The Art of Ageing Whisky in Weeks, Not Years?

  by Kate Ng
The Art of Ageing Whisky in Weeks, Not Years?
Image: Shutterstock.


It is well know fact that whisky spirits are matured in oak barrels for decades or more for it to achieve that perfect shade of liquid gold, the unique touches on the nose, palate and finish. While age alone does not determine a good whisky, it is a vital consideration for any whisky lover and connoisseur.


Tom Lix, Cleveland Whiskey CEO.
Photo: Chris Langer.


In more recent years, the whisky-drinking world has been introduced to new and improved techniques in producing high-quality spirits in just a mere fraction of the time usually required to age single malt whisky.


Cleveland Whiskey Distillery. 
Photo by Bob Perkoski.


While the company Lost Spirits uses a patented technique of heat and light to speed up the ageing process of their prize-winning single malts, Cleveland Whiskey creates whiskies in high-pressure stainless steel tanks that mixes the spirit with new wood combinations to produce unique flavours in days. Even more unconventional is Highspire Whiskey’s use of wine barrels and oak wood chips to age their whisky in just four months!


Highspire Whiskey.
Photo by Highspire Whiskey. 


These new developments and feats are just the tip of the iceberg that could change the future of whisky production, but the question of taste and quality still remains. Furthermore, the thought of replacing the slow and carefully selected process of ageing whiskies with technology and chemicals removes the unique and individualised human touch that we appreciate.


Photo by John Cafazza on Unsplash. 


Perhaps it’s all too soon to be doubtful and the whisky world will find a way to retain both the rich history and art of whisky making, while at the same time, using modern technology to rethink and reinvent new flavours and enhance our experiences!