae are a necessary part of the ecosystem and they are very nutritious fish food. You can buy them frozen as pet fish food but you are advised to only feed them occasionally as they are so rich.

        In the peat bogs you have to think about toads and their tadpoles eating them. Also just because bats eat other things it doesn't follow that we can remove them without any effect on the bats.

        If we killed all the chickens you would have other things to eat, even other eggs, but we'd feel it wouldn't we?

        1. Danny 2

          Re: Mr.

          You make valid points, and I am reconciled to living with the midge. They make me irrational though. One time I went out in my garden with a vacuum cleaner to hoover them up. Lately I've built and installed bat boxes, although I failed to mark them correctly so many of them are used by the birds and the bees.

          The mosquito has killed more humans than any other animal, and if midges start carrying these diseases due to global heating then Scotland is screwed.

          Wikipedia: Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes include malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, filariasis, tularemia, dirofilariasis, Japanese encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, Ross River fever, Barmah Forest fever, La Crosse encephalitis, and Zika fever, as well as newly detected Keystone virus and Rift Valley fever.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Mr.

        "Apparently bees are forced to die to make our honey."

        I've heard this theory expounded by people who have never kept bees. It is incorrect. In fact, bees in the wild happily work themselves to death, without humans. It's what they do.

        Take it from a bee keeper, bees ain't slaves. If they don't like where they are living, they'll leave and find a better place. Or die trying. I don't force or coerce my colonies to hang out where I need them, that would be impossible. Instead, I encourage them by catering to their every whim. They come and go as they see fit, and pretty much do what they want, when they want. On their schedule, not mine. My bees are spoiled rotten, and I like it that way. In return, they over-produce wax, propolis and honey, occasionally produce new queens, and collect too much pollen for their own needs. They allow me to harvest the excess a couple times per year. It's more of a mutualistic symbiotic relationship than any other form of farming.

        Mead all around!

  8. GameOver


    Dynamic random access memory + a measurement of whiskey

    Works on two levels.

  9. fnusnu


  10. Nick Kew


    You're being had. Myra is actually ant. Not mosquito, nor even midge. And the 'damp' eludes me too. If asked to deconstruct the word, I'd guess the ant might suggest hard work and/or teamwork, while the Mack merely hints at something Scottish.

    On the basis that proper scotch is Whisky while certain lesser imitations use the spelling Whiskey, perhaps a Swedish blend might take Whiskea as another alternative?

    1. NorthernCoder

      Re: Mackmyra


      Myr is a kind of wetland, the closest word I can think of right now is "bog".

      From wikipedia page for Mackmyra (the nearby village): "Namnet Mackmyra är sannolikt bildat av ordet mack (ett slags knott) som brukade dansa över myrarna som omger bruket."

      = > "The name Mackmyra is most likely formed by the word mack (a kind of black fly) which used to dance over the bogs surrounding the ironworks"

    2. RichCarl

      Re: Mackmyra

      Don't be misled by the -a at the end; that's dialectal, meaning "the" (would be -en in standard Swedish). It's the (unusual and obsolete) "mack" part that refers to insects and other creepy-crawlies, related to Swedish "mask" (worm) and English "maggot". Meanwhile "myren" (dialectal "myra"), pronounced with a long-ish "y" sound, means the moss or bog - related to English "mire". So, a not unreasonable translation could be "the bug bog" or why not "midgemire".

  11. Thei)Dson

    Eye I Oh



  12. Wooosh


    (As a side note, I visited that distillery last year - I have fond memories of their smoky whisky)

    1. Rich 11

      Re: Algohol

      I have no memory of their whisky at all.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They should call it what it is...

    BuzzWord Bingo Batch

    (They could sprinkle in a little BlockChain as well)

    1. Frank Marsh

      Re: They should call it what it is...

      Laughed out loud. Thank you.

  14. Sgt_Oddball


    NaNth edition

  15. DontFeedTheTrolls



    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

      Here's a whole article on the tendentious yet tedious differences between the two substances.

      While you are nominally correct that Sweden would normally be making "whiskey" on account of the "e" in "Sweden," I think there's an argument to be made that they're actually making "whisky" since the distilling process is meant to imitate Scotch whisky in particular rather than some other form of whiskey.

      Personally, I think the whole argument is perfectly pointless and that it would be preferable to consolidate on a single spelling. If you're insistent on dropping the "e" because of some pointless tradition, may I suggest that you use the Scottish Gaelic spelling of "uisge" so you can go Full Hipster?

      1. ibmalone

        It's pretty easy actually, US whiskey producers have an Irish heritage, so spell it the same way (whiskey), Canadian and Japanese producers are in the Scottish tradition and use their spelling.

    2. dinmorb

      It’s whisky for stuff from Scotland and whiskey for the other stuff.

  16. Anonymal coward


    Well, it is El Reg...

  17. Anonymous Custard

    WhiskAI ?

    Or even MacAI, although that would perhaps need a hint of Apple flavour...

  18. amusedscientist


    ... damp mosquitos/midges/ants removed by distillation.

  19. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Whisky McWhiskyFace

    ^ I'm appalled I'm the one having to say it.

    1. Oengus

      Re: Whisky McWhiskyFace

      Beat me to it but I was actually thinking Scotch McScotchface then realised it can't be called Scotch because it didn't come from Scotland.

      1. quxinot

        Re: Whisky McWhiskyFace

        Sven McWhiskeyface?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Whisky McWhiskyFace

          Whiskers McWhiskyFace

          (but I'll leave you find out where it puts the hair!)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That data, Kartela told us, as well as being a tad unstructured, also had to be encrypted because "if we were to lose that, that would be like, the end of the game."

    Encryption is great. You don't need to go to the trouble of losing the data, you just need to lose the key.

    1. Grinning Bandicoot

      Access denied

      Once there was a short story before search engines noted the growth published reviewed papers and the abstracts that followed. And the growth of the number of abstracts resulting in abstract of abstracts with the original papers being stored interdimensionally . As things go it got such that all was remotely stored this way until the DAY came and access was lost. I believe this was another of Erich Frank Russell's.

      As an after thought while reviewing this there exists within this space many a mind in this space that has qualities akin to his.

  21. Graham Cunningham

    Four-malt proof

    Big iron bru

    Q.A. (Quality Azured)

  22. MyffyW Silver badge

    Name Suggestion

    Daisy, Daisy

    [With apologies to Dave]

  23. Fading

    Off the top of my head......

    (big) Blue Label

    Or better (Deep) Blue Label...

    Stroustrup (always sounded like a drink to me - a wee tup of stroustrup)

    Minsky Whisky (after Marvin)

    Lovelace and Babbage

    1. Oengus

      Re: Off the top of my head......

      (big) Blue Label

      in this case wouldn't Azure Label be appropriate?

  24. Ordinary Donkey

    Occam's Label.

    Because all things being equal, the simplest solution is usually alcohol.

    1. Muscleguy

      Ah yes but the alcohol in question in the simplest is methanol, not ethanol.

      In the icon you have to imagine those are blind glasses.

      1. Ordinary Donkey

        Occams Label:

        No need to overthink things.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blender - We're making beer, I'm the brewery.

  26. FuzzyTheBear

    Big Iron ( G.C. suggested this as big iron bru , shortening it to Big Iron sounds great )

  27. Oliver 7

    Mackmyra are very versatile and innovative with their whisky expressions (cloudberry wine casks for example) and their marketing. The results can be variable but I'd certainly give this a go. How about:



  28. Caff

    Sweedish so Son instead of Mc

    Whiskey Whiskerson Face

  29. Gavin Jamie

    Cancel your units!

    Azure Vitae

  30. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge


    Artificial Inebriation

    I'm more worried about AI than others so:

    AIsle of Skye-net


    If computers are soon to manage articial intelligence, when will they achieve artificial inebriation?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The references will probably be lost on most people, but: AI no Whiskey

  32. Josh Cain

    surprised this hasn't been said already


    It's crazy good.

  33. Snowy Silver badge

    They went for a simple label

    Shame it just looks cheap and tacky, did they knock it up in the garage?

    1. harmjschoonhoven

      Re: They went for a simple label

      That is appropriate with the Swedish systembolaget restrictions on selling alcohol.

      1. Snowy Silver badge

        Re: They went for a simple label

        Interesting have an upvote and a pint in a plain glass :)

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Silicon Glenfiddich

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Deep Lost Mind

  36. DCA

    Now how do I adjust those pesky human's program?


  37. MrZero

    For Isaac

    Insufficient Data for a Meaningful Answer

  38. of_the_wood

    Rökmoln Whiskey

    Rökmoln ... swedish for "Smoke Cloud"

    AKA en drickbar, molnig och rökig fis, i din allmänna riktning

    "a drinkable, cloudy and smoky fart, in your general direction"

  39. BBBerstler

    My Submission

    I would name it HALcohol

  40. Semper Phoenix

    Valcohol (Valhalla + alcohol)....

    … Mjölner mjölk :)

    1. Graham Cunningham

      Re: Valcohol (Valhalla + alcohol)....

      Or make that valhalcohol?

      1. bob, mon!

        Re: Valcohol (Valhalla + alcohol)....

        Valhallacohol: if you can't pronounce it, you've had enough...

        ------------------- this should be enough ---------------------->

  41. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge


    Brown Shot Or Dram

  42. of_the_wood

    VandeWolken Whiskey

    VandeWolken dutch for "of the clouds"

    "for your next wicked pissa... a master blend from our several hundred million discerning noses, to your mouth."

    please: sip with only four digits (with pinky pointing to noon) as our digits have done the rest.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Named after the 'algorithm' the Missus uses for her 'blended' soup, served the day before grocery day.

    She checks the condition of everything in the pantry and says "This must go, this must go, this must go..." and all the Mustgoes end up in the soup.

    Amazing we've all survived!

    Icon for what will happen if she sees this post.

    1. Muscleguy

      Re: Mustgo

      Takes me back to our married with kids student days. My wife would make big pots of endless vegetable soup. Sometimes it would get dumplings cooked in it. Good hearty tucker.

  44. plrndl

    Abort, Retry, Fail?

    Given the Microsoft connection, I suggest:

    Old Dosser

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Abort, Retry, Fail?

      Is Old Fluffer another perfect fit, and Hot Microsoft Hit Operation, plrndl?

  45. Johnny Canuck


    1. Fungus Bob
      1. Snapper

        Damn, you got there first! I was going to add 'because one sip should be enough for anyone'.

  46. Blofeld's Cat

    Right ...

    "... However, it was the technology behind the AI blend that we were most interested in ..."

    How very different from most of the other journalists I have ever met. Such selfless dedication ... continued on page 94

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Py-i-edition / (Py-i-ed'ition)

    "reazuringly expensive".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Py-i-edition, or just "Pie eyed".

      Just to explain my thinking here;

      "Pie eyed" / py-eyed / py-i-ed - py-python, i - represents the AI angle.

      Pie eyed - aka. Drunk

      I did want to add the tag line:

      "Someone who'll remain anonymous drank the 700ml bottle"

      (so now we're offering a 50ml taster instead, sorry - it was just too good!).

  48. Dave K

    Or given the Microsoft connection it could be called


    Although that might put you off having a dram. So instead, how about:

    "Hello World"


    "10 Consume Dram

    20 Goto 10"


  49. K.S. Bhaskar

    Swedish whiskey smells fishy to me


  50. DarkLordofSurrey

    Vulture Wizzkey

  51. Mark 85

    Obviously this is Friday from the suggestions, so... Friday's Special Blend.

  52. 2Blockchainz

    Blue Label bottle of dearh?

  53. Andy Non Silver badge

    Silicon heaven

    or Server Coolant

    1. Muscleguy

      Re: Silicon heaven

      I'll second Server Coolant.

      It reminds me of Harviestoun brewery's Old Engine Oil porter. When matured in whisky casks it becomes Ola Dubh which is a kind of bilingual pun.

  54. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    You might like to Realise IT is Far Too Late to Lay a Claim to Taming AI. *

    A salutary warning to any company toying with the idea of feeding their business secrets into an AI.

    A warning well heeded by an almighty few absolutely ages ago, Richard.

    * The Best/Worst to Be Hoped for ..... is don't Antagonise AI with IT. You have been forewarned. Don't waste time and space and riches on forearming in a field in which you are easy alienated prey. Try something/anything different is sound supported advice.

    1. Muscleguy

      Re: You might like to Realise IT is Far Too Late to Lay a Claim to Taming AI. *

      What got me was they only ended up with one recipe. I suspect the proble is the AI system doesn't have a set of human taste buds and a cultured consciousness attached to it. Also since a large part of our taste sense is actually smell from volatiles and that applies very much to whisky it would need a nose too.

      Good whisky tasting notes will be in two parts: what the nose smells of and how it tastes including how many of the nose notes are in the taste and what they become.

    2. Tail Up

      Re: You might like to Realise IT is Far Too Late to Lay a Claim to Taming AI. *

      Seconded by a witness

      Cubed When Doubled

      Double Irish one, please.

  55. JAMF

    The 3 Laws


    The R. Daneel

  56. Queeg


    en slurk av lågan

    Swedish for "A sip of Flame"

  57. JetSetJim
    1. Tail Up

      Re: Marvin...

      спс поржал)))

  58. Korev Silver badge

    Single page fault whiskey?

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



    Turing Test (as in what you'll fail if you drink more than 3 shots of the stuff)


    Old Fortran (sound better as a sprit than as a beer...)

  60. aelfheld

    'Azure Ruin' would be my favourite.

  61. Dr_N

    Mönty Pythön

    See above.

  62. ibmalone


    (That's The Machalearnin to you.)

  63. Scottyboy

    AIngels Share

    1. Muscleguy

      There's already a single malt by that name.

    2. Scottyboy

      AIngels Share

      ...not everything reaches the cloud

  64. duhmb


    The answer is obviuos

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MacRosoft XP (aged since 2014)

    It has a clippy taste.

  66. Danny 2

    Pish and tosh

    Free 50 ml samples for all El Reg readers or it didn't happen!

    It isn't whisky if it wasn't made in Scotland. I'd go further, it isn't any good if it wasn't made on Islay.

    I have a soft spot for the Swedes and think they maybe deserve a by and get to use the name whisky. Their police cars are marked 'Polis" just like we pronounce it here.

    "Livets vatten" is the google translation of water of life into Swedish.

    1. Muscleguy

      Re: Pish and tosh

      Aquavit is Swedish for 'Water of Life'. The boffins at the time spoke Latin so . . .

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Pish and tosh

      The further you go, the more wrong you'd be.

      I'm not sure why you felt it was important to tell us "I only like Islay whisky"... WGAS?

      Aquavit etc, the root of Scotch, was barely drinkable hooch.

  67. chivo243 Silver badge

    Picard's Favs?

    Glen Borg


  68. TrumpSlurp the Troll

    Size of the bottle?

    Not feeling particularly clever, all that occurred to me on looking at the picture was:

    Gone in 60 Seconds.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Size of the bottle?

      What took you do long?

      1. TrumpSlurp the Troll

        Re: Size of the bottle? what took you so long?

        Bloody schcrew capshh.

  69. this


    That's a 'minature'! Should have put a ruler in the photo!

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: 50ml?

      I read it as cl, how disappointing

  70. Why Not?

    my two pennyworth

    Microsoft Sippy - "I can see you are trying to get off your face, do you want help with that?"

    Whisky NT


    Most Valuable Pisshead

  71. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921


    ...just that

  72. 335/113


    Upsalla's tipple in the 70's was neat alcohol out of plastic jerry-cans with "whisky essence".

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vat 404

    Sven not found

  74. Kaltern

    Curiously Quantum

    For when you don't know if you exist.

  75. JDX Gold badge


    AI'll Have Another

    AzureAsking(I'll have another)


  76. jake Silver badge

    Call it "Rain".

    It's squeezed from the clouds.

  77. Neoc

    A.I. Carramba

  78. Neoc

    Or perhaps "Och A.I."

  79. Neoc


  80. Neoc

    "A.I. can't believe it's not Whisky"

  81. CygnusRex

    En Öga

    Swedish for "A Eye", bad grammar but it sounds kind of Celtic

  82. Roq D. Kasba

    Vulture Piss


  83. Sam Therapy


    External Mouse Driver Lubricant

  84. ManManMan

    Clouds Share

    instead of Angels Share

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Brexit's share.

  86. oilyfishhead

    Whiskey McWhiskeyface

  87. sdjones2001

    Bill's Anaemic Water Begets Alcoholic Golden Showers

    ...or Bill's Aged Golden Pish Intoxicant Pours Eventually Squire

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