Arrival of the Instant Whisky and Welcomes a New Era
Posted On October 17, 2020
The process of whiskey making has been developing constantly ever since its inception. The use of column stills, automation, copper, and barrel ageing were all innovations at one point in time. The popularly known method of heat cycling wherein warehouses are artificially heated to defy or stimulate seasonal changes that push the liquid in and out of the barrel staves has prevailed since the 19th century. Even though some tricks and tweaks aren’t preferred to be openly discussed, those methods have undoubtedly shaped the whiskey we drink today.
That particular character and flavour we identify with barrel-aged whiskey had come upon by accident. Earlier, barrels were used to transport freshly-made spirit to the market from the distillery and it was noticed by some people that the spirit stored in the barrel tasted better. Over centuries and decades, barrel ageing has become a widely accepted process of whiskey making.
Enhancing the flavour of whiskey through the technique of barrel ageing comes at a price. To do that, distillers need to purchase brand new barrels, build warehouses, and in some places also pay tax for the whiskey all the while during its maturation period. Therefore, the distillers were in dire need to find a faster method to mature whiskey.
The prospect of executing such a big change in the process of whiskey-making spurred fear as well as doubt, but, recognition about technology and innovation for whisky isn’t something new. Several traditional whiskey distillers are so reluctant to change that every time a replacement is needed, they duplicate the exact same thing down to the last dent. The column took decades for its widespread adoption, and now it’s the most commonly used still for the whiskey making process around the globe because of its ease of use and efficiency.
Recently, documents dating back to 1950s were unveiled by the UK’s National Archives that revealed verification of a distiller recreating mature whiskey in just a few hours with the utilization of chemicals. The outcome was good enough to raise an alarming competitive situation for the scotch industry, as stated by a Board of Trade official.