While brandy connoisseurs might raise their eyebrows as they read the title, I hope you’ll all take the judgement aside and hear me out.
Brandies are powerful alcoholic spirits distilled from wines or other fermented fruit juices. As these age, chemical interactions happen between the spirits and the wood casks granting them its renowned color, flavor and aroma. But these reactions are slow and it require years of aging in order to attain its highest quality.
Recent research, nonetheless, showed that it’s not always the case- scientists found that ultrasound waves could actually help accelerate the aging of brandy. They’ve started the experiment by flowing distilled wine through American oak chips. As it seeped past the chips, they blasted it with ultrasound waves. After only three days of this ultrasound treatment, they were instantly able to produce spirits similar to aged brandies, surprising even the researchers.
“Obtaining, in three days, a spirit with characteristics near to two-years-aged brandies was something really unexpected for us,” says professor and co-author Valme García of the University of Cádiz in Spain.
Its quality is tested by eight trained judges who all agreed, after drinking, that this brandy is nearly as good as the traditional ones. “They tasted surprisingly well, with good fruity and sweet flavors and a high aromatic intensity,” García adds. Moreover, aging it in a dark place with a room temperature as well as increasing the amount of oak chips can even improve its quality.
This could shape a new way to develop different spirits. Through this system, other distillers can even produce other types of brandies while not needing to wait for a long time. However, researchers noted that these new spirits couldn’t be technically called brandies for European law holds that brandies specifically need to be aged in oak casks. Even so, no matter what the label is, I think it’s interesting to taste spirits that can remind us, as we sip, that time is gold.