Endless West was the first to produce a Molecular Whiskey, Glyph. But what is it? It involves a bit of good old fashion grain alcohol and manipulating, with chemicals, the taste to the desired whiskey flavor. Though it may not be “real” whiskey, it is quite enjoyable producing a very real hangover after enjoying it a bit too much one evening. 🙂
We have learned how to reprogram stem cells, create computer-controlled microchips that mimic the function of the human brain, and verify the existence of dark matter. But it’s this research that means the perfect whisky, smoky or spicy Whatever you want, it may not be that hard. Understanding the delicate interplay of chemistry and aroma could be embedded in distilleries that want to optimize their whiskeys to encapsulate this perfect blend of the most smoky and spicy. On this Easter Sunday, we cannot be more excited to breathe life into a project that has been a dream for many years.
Perhaps new flavors will emerge through distilling with non-standardized grains, through learning how to mix small whiskies sensibly – in the barrel – or through technologies yet to be developed, such as TerrePURE systems. There is an emerging field of rapidly aging whisky technology, for which there are already a handful of players, including the likes of L’Oreal, Lost Abbey and Lost Vineyards, as well as the world’s largest and most prestigious distilleries, such as Glenfiddich in L.A. and New York’s Lost Valley Distillery.
While purists are never convinced, Endless West claims that there are good reasons to exist, and that plenty of money is pouring into the sector to speed up scalability. Technology is also crucial to have an impact on greenhouse gases, but there are good reasons for this.
We have observed the evolution and adaptation of the whiskey landscape and strongly believe that 4D whisky will change the way people think not only about spirits but also about food and drink. As I sit here sipping a glass of Endless West’s latest release, a 4-D Scotch Whisky, I can’t help but believe that there will always be a place in the market for traditionally made whisky. But distillers are finding new categories and a new way to make spirits that are delicious and taste nothing like bourbon or scotch.
Consumers will ultimately decide whether this technology is successful or not, and we do not owe it to ourselves to produce the best whisky with all the tools at our disposal. Whiskey purists agree with this approach: we want higher quality alcohol at a lower price, and new technologies offer the opportunity to buy great whisky at an affordable price, which means we can buy even more bottles to share with family and friends, but ultimately that’s not what whisky is about. The trend of technology becoming more and more widespread in the spirits industry is unstoppable.
If it becomes possible to replicate wine in a way that technology has not yet been able to achieve, this will change our sense of the preciousness of wine.
The group’s technology could one day allow anyone to quickly sift through a bottle and decide whether to send it to a whisky authority for full analysis or whether it is safe to buy and enjoy it. Munafo says food chemistry tools can help distillers fine-tune the flavors they want and don’t want in their whisky, and thus figure out which steps of their process are crucial. Every whisky lover knows what happens inside the barrel to achieve this, but Verstill’s proprietary molecular distillery technology allows operators to easily alter the reactions of various elements in a barrel.
Because whisky is so chemically complex, it is likely that there are large differences in the chemical composition of different types of whiskey, he says. Karlsson suspects that there may be a chemical reason for putting too much water in whisky, such as high alcohol levels or a high alcohol content.
The glyph challenges conventional wisdom about whisky and Endless West is rethinking how we approach production across the industry, “Mardonn says. He recommends Mendenhall go through the complex and manipulated variations of different whiskeys to show how time and technology can transform whiskey.
The distillation world is full of companies trying to use technology to age spirits quickly. It is easy to imagine that people who patronise the traditional industry take a different view, but Davis dismisses them as primitive at best and charlatans at worst. But it is easier than one might think to imagine the different attitudes they take and the potential for change.
If you ask most whiskey producers about their work, you will find a common theme: it is an organic experience. Ask them about it and they all say that there is an improvement in taste because the alcohol and the molecules that determine the taste of whisky stay together. Hudson makes bourbon by passing it through a distillate to obtain a better ratio of wood to liquid, and then serenading the liquid with music to move these molecules to accelerate aging.
To better understand how LCP chemically modifies whiskey, Munafo and his students want to adjust the parameters of the filtration process. He says he will conduct experiments that vary the time that unfiltered whisky comes into contact with charcoal each time, and systematically change the relationship between whisky and charcoal. Then we will have a better understanding of how well aged whisky can be produced, wherever the travel stars take us. It is a true painting process to have us wait years before we can really enjoy and interact with a product that has been made in its early stages of development using the latest additive manufacturing techniques.