Whiskey Canâ€™t Hide Its Age Either
J Thoendell stashed this in Food
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 companiesâ€”Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, Four Roses Limited Editionsâ€”explains Lew Bryson, the managing editor of Whisky Advocate magazine. â€śHaving cleared them off the market, theyâ€™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.â€ť
Itâ€™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.