The project already started, but first some prep-work.
So, I ran across this idea on a tech blog for a KickStarter project and, long story short, I backed it. It was so popular, not only did it get funded, it was funded at such a level, they were hard pressed to get all of their orders filled.
I ordered three sets of these and gave two away. A friend of mine has already tested his. You can read his review here.
I decided I wanted to really test these to see how far you could take them. To that end, I found two bottles of what is supposed to be 100 corn whiskey moonshine less than 90 days old.
Most of the moonshine was a mix of corn and “neutral grain spirits”, so I went with the 100% Virginia Lightning corn whiskey. I know that many of the mid to high shelf whiskeys are a combination of different grains, but those are also much more detailed in the mix of grains used. Being so generic and nebulous, I decided to avoid the moonshine that was of a questionable mix.
Here is one of the bottles with a favorite candy of my mentioned friend.
As of midnight the night of January 26th, one bottle had a whiskey element added to it.
Again, pictured here with one of my friend’s favorite candies.
By morning, the color change was very noticeable.
It took longer for my friend to see this, but by this afternoon, the whiskey element was at the bottom of the bottle. Note the dramatic color change.
The normal use of these is 24 to 48 hours and the sticks are supposed to be reusable to a degree. Unless something changes, I plan on leaving this element is for the maximum time of ten days.
Three times every 24 hours, the bottle will be flipped up-side-down ten times.
At the end of the ten days, I removed the Whiskey Element. My friend had a very hard time doing this and had to improvise a hook. This task was evidently complicated because he was deprived of every playing the common crane games.
Also very odd was the he gave me the very item I needed to retrieve the Whiskey Element for Christmas.
This tool proved to be a bit rough on the Whiskey Element when it came to retrieval of the Whiskey Element.
The first attempt snapped of the edge, but the second attempt worked.
So, after ten days, what did the whiskey look like?
And just as my friend documented, there is significant absorption of alcohol by the Whiskey Element.
For part one, the taste test.
First the taste test of the control moonshine. Here is where an unexpected tangent came into play.
I have tried moonshine before and even reviewed some here, but this was very different. Not to go into a separate review, but every step and minor variance of the distillation process of any beverage can radically alter the final product. There are Virginia wines that are simply undrinkable due to a plastic and synthetic taste due to the fact that they use metals like stainless steel in the fermentation and /or aging process.
The moonshines I tired so far did not use copper in the two main stages of the process where it matters: fermentation and distillation. Using copper in the construction of the containers used in either of these processes is supposed to dramatically alter the final product.
The control moonshine is worth drinking as is and worthy of it’s own entry, but for now, back to the treated whiskey.
Like my friend described, there is not just a color change, but a pleasant wood taste. For me, the mouth feel was different with the treated whiskey having a smoother texture. The nose of the treated whiskey was significantly changed compared to the control in an appealing way.
At this point, I decided to go for broke with the experiment. The original idea was to use the Whiskey Element to take essentially fresh and untreated whiskey and realistically make it the equivalent of low-shelf whiskey. The outcome, I think, is much better than expected. This is due in no small part to the quality of the original moonshine.
So, after the initial ten days and the taste test, I removed the first Whiskey Element and put in the second.
On Valentines day, it will be done. At this point, both bottles will be divided into thirds and given to two friends to review. Their feedback will be posted here along with my own.
As a side note, the first Whiskey Element looks like driftwood compared to the second unused Whiskey Element.
This picture really doesn’t due justice to the change.
Part 2 will be posted after Valentines Day and part 3 after I have the feedback from my friends.