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Science or Blasphemy?

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20-Year-Old Whiskey in 6 Days


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.

Not anymore. Davis, cofounder of the Los Angeles–based Lost Spirits Distillery, has figured out a way to compress a 20-year aging process into about six days.

This could be up there with putting ice in a single malt scotch.


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