Transform young whisky into ‘top shelf stuff’ in 24 hours15th October, 2014 by Becky Paskin
A new “innovation” that claims to turn young whisky into “top shelf stuff” in just 24 hours has received more than five times its goal funding on Kickstarter, in just two weeks.
US-based group Time and Oak has created a collection of wooden sticks, apparently crafted from the staves of a barrel.
Available in five varieties – oak, vanilla, maple, smokey and peaty – the Whiskey Elements sticks are designed to “improve the quality” of whiskey within 24 hours once placed inside a bottle.
Over US$110,000, of a US$18,000 goal, has already been pledged to make the Whisky Elements sticks a reality.
“One year ago we walked into the liquor store and asked ourselves a very simple question, ‘what’s the difference between top shelf and well-whiskey?’” the group said on its Kickstarter page. “The answer was simple, ‘Time & Oak’.”
Time and Oak said that having met with numerous labs and chemists, they discovered “wood barrels are really only good at containing the whiskey,” rather than adding flavour efficiently.
“In a way, we redesigned the whiskey barrel by removing the barrel and developing a propriatary (sic) curing method to replace its presence in the aging process,” the group said.
Time and Oak’s Whiskey Elements are cut in a way that, according to its manufacturer, allows the liquid to gain more exposure to the wood’s capillaries, a process it calls “accelerated transpiration through capillary action”.
“You can now get three years of aging ‘effects’ (time travel not included) in just 24 hours, and have complete control over the flavor.”
Whisky producers have since hit out at the new “innovation”. Diageo’s Nick Morgan, head of whisky outreach, claimed: “If people want to buy a bottle of unambitious whiskey and muck around with it, that is obviously their right. But isn’t the danger that you will still end up with a young, one-dimensional drink but one that now just tastes of wood?
“The Scotch whisky industry has been experimenting with wood and maturation for well over a century – partly in the hope of discovering how to accelerate maturation, the whisky maker’s Holy Grail.
“After that, why bother messing around with little oak sticks?”
So far almost 3,000 people have backed the project, which still has 16 days left to run on Kickstarter.