New Molecular Whiskey Skips Distillation and Maturation Process

Photo: Carsten Schanter / EyeEm (Getty Images)

When we think about whiskey, we see a few guarantees. We assume the whiskey will be made with a handful of simple ingredients, namely: water, fermented grain mash (barley, corn, rye, wheat, and other lesser used grains), and a whole lot of aging in wooden barrels. All of these are pretty much guaranteed unless we’re talking about white whiskey, moonshine, or…molecular whiskey.

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The folks at Glyph are turning the whiskey world on its head with the introduction of their molecular whiskey. If you don’t know a lot about the whiskey world, you should know one thing. Whiskey makers — whether you live in Texas, Tullahoma, or Tullamore — take process extremely seriously. The final product takes craftsmanship, creativity, attention to detail, and a whole lot of patience. Glyph doesn’t have time for all of that.

That’s because Glyph is the first molecular whiskey, meaning that it was made without distillation or barrel maturation. Confused? So are we. To make it, the innovators at Glyph source the molecules that add flavor, aroma, and even mouthfeel directly from plants and yeasts. This completely cuts out the distillation and aging process.

“By using the same building blocks as conventional distillers, we create fine spirits through a process we’ve developed called note-by-note production,” says that brand’s website.

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The process goes like this: first they find the specific attributes they are looking for in a whiskey by identifying the “constellation of molecules” (or notes) responsible for those characteristics. Then, they source the desired molecules from “resource-efficient natural sources.” This includes sugar esters from cane and corn and acids found in fruits and woods. Finally, they blend everything together in small batches before bottling. The big question: would you try this whiskey? We don’t really have high hopes that it will live up to classics like Woodford Reserve, Glenlivet, and Kilbeggan and all the work that went into creating them. But we’re willing to give it a try.