There’s a distillery in California that has officially taken “good vibrations” to a whole new level. Spirit Works Distillery in Sebastopol has been experimenting with using music to change the taste and feel of their whiskeys.
While that may seem a little crazy to you, they think music is so powerful that it is actually strong enough to change how something tastes. Talk about the most epic science experiment…
Timo Marshall is the owner of Spirit Works, and he is the one who came up with the idea. He’s attached speakers and iPods to his barrels of whiskey that all play a different style of music. There are barrels listening to some bluegrass, Michael Jackson, Daft Punk, Prince and Led Zeppelin. Some of the music has been played on repeat for three years. There are also control barrels so the distillery can simply compare the music-listening whiskey to those that marinate in silence.
Don’t write this all off as insane, though. There is some crazy genius here, as whiskey derives much of its flavor from the oak barrels it lives in for years, moving in and out of the wood as it expands and contracts with changing weather.
Marshall explained during an interview: “How can we get the interaction between the liquid and the wood itself to behave in a different way? We thought we could excite that by using sound vibrations.”
No one is really sure of the scientific effect the tunes have on the booze, but tasters swear you can tell the difference. As for what is the most popular and supposedly best tasting music-listening whiskey they have—the owner admitted the most popular was picked by his wife, and it’s a barrel that spent three years hearing The Nutcracker.
This particular distillery isn’t the only one trying out something like this. Tuthilltown Spirits in upstate New York uses a similar process it calls “sonic maturation,” in which subwoofers rattle the distillery’s whiskey warehouses. In Kentucky, Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. does the same, calling it sonic aging.