Archive for December 19th, 2009


I got an email from Tom in Toronto, asking if I have a Windows version of the Easy ABVs Calculator that I wrote for the iPhone. He wants to compare varying strength whiskies at the same ABV. I don’t have a Windows version of the program, but it sounded like a good idea. Instead of writing an actual stand-alone Windows program, I decided to create a quickie Excel spreadsheet.

With this spreadsheet, you can enter up to 10 whisky expressions with their out-of-the-bottle ABV and have the spreadsheet calculate how much water to add in order to reach a desired final ABV. You can also use it to just manually enter the whisky and water volumes and have it tell you what the final ABV will be. Finally, the spreadsheet will keep track of drink units so you know your total alcohol intake for the tasting session.

Preview and download

I’ve uploaded the Excel spreadsheet to Google Docs.  Click this link to view it.

You’ll see that I’ve entered a number of Laphroaig expressions and requested that they all be converted to 40%, using 25ml of whisky as the starting point. For Batch 001 I entered an exeption, starting with 20ml of whisky. The spreadsheet is telling me to add 9 ml of water to the Batch 001, 5ml to the QC and 18, and no water needed for the Laph 10, which is already at 40%.

Downloading: From the Google Docs preview above, you should be able to click “File | Download as…” in the menu and save the spreadsheet in Excel or a number of other formats. If you don’t have Excel, you can save it as an OpenOffice spreadsheet and use something like NeoOffice (free) to use it.

Spreadsheet instructions

  1. Fill in the “Desired final ABV” that you would like all entered drinks to end up at.
  2. If you’d like to have the same total volume in each glass, then enter the “Desired total volume”. The spreadsheet will then tell you how much whisky and how much water to use for each expression.
  3. If you’d like to pour the same amount of spirit into each glass, then add water to reach the desired ABV, then enter “Desired spirit volume”, but make sure you clear out “Desired total volume” first.
  4. The Drink Unit size is used to determine how many drink units are in each pour. The standard UK and US drink sizes, as well as recommended maximum intake, are listed at the bottom of the spreadsheet. The default drink unit size is based on the U.S. recommendations.
  5. Now enter each whisky expression in the Drink Details area. The description is optional, but you need to at least enter the ABV as indicated on the bottle. If the alcohol content is listed in Proof, divide by 2.
  6. You can ignore/override the “desired” ABV and volume values by entering the Spirit and Water Volume in the Manual Calculation section. If you enter Spirit Volume here, this will override the “Desired total volume” or “Desired spirit volume” at the top of the spreadsheet.
  7. Read the Spirit and Water volume (in ml) in the Calculated Values area, as well as the number of drink units per expression. Total pure alcohol and drink units, as well as overall average ABV are in the “Totals” at the bottom.


So…what do you think? Is this something you can use? Any suggestions for modifications? You can use the links in the Scribd previews above to download the spreadsheets and use/modify them as you see fit. Like I said above, I personally prefer the second one. I just created the taller/narrower one so that it would divide things up more logically in the Scribd preview.

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