Earlier this month, we talked about how some whiskey distilleries are having trouble keeping up with demand because of the time it takes to age whiskey properly. This is obviously a pretty big issue for smaller distilleries, but one Cleveland enterprise may have found a solution. It probably seems sacrilegious to some of you whiskey purists, but for the distillers, it could be their ticket to speeding up the process and getting their product on the shelves.
Tom Lix of Cleveland Whiskey has created a method of aging whiskey that takes less than six months, instead of the typical 10 years. The magic starts with Lix’s original bourbon recipe. He puts the whiskey into stainless steel tanks with chopped up pieces of the barrels it’s stored in. The pressure in the tanks is increased so the wood chips basically turn into sponges that soak up all the whiskey. Once the wood chips have soaked up as much as possible, they are squeezed out and the process is repeated.
The production time from bourbon to bottle is about six months. Cleveland Whiskey started selling its product on March 1, and they’ve already been selling about 1,000 bottles a week. And the flavor isn’t bad either. When tasted against some of its competitors, Lix said 60 to 70 percent of people chose Cleveland Whiskey.
Lix is hoping that his innovation in whiskey production will change the industry in America. It will be interesting to see if other distilleries begin using this method.
Do you think other distilleries will go down this quick aging whiskey road?