Kickstarter features the most awesome inventions! The latest one we’ve found is the ‘Whiskey Element’, a simple tool that claims to make cheap whiskey taste like fine expensive liquor in just 24 hours. “Customize your whiskey in 24 hours,” the product page reads. “It’s your whiskey, drink it the way you want.”
The product is the brainchild of a Portland-based company called Time & Oak. They argue that the best and most expensive whiskeys are made after they are aged in quality oak barrels. But if you can’t afford to buy the finest whiskeys, you can probably settle for their Whiskey Elements, which are nothing more than specially designed oak sticks.
By simply adding the stick to a bottle of cheap whiskey, they claim that you can replicate the taste of high quality liquor in no time at all. That’s because their ‘accelerated transpiration through capillary action’ can properly age cheap whiskey into a quality one by filtering impurities and infusing additional wood flavor in the spirit.
“After a year of development, 6 patents filed, hundreds of samples tested, 3 ovens destroyed and a couple of nights we don’t really remember, you can now get 3 years of aging ‘effects’ (time travel not included) in just 24 hours, and have complete control of the flavor,” the crowd-funding campaign page states . “This is the taste of tradition combined with the spark of innovation to create an efficient aging method for whiskey.”
The inventors at Time & Oak said that they got the idea for the product when they walked into a liquor store last year and asked themselves ‘what’s the difference between top shelf and well-whiskey?’ “And then it hit us – if the goal is for the whiskey to filter in and out of the wood to remove toxins, get infused with flavor, and pull out those rich colors, what if the barrel isn’t the best design to achieve this process?”
“Wood barrels are really only good at containing the whiskey, because the wood is cut vertically so that the capillaries aren’t exposed to the liquid; otherwise the whiskey would slowly seep out the sides of the wood like a wet paper bag.” So they designed a product that takes advantage of ‘transpiration through capillary action’ by cutting the wood horizontally. The horizontally cut ‘element’ of wood provides a shorter distance for whiskey to travel through its repetitive exposure to the capillaries, so it matures much faster and becomes of a much higher quality. They call this ‘accelerated transpiration through capillary action’.
To prove their point, Time & Oak have conducted an extensive ‘before’ and ‘after’ chemical analysis. Their findings suggest that after being treated with a Whiskey Element, cheap whiskey shares a lot of chemical similarities with high-end spirits. All it takes is one stick to age a fifth and two to age a half-gallon bottle. Each stick can only be used once for maximum effectiveness.
The company has come up with sticks of various flavors as well – there’s vanilla, maple, smokey and peaty. These flavors aren’t added through artificial chemicals, they insist, but are infused naturally through a proprietary curing process that adds subtle flavor differences to the wood.
With one day to go before their project closes, the company has managed to raise over $172,000, with more than 4,500 backers. If you hurry, you could be one of the backers too, and the proud owner of a pair of their signature flavor elements for just $12 or more. Interested?