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Simple device makes cheap whiskey taste oak-aged in 24 hours

Food & Drink

A new Kickstarter campaign called Whiskey Elements wants to help consumers enjoy the taste of top shelf whiskey by customizing their own store-bought bottle.

It’s no longer the case that consumers are happy to take whichever beer or spirits their nearest supermarket stocks for the most affordable price. Many are joining in the craft beer trend and demanding more from their tipple. The UK’s Deskbeers has already helped offices to sample the best of local breweries, and now a new Kickstarter campaign called Whiskey Elements wants to help consumers enjoy the taste of top shelf whiskey by customizing their own store-bought bottle.

The difference between more expensive whiskeys and the more affordable bottles comes down to two factors — the type of wood used to store the drink, and how long it’s stored for. Standard supermarket whiskey — so-called ‘well whiskey’ — is typically aged for less than 3 years and uses colorings and artificial flavors to give it a kick. Expensive whiskeys can be aged for up to 20 years, during which time they absorb flavors from the wood and lose toxins that cause hangovers and bad taste.

Whiskey Elements use what the creators — Portland-based Time & Oak — call “accelerated transpiration through capillary action”. Each Element is a stick made of oak that has ridges, allowing for a quicker absorption rates. When stored inside the bottle for as little as 24 hours, chemical analysis revealed that the well whiskey had more in common with top shelf whiskey in terms of extra flavor and smells, and an absence of toxins. Time & Oak is developing Elements that come with different characteristics — oaky, vanilla, maple, smokey, peaty, for example — enabling users to customize their favorite flavors and combine them with their preferred supermarket whiskey.

Watch the video below to learn more about the project:

A pair of Whiskey Elements can be pre-ordered through the Kickstarter from just USD 12 until 31 October. The campaign has already raised more than 7.5 times its initial target of USD 18,000. Are there other ways that simple science can bring out the flavors in other foods and drink?

Kickstarter: www.kck.st/ZriD4n

Website: www.timeandoak.com

Contact: www.timeandoak.com/#section-contact

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