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The flavor and nature of some spirits, for instance, whiskies, brandies, rums, and tequilas are highly influenced by aging. Some people are impatient with waiting for 25 years to get their best whiskey. They want it NOW! I mean, it is the American way of life, right? Plus, do you really want to find out 25 years later that your batch was no good, or you could have tweaked it a little more? We'll give you a little method you can use to cheat and cut YEARS off the process.
Concisely, the aging spirits’ process is marked by the movement of liquid in and out of the oak for a period of time. It occurs while the season changes and as oxygen circulates through the wood.
Think of an oak barrel that you've just filled up with your fresh whiskey. Just like a sponge, the warm summer weather makes the micro holes of the wood open up and consequently sucks in the liquid. When the climate is hotter, more pores open us and absorb the whiskey. The cold winter weather makes the small holes of the wood close, hence squeezing out the liquid, just like the way you can squeeze water out of a sponge. After a few months, when the summer comes in again, the wood’s pores expand thus the whiskey is absorbed back into the wood again. The absorption continues until when the pores are tightened by the cold winter and the liquid is squeezed out again. See where this is going??
The taste of your flavor profile is determined by this process that involves the movement of water in and out the wood and is similar to a sponge’s behavior. But it will taste a lot better than a sponge!
Slow down, we're getting there. Do you have to be in a hurry for everything? Remember, your spirit isn't very smart, so we're going to fool it and fast forward it through the seasons.
First, the barrel’s size is directly proportional to its aging speed; the smaller the size of a batch or barrel, the faster the aging process. You can adapt to the dynamic seasons by putting your whisky into your refrigerator for several weeks and then take it back to your counter for another few weeks. Repeat this for some months. The repetition of the process by alternating the storage after two weeks for some months helps you get a long lasting product similar to a matter which can age for many years.
You should bear in mind that with time, there is a movement of liquid in and out of wood even during the moderate temperatures. The liquid will continue soaking in the taste and fragrance composites from the wood. You can get a better flavor component within a very short time by alternating temperatures, cold to hot and hot to cold. This simple method mimics nature to a degree and speeds up the maturation process so you can get to your 25 year whiskey that much quicker.