Tech make Bourbon heaps faster, but is it kosher?

Not sure if this is the right way to go, but it is only bourbon whiskey and not scotch so only Americans are harmed. Still, isn’t it amazing what we can dream up?

Cleveland Bourbon

When it comes to bourbon, Tom Lix doesn’t believe in age discrimination. Most bourbons might age in the barrel for eight to 12 years or more, but Lix figures his are ready to drink in less than a week.

Lix makes Cleveland Whiskey, a new brand of bourbon that exemplifies two major trends in American whiskey-making today: the desire to speed up the process and the effort to establish a local identity. 

His distillery is located far from the rolling hills of Kentucky; it occupies a large, ground floor space in a state-owned manufacturing incubator in Cleveland that’s also home to a couple of dozen other companies that make things such as artificial bones. Lix has taken advantage of his mechanical-engineer neighbors to work on the custom machinery that makes his quick-aging product possible.

Bourbon is typically aged over a period of time in which fluctuating temperatures throughout the day move distilled liquor in and out of the pores of oak barrels. Lix uses pressure to speed this up. He pours distillate into a stainless steel vat and throws cut-up pieces of barrel in after it.

He wouldn’t let me see his machinery — “intellectual property,” he says — but it sounded something like an overloaded washing machine during the spin cycle. Each beat, Lix says, is roughly the equivalent of 24 hours in a stationary barrel. The agitation squeezes the wood like a sponge and the “aging” of each batch is done within a few days.


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  • Michael

    I would give it a go… But I am from Hamilton, so my standards aren’t high.

    • cows4me

      Don’t think this stuff would be up to your standard Michael, doesn’t come in a can.

      • Michael

        touché :)

  • Travis Poulson

    Unless you have a time machine, there is no way to shortcut the ageing process.

    • Tell that to Lindsay Lohan.

    • James Gray

      Yes and no. While it wouldn’t be technically impossible to get the precise combination of chemicals correct, it’s highly unlikely.

      The real question is how close can they get it, and how many people can tell the difference… Of course, the majority of people who couldn’t are just buying based on what the bottle and the price tag tells them. So maybe they’re really missing a major point here.

  • They did this type of thing for Oak wines, s/s tank and oak chips.

  • Pissedoffyouth

    I always feel bad when drinking Jim Beam, that shit ages 4 years before I killed it in one go

    • Imagine your guilt from drinking a 30 year old Scotch…stay away, leave it to me, I can handle the guilt.

  • Mediaan

    Think about the aged liquor investment market if he is right. People will put their money into anything these days.