Silicon Valley is aiming for whiskey, with a start-up that promises to age it on a large scale in days rather than years while retaining the same taste, color and aroma.
Bespoken Spirits was born from the fantasy of two nerds from Menlo Park, California, headquarters of Facebook. Its accelerated alcohol aging process raised nearly $ 3 million in funding. A bet that can pay off: a system that produces whiskey aged in a few days could save the spirits industry more than 20 billion dollars a year.
Our sustainable approach helps customers go from idea to bottle in days
Stu Aaron, co-founder of Bespoken Spirits
Instant taste tests
This accelerated ripening in version 2.0 will give spirits producers the opportunity to try combinations and tastes that they never would have tried before. The possibility of testing in a very short time a solution that would take years to obtain a counter-proof will allow you to be more daring and avoid economic damage.
The company says its proprietary technology "extracts key cask elements that enhance aroma, color and taste, managing critical chemical reactions ... enabling aged whiskey for billions of bespoke recipes in days, not years."
The whiskey is aged "instantly" using materials science and data analytics to save customers years of time and up to 70% of their costs. This is no small feat: in the US state of Kentucky alone, there are more than 9 million barrels of bourbon and other spirits.
And the barrel aging process creates dispersion: every year nearly 75 million liters of alcohol evaporate.
Whiskey aged in a short time: is it good?
The minimum time to produce an aged whiskey is 3 years. Most of its flavor comes from the oak barrels used during the maturation process. An obsolete, inaccurate, unpredictable, unsustainable and efficient process according to Martin Janousek, another founder of Bespoken Spirits.
We have reinvented the process with modern science and sustainable technology, producing the same natural scents of wood, toast and char. Aged whiskey and bourbon tailored with our method are already sold in stores and have even won competitions.
Martin Janousek, another founder of Bespoken Spirits.
Yes, ok, but what does it taste like? In spite of the proclamations, there are those (perhaps due to psychological resistance, perhaps not) disagree.
The critics' judgments are quite heavy, albeit amusing. “My first impression was the smell of rust and antiseptic, not the most inviting of the early days,” says one. “It tastes like plastic with a hint of banana bread. It's like biting into the afternoon snack and forgetting to unwrap the cellophane first, ”adds another. "Drinking this was like sitting down to eat a chilled bowl of oatmeal with raisins."
Not very good, and not good either.
Perhaps the idea, which is basically good, needs to be aged a little too.
Gianluca Riccio, born in 1975, is the creative director of an advertising agency, copywriter and journalist. He is affiliated with Italian Institute for the Future, World Future Society and H +, Network of Italian Transhumanists. Since 2006 he directs Futuroprossimo.it, the Italian resource of Futurology.
Futuroprossimo.it is an Italian resource of futurology opened since 2006: every day news about the near future. Scientific discoveries, medical research, prototypes, concepts and predictions about the future for free.
Gianluca Riccio, copywriter and journalist - Born in 1975, he is the creative director of an advertising agency, he is affiliated with the Italian Institute for the Future, World Future Society and H +, Network of Italian Transhumanists.