Last night at Holiday Cocktails with Nils and Dave a curious bottle was passed around the room filled with what Dave dubbed “insti-age”.
For a previous event, Dave had put some bourbon in his rotary evaporator in order to separate out the alcohol and and non-volatile compounds from the oak flavors – in essence, creating wood-less bourbon. This was a pretty unique spirit, as by law bourbon must be aged in new, charred barrels. He proceeded to make a wood-less bourbon and clarified apple juice cocktail that was completely clear and packed quite a punch.
The bourbon separating trick was repeated with Laird’s, which explains why the bottle in the picture above is clear (it was also 130 proof – who needs that added water?). At Dave’s suggestion, the class played around with adding the insti-age to the “unoaked” Laird’s to see how the flavor changed.
After 10-15 drops, my Laird’s tasted like Scotch. Sounds odd at first, but makes complete sense because the volatile oak compounds are absent from the insti-age, therefore mirroring the used barrels in Scotch whisky production.