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20-Year-Old Whiskey in 6 Days: Will This Self-Taught Chemist Upend the Liquor Industry?

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posted on May, 11 2018 @ 02:55 PM
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Neat little story I found about some distilling technology I've never heard of. I've only had really nice whiskey once so I'm not sure I could compare it to whiskey made like this. I'm guessing there's probably a few whiskey fans here. Do you guys think this would compare to a real aged bottle of whiskey?



reason.com...


Why does a well-aged glass of smokey whiskey taste so good? It's all about the chemistry of sitting in a barrel for decades. "The polymer structures make the wood slowly fall apart," says Bryan Davis, a pioneering distiller who learned the science of liquor production by watching MIT classes on YouTube. "They shed all of these precursor chemicals that turn into different stuff that tastes really good." This time-consuming process is the reason distillers have to charge five figures for a top-shelf bottle.

Davis created a reactor that mimics the natural aging process of booze left in a barrel. The result: bottles of spirits with the same chemical signature as those aged for the lifespan of a young adult. His products have won multiple awards, and the technology could transform the aged spirits market....

By 2013, Davis had figured out how to force the chemical reaction called "esterification"—the main driving force behind barrel aging. But he couldn't come up with a natural way to break the polymer structures in a wooden barrel, which is what gives a well-aged bottle its taste. One day, while thinking about how he had to replace the sun-damaged wooden deck attached to his mobile home, he had an epiphany: By blasting wood with light, he could speed up the process of degrading wood.




posted on May, 11 2018 @ 03:01 PM
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'Aging' (food preservation) is caused by light, heat, moisture, oxygen & microbeasties.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 03:03 PM
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a reply to: dug88

Yes and no. If he can mimick the aged product he can save money on storage cost for aging. If he can demand the same price from a customer. But by the strict TTB rules of labeling, he cannot say it was aged for x number of years. He cannot even call it a bourbon unless it is aged in a new oak barrel for a minimum of two years.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 03:04 PM
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People will still prefer the old school way even if there is no real discernible difference. It is no different from why say a $10,000 mechanical swiss watch that keeps worse time than a $50 battery powered timex is still favored by watch afficionados. Or why a cubic zirconia is not the same as a real diamond.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 03:05 PM
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a reply to: dug88

When I see stories like this, the first thing I think of is counterfeiting. I can imagine high end companies (and hustlers) adopting this technology but still selling their goods as "authentic 20-year old" versions with the same high price.

I'm already convinced that that's what the high end ginseng industry does (and likely the truffle & emerald industries), but I have zero proof of this.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 03:19 PM
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a reply to: dug88


who learned the science of liquor production by watching MIT classes on YouTube.


MIT OpenCoureWare YoutTube channel.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 03:32 PM
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originally posted by: Edumakated
People will still prefer the old school way even if there is no real discernible difference. It is no different from why say a $10,000 mechanical swiss watch that keeps worse time than a $50 battery powered timex is still favored by watch afficionados. Or why a cubic zirconia is not the same as a real diamond.


That's a false analogy. Aficionados will of course pay any price you ask. The rest of the world wouldn't mind a mechanical watch of equal quality and look as a $10,000 Swiss watch for $50.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 03:37 PM
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originally posted by: moebius

originally posted by: Edumakated
People will still prefer the old school way even if there is no real discernible difference. It is no different from why say a $10,000 mechanical swiss watch that keeps worse time than a $50 battery powered timex is still favored by watch afficionados. Or why a cubic zirconia is not the same as a real diamond.


That's a false analogy. Aficionados will of course pay any price you ask. The rest of the world wouldn't mind a mechanical watch of equal quality and look as a $10,000 Swiss watch for $50.


There will always be a segment of the population that prefers knock offs or products that are close enough to the real thing. Aficionados will still want the real thing. If anything, it will make real aged whiskey even more valuable.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 03:47 PM
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a reply to: Edumakated

I dunno. There could be a market for simulated aged liquor for people who want to drink like rich people and can't afford it. Knock off liquor.

But you're right, it won't ever catch on with the uppercrust considering how exclusivity is correlated to quality in most peoples' minds. (I'm no better, I own a few Movados)



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 04:06 PM
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a reply to: dug88

I'd give it a try, I mean. If it tastes good and has complexity what's the problem?

Some whiskey's and liquor in general are far too overrated anyways. Why pay £500 a bottle when you can get 50 bottles and just forget about them for a while.

One of the best whiskey's I've ever had was a gut rotter brand that sat in a cupboard for 48 years.

Then again, it's hard to beat a good quality single grain.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 04:13 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

But for some it's all about the taste.

Drambuie is a pretty good blend and it'll only knock you back £20 or $30-40, the ony whisky I'll drink on the rocks. It's the same reason I do like a cocktail in the sun or a hearty rich Porter with a steak and ale pie.

I'd never buy a tipple because it's expensive or because of it's prestige, I'll give em a go though.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 04:23 PM
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All Alcohol needs to be banned and its users thrown into rehab.

Terrible Terrible product. Kills millions every year.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 04:35 PM
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a reply to: SR1TX

Not really, people just need to be aware of the many stages of alcoholism.

It's a substance that is physically and mentally addictive... People die due to exhaustion too but nobody says gyms should be banned despite the fact that vanity kills too.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 04:42 PM
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originally posted by: RAY1990
a reply to: SR1TX

Not really, people just need to be aware of the many stages of alcoholism.

It's a substance that is physically and mentally addictive... People die due to exhaustion too but nobody says gyms should be banned despite the fact that vanity kills too.


Sorry, very dumb comparison. The Gym does not have addictive attributes aside from the beauty of watching a girl work out.

Alcohol itself, as you pointed out, is addictive and psychologically damaging.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 04:46 PM
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originally posted by: SR1TX
All Alcohol needs to be banned and its users thrown into rehab.

Terrible Terrible product. Kills millions every year.



Its called moderation.
Drink responsibly my friends.

Peace.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 05:00 PM
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originally posted by: enlightenedservant
a reply to: dug88

When I see stories like this, the first thing I think of is counterfeiting. I can imagine high end companies (and hustlers) adopting this technology but still selling their goods as "authentic 20-year old" versions with the same high price.

I'm already convinced that that's what the high end ginseng industry does (and likely the truffle & emerald industries), but I have zero proof of this.

That’s exactly what I thought. Whiskey companies have probably been doing this forever. I feel robbed for those bottles of Johnny Walker and Pappy Van Winkle right now. Lmao.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 05:21 PM
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a reply to: dug88

It would still be 6-day old whiskey pretending 20-year old whiskey.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 05:56 PM
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a reply to: dug88

I'm going to call this Blasphemy until I can try it.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 05:57 PM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: dug88

It would still be 6-day old whiskey pretending 20-year old whiskey.


I can't help but ask the obvious question:
Does it matter once it's in the glass?



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 06:13 PM
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originally posted by: network dude

originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: dug88

It would still be 6-day old whiskey pretending 20-year old whiskey.


I can't help but ask the obvious question:
Does it matter once it's in the glass?



Ummm...I wanna be a taste test dummy...

Pick me...pick me...pick me...





YouSir




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