Is it possible to mature high-quality whiskey in a short time with the power of science?
Whiskey, which is a representative of hard liquor, is said to have a deeper taste with longer aging (aging) time in general. Although it is a whiskey that requires 12 years and 18 years when it is often seen, and a maturation period of over 20 years when it comes to luxury goods, in recent years attempts to shorten the maturation period by the power of science are on the rise. Is there something the attempt tends to bear fruit?
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Mainly manufactured in Kentucky, USABourbonIs a type of whiskey made from maize as the main ingredient, especially "Straight bourbonTo bear in mind, it is stipulated that it is necessary to aged for 2 years or more with oak barrels burned inside. In the past decade Bourbon popularity has increased in the United States, shipment volume which was 13 million cases in 2002 is about 1.5 times as much as 19 million cases in 2014.
Bourbon is said to have a problem now, contrary to its popularity. A long time required for aging oak barrels and good quality oak barrels is essential for making bourbon, but situations where these are not sufficiently satisfied have arisen, and the number of people who doubt the quality of bourbon increases. Writer and "Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey"According to an interview conducted by Fred Minnick, author of Fred Minnick, it is obvious that 82% of the 149 drinkers of luxury Bourbon actually feel that" Bourbons like old days can not be drunk " It is being done.
This situation is said to further accelerate the situation of "bourbon shortage". Whiskey magazine "Whisky Advocate"According to Lew Bryson, who is the editor in chief, people who have abundant financial resources among drinkers seeking high quality bourbonsRip Van WinkleAnd Buffalo Trace DistilleryAntique Collection, Four Roses'sLIMITED EDITIONSIt is said that high quality bourbon disappears steadily from the market as it runs to buy out to secure prominent brands.
In this situation, trying to create new waves is a lot of startup companies trying to enter whiskey making using a method different from conventional methods. By introducing a new recipe backed by knowledge of science into making whiskey, these companies realize that the period of aging, which took from two to twenty years in the past, can be shortened from several days to several months And I have overturned the common sense of traditional bourbon making. These companies are trying to shorten the time it takes for the "oxidation" process necessary for aging by using smaller barrels than before.
"Magic" which transforms spicy ethanol produced by the distillation process into a bourbon that mellows and makes vanilla and caramel flavor starts begins by packing the stock solution in oak barrels. By baking oak wood, it is contained inside woodLigninA substance calledaldehydeChange to. By placing a stock solution containing alcohol in a barrel having this aldehyde, an aldehyde is oxidized by an oxidation reactionSillic acidYaFerulic acid, AndVanillic acidIt will change to substances such as.
In addition, at that time further change due to changes in temperature and atmospheric pressureester, Which has the function of creating a complex flavor and a deep flavor. "Whiskey specialty magazine"Whiskey magazineLisa Weisstuch, who contributes to Whisky Advocate, says, "Time in a barrel has a work that rounds off stingy corners like sandpaper."
Distillation manufacturer of one startup keeps attempting to chew whiskey quickly by myself creating this "time" flow, shipping in a short production period and cashing. Founded in 2003, it manufactures brands such as "Hudson Baby Bourbon" and "Hudson Four Grain Bourbon" in New York StateTuthilltown Sprits, Using a barrel of 55 gallons (about 250 liters) in the conventional manufacturing method, by using a small barrel of only 2 to 5 gallons (9 to 23 liters), raising the "alcohol surface area ratio" of the barrel We adopt a method to increase the aging speed.
Ruth Townilltown co-owner Ralph Erenzo said: "The speed of aging is obviously faster with the use of small barrels.The time to shipment which took several years until now, a few by using a small barrel I was able to shorten to the moon ", I talk about that effect. Erenzo says that it is sometimes used a conventional barrel at the present 10 years since its foundation but still blends a whiskey containing a lot of vanilla scents, obtained by using a small barrel, to many people It keeps the flavor that has been favored. Tuthilltown in 2010Glenfiddick single malt whiskeyYaHendrix JinIt is a manufacturer ofWilliam Grant & Sons DistillersIt was acquired by.
Meanwhile, based in VirginiaCopper Fox DistilleryIn the barrel of 53 barrels used for aging, by adding oak chips covered with fire in advance, it raises "alcohol to surface ratio" and artificially adds temperature change to speed up the aging speed We incorporate the method. With this method, as you can see in the following articles that verified similar methods, the effect of wood components can be effectively added to the stock solution in a short time.
I tried to compare drinking by actually using "Whiskey Elements" which makes mature whiskey for 3 years in 24 hours - GIGAZINE
In addition, in the United States, the recipe removes impurities from whiskey aged for only 4-6 months in an oak barrel, scientifically promotes aldehyde and acid change in a plastic tank, and wood in a metal barrel And putting the stock solution of whiskey and reacting the ingredients by applying pressure are used. These efforts are thought to be born of concern about the shortage and depletion of oak wood, and the whiskey actually made by these methods has a flavor that is the same as the conventional one It seems that it is raised.
However, from experts there are also a few people who have a negative view on whiskey made by the new manufacturing method. Bryson, Editor-in-Chief of Whiskey Advocate, said, "I do not think that the whiskey of the new formula is making the same whiskey as before.I feel that some of the forged whiskey is not very well I do not have the moderate "mellowness" because the impression received from the whole is thin. "
Scott Spolverino, a brewing consultant, says, "When matured distilled alcohol in a short period of time, we can not give time to react sufficiently with aldehyde and acid," and whiskey causes why aldehyde is excessive Pointed out. Because of this, the taste of mature whiskey is "hot", "immature", and it is said to be "aggressive". In addition, we also mentioned the encrustation technology using ultrasonic waves, "It can be understood that physically imparting distilled liquor into barrels gives necessary energy for reaction, but whether this promotes the process of esterification It is not clear, "a negative opinion is stated.
In conventional distilled liquor manufacturers, there is a movement to deny distilled sake making with such new technology. Brand based in Kentucky ·Buffalo TraceHarlen Wheatley, director of the distillation of distillate, said, "Over the past 50 years research has been conducted to promote the process of aging, but we could not produce better quality whiskey than before" . Furthermore, "Although research on new methods is a good thing, the result is that I always say" barrels and long hours are necessary for aging ".