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Whiskey Can’t Hide Its Age Either

Whiskey Can t Hide Its Age Either Issue 22 Slow Nautilus


It is the finest bourbons, those that are produced in limited supply and aged for 12, 18, or more years that have been the hardest to find in the past several years. Drinkers with deep pockets have bought up much of the limited release bourbons from well-established companies—Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, Four Roses Limited Editions—explains Lew Bryson, the managing editor of Whisky Advocate magazine. “Having cleared them off the market, they’ve now started in on lesser-known bourbons, almost in a panic-buying mode, buying multiple bottles of whiskeys they feel sure will simply disappear.”

It’s a frightening prospect.

Enter entrepreneurs with start-up spirits and a potential solution. Through a variety of unconventional aging methods, drawing on chemistry, they have already squeezed a two- to more-than-20-year process into days, weeks, and months, much to the chagrin of whiskey connoisseurs, who will tell you the secret to a refined bourbon is time. While some companies have taken age labels off their bottles to get products to market sooner (bye-bye 12-year-old premium bourbon; hello ambiguously aged premium bourbon), new distilleries are experimenting with smaller barrels and rapid oxidation.

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This article seems to use whiskey, whisky, and bourbon interchangeably. 

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