Friday, April 29, 2016
Speed Aging Bourbon
I've been interested in speed aging spirits for a while and thought it was finally time to take some very young bourbon and pair it with a point of new slightly toasted wood chips. What you see above is the product of only six days of soaking. The right shot glass shows the raw-ish bourbon, while the left shot glass has the new oak steeped version. Can you guess which one is drinkable?
The altered bourbon is sweeter now with caramel and vanilla flavors. The aroma is intensely vanilla. After another week of soaking, I am going to dump the mixture (wood and all) into a dentists ultrasonic cleaning vat. My hope is to use the agitation to speed up the esterification of fatty acids. Normally that process would take years. I imagine six hours will be enough time to shake free some esters. If that works then the bourbon should take on a more floral quality normally found in aged Scotch. What this process won't do is remove the angel's share, that portion of alcohol that escapes through the oak barrels over many years.
I have a whole slew of additional tests underway, including aging a raw corn un-aged whiskey, as well as experimenting with darkly toasted wood chips. The dark chips should add a smokey flavor.
What is most exciting here is that I can buy a variety of white whiskey's and age them with different blends of wood with different toast levels.