I have to admit, I'm fascinated by this report.
A company in Oregon has launched a Kickstarter campaign to produce a wooden widget which, it is claimed, can dramatically improve the flavour of any whisky (or whiskey, for that matter) in just 24 hours.
Based on the premise that the two factors which distinguish a premium whisky from cheap supermarket hooch are "time" and "oak", Tony Peniche from Portland came up with a "whiskey element", a wooden stick (oak of course) covered in notches which mimics the effect of traditional barrel-ageing in a fraction of the time.
"The results were amazing," Peniche explains on his Kickstarter page. "They showed characteristics found in top-shelf aged whiskeys with notably higher levels of the chemicals responsible for good flavours and smells, as well as a significant reduction in Methoxy-phenyl-Oxime and Acetaldehyde [chemicals which contribute to hangovers]".
Peniche plans to sell different elements with different characteristics: oaky, vanilla, maple, smokey and peat.
The project, which was seeking $18,000 in funding, has attracted almost $200,000 worth of backing.
There's more at the link, and at the project's Kickstarter page (which includes a video clip).
So I could buy some ghastly cheap booze, stick one of these things in it for a day or two, and have it taste like a decent-quality single malt? Sounds like a winner to me. I wonder if it'll work on bourbon too? (And will a 'whiskey element' cost as much as a bottle of premium whisky? If so, no deal . . . )