Wonderful whisky for the discerning developer

The best gift for developers – a mouthful of machine learning

Chris Stewart
best gift for developers
© Shutterstock / Suslik1983

Developers and programmers can be notoriously difficult to shop for, especially if they already have the requisite collection of mugs and t-shirts. What if you wanted to buy something special? Something that combines their passion with their hobbies? Well have no fear, we’ve got you covered with this great gift for developers.

From Terminator to The Matrix, as humans we clearly have a healthy level of concern about what happens once machines start thinking for themselves. We’re not there yet, but there is the ongoing movement towards automation, with machines taking over many jobs; hell, even journalism isn’t safe from our future overlords!

Anyway, today we’re here to talk about something beautiful created using machine learning – something that might just be the best gift for developers all year round. We’ve got the perfect gift recommendation for developers. One that combines artificial intelligence, machine learning and whisky.

AI, machine learning & whisky

It doesn’t come from where you’d expect, either. The Swedish distillery Mackmyra created A:01 INTELLIGENS, a drink that I will let them describe in their own words:

Let us present the world first whisky created by Artificial Intelligence used to augment and automate the most time-consuming process of whisky creation. The distillery’s machine learning models, powered by Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and AI cognitive services developed by Fourkind, are fed with Mackmyra’s existing recipes (including those for award-winning blends), sales data, and customer preferences. With this dataset the AI can generate more than 70 million recipes that it predicts will be popular and of the highest quality. The result is Intelligens, an elegant Swedish single malt whisky with golden yellow color. A fruity whisky with notes of toffee, creamy vanilla, pear, apples, white pepper and a light tone of toasted oak casks.

AI:01 Intelligens from Fourkind on Vimeo.

However, not content to let Mackmyra do all the talking (and drinking), the JAXenter team procured a bottle and put it to the test with our own refined palates. Before we even opened the bottle we were caught up in the novelty of the label, which comes fitted with an NFC chip. If you’ve got a phone that can read NFC, holding it near the label will allow you to learn all about what’s in your glass.

SEE ALSO: 10 Christmas gift ideas for developers

Tasting notes

Once the golden liquid is in the glass, the nose has delicate fruit notes with a heavier woody oak. We also found that the addition of a few drops of water opened up the fruity tones beautifully. It leans towards the oily end of the scale, an impression that is borne out once you take a sip. As for the taste, the fruit and wood notes endure, but with a very gentle suggestion of vanilla. It has a short finish. Here’s what I wrote in the moment while I was tasting:

Very light on the tongue and palate after a couple of sips. Leaves a pleasant woody, almost smoky aftertaste – just enough to make me think of nothing more than taking another sip.

SEE ALSO: The Limitations of Machine Learning

The best gift for developers?

Is that not one of the more fun and fascinating things about whiskies? The good ones almost drink themselves. So if you’re looking for a great gift for a developer, then take a close look at this bottle of whisky. It’s thoroughly enjoyable for the price and has a unique talking point that will surely have whisky-lovers delving into their collection to try and answer the question: who made a better whisky – man or machine?

It might not be the perfect gift for every developer, but in our opinion it’s the best gift for developers who love a drink.

Chris Stewart
Chris Stewart is an Online Editor for He studied French at Somerville College, Oxford before moving to Germany in 2011. He speaks too many languages, writes a blog, and dabbles in card tricks.

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