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Distilleries are using music to age alcohol with "sonic aging"

The unconventional method is fast becoming a trend

  • Harrison Williams
  • 20 June 2018
Distilleries are using music to age alcohol with "sonic aging"

While there are various techniques used in the brewing process to make an alcoholic beverages unique, using music is likely not the most obvious method to use. That said, a selection of distilleries are using "sonic aging" to enhance the aging process, according to Billboard.

Joe Heron, founder of Copper & Kings in Louisville, Kentucky, which is one of a few distilleries that use music to age alcohol, spoke about how this unconventional technique is used:

“We believe in the principles of ‘sonic aging'. [When] a bass note is pulsed into the barrel, the alcohol molecule moves away from the sound wave, hits the barrel wall, slides up until it loses momentum and then falls down, and the process repeats.”

Using five subwoofers placed inside the barrelhouse, sonic reverberations are hard at work during the aging process, which Heron says can get fairly loud: “It’s louder at night so people can hear themselves think and talk during the day. It’s pretty forceful.”

As each spirit is different, the music used during the maturation process is different as well. Heron has different playlists that apparently have the ability to extract flavors, like playing hip-hop or EDM for brandy barrels to get vanilla and caramel notes.

Other distilleries using the sonic aging technique include Spirits Work Distillery in Sonoma, California and Dark Island Spirits in upstate New York, the latter of which has even trademarked its own technique called TIIME (Tactile Immersed Isolated Maturation Engine) Machine. Find out more via Billboard here

In the past, Danish audio and electronics manufacturer Bang & Olufsen also ventured outside its normal channels to producer a new beer dubbed Beobrew IPA. During the brewing process brewers submerged the Beoplay A1 speaker inside a fermenting tank and played a playlist by Danish DJ and producer Le Gammeltoft, featuring Danish talent specifically.

Mixmag begs the question, does "sonic aging" work on people? We do feel 10 years older after a weekend spent inside the rave.

Harrison is Mixmag's East Coast Editor. Follow him on Twitter here

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