In recent days, two curious news related to the production of a popular alcoholic drink appeared in the world press at once. The first is from the American Silicon Valley. Do not think that in California they are engaged only in very serious technologies, by no means! Local experts also pay attention to things that seem to be completely far from scientific and technological progress. For example, for alcoholic beverages.
So Bespoken Spirits announced last week that it raised $ 2.6 million for seed funding to launch an accelerated aging process for spirits. This startup is focused on the production of barrel-aged whiskey and promises to produce the drink in large quantities in a few days, not years, as it has been so far, and of course, with the same taste, color and aroma. The entrepreneurs claim their patented system will save the liquor industry more than $ 20 billion a year.
"This is Accelerated Ripening 2.0", - says co-founder Stu Aaron.
It is known that in Kentucky alone every year, about 20 million gallons of spirits are lost “through evaporation, through the wasteful, laborious and outdated aging process of barrels,” in other words, simply evaporate into the atmosphere. The company said the technology they developed will help "extract from the barrel key elements that enhance the aroma, color and taste of the drink, manipulating chemical reactions and allowing the creation of billions of recipes in a matter of days, not years."
Typically, whiskey takes at least three years to mature, and most of its aroma is absorbed from the oak barrels in which the drink matures. “The traditional process of making spirits is outdated, unpredictable, unsustainable and inefficient,” says co-founder Martin Janosek. “We have reimagined this process with modern science and sustainable technologies, using the same natural elements - wood and coal”.
Meanwhile, custom-made whiskeys and bourbons made in a new way are already on sale in stores and will even win competitions. True, experts were rather skeptical about these products. So, the reviewer of the site WhiskeyWash.com John Dover, after tasting Bespoken whiskey, gave him the following assessment:
“My first impression was the smell of rust and antiseptic - not the most attractive of all that could be heard right at the exit. It tastes like plastic with a hint of banana bread, like taking a bite out of a home-made sandwich, forgetting to unwrap the cellophane first..."
The problem of accelerating the process of making a popular drink was attended not only in Silicon Valley, but also in Sweden, much closer to us. This is how Ruslan Bragin, a Russian expert on alcoholic beverages, writes on his blog:
“The world of whiskey will not be the same. Swedish distillery #Mackmyra has unveiled Intelligens whiskey, the first NAS whiskey produced with artificial intelligence on Microsoft Azure. The system analyzed data from 75 brand ambassadors, customer reviews, international awards, ratings and based on this developed formulations. The program generated a digital profile of whiskey by analyzing 100 samples of Mackmyra distillates, created a database of all components and analyzed the mechanisms of their interaction in the process of whiskey production, took into account data on the number of whiskey varieties produced, the speed of their sale, expert assessments, feedback from consumers, data on stocks of barrels in the distillery warehouses, taking into account their size, type and wood. After analyzing all this data, the program developed a number of algorithms and formed many different whiskey recipes with outstanding consumer characteristics. For the artificial intelligence system, whiskey is just a chemical kit, so the final word in choosing the recipe was for the master of blending Angela D'Orazio.
Mackmyra Intelligens AI-01 has a circulation of 5,000 bottles, each of which is equipped with an NFC tag. The quota for Russia is 60 bottles.
Alcohol 46.1% vol. The aroma contains notes of creamy vanilla and toffee, nuances of oloroso sherry, fruity notes of pear and apple, light citrus trail. The second wave features notes of herbs, ginger, white pepper, anise and toasted oak. Taste - a bouquet of vanilla with subtle hints of fruit, oak, citrus accents, herbs, spices with echoes of tobacco leaf and cigar smoke. The ending is dry and salty, ending with notes of fruit and oak..."