With whiskey, as with wine, time spent aging directly correlates to a spirit’s depth of flavor. Or, at least, it has up until now. A team of Spanish researchers has discovered a method of producing brandy with the flavor profile of a spirit aged for two years in a mere three days. The secret lies in sound waves.
Pulsing ultrasound waves through a tub of liquor mixed with oak chips causes air pockets to form inside the wood and then collapse violently. When the bubbles pop, the wood tissues release compounds that build an oak-y flavor. The researchers found that three days of continuous ultrasound exposure produced a spirit that mimicked the depth of flavor and color of a two-years-aged brandy, with an ABV of 65%.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that sound waves have been used to accelerate liquor aging. New York–based Tuthilltown Spirits bombards its whiskey with bass-heavy dubstep and EDM to give the spirit a more nuanced flavor.