Thanks to the power of science and curiosity, spirited innovators are shattering the boundaries of traditional maturation techniques.
There are many spirits brands today leading the way into more efficient, and eco-friendly approaches. Two such innovators are the co-founders of Bespoken Spirits, Stu Aaron and Martin Janousek.
Martin is a material scientist by training and a fine beverage aficionado by passion. Stu is a serial entrepreneur and has more of the everyman’s palate. But most importantly, they both love a good whiskey.
Back in 2017 during a meeting with his wine and whiskey club, Martin posed a question that marked the origin of his future alcohol brand. He wanted to know the reason why it takes years to produce a spirit of high quality. And how science could explain why a 15-year-old whiskey was worth so much more than a 12-year-old whiskey. Upon learning the answer, he refused to believe it strictly had to be that way, so like any good scientist, he started reading and tinkering and inventing.
It was in his garage that he created the proprietary technology that would soon become Bespoken Spirits’ core. Along the way, he proposed the idea to Stu, and Stu fell in love with it. They started the company in 2018 with a mission to take craft, creativity, and flavor experiences to new heights while lowering the environmental footprint through a precise process called craft maturation.
By using craft maturation, Bespoken achieves its goal of elevating a spirit’s flavor profile by carefully tailoring the aroma, color, and taste to exact specifications in a matter of days opposed to years. Because of this, they offer billions of bespoke expressions that are perfect for both whiskey enthusiasts and the whiskey curious.
While it does sound like some type of cheat code miracle, every step is completely legitimate and backed by scientific evidence. A simple way to think about it is that they’ve deconstructed the barrel. They take the same all-natural elements of wood, toast, and char (no additives needed) and re-imagined the process for the 21st century.
The method begins by taking any source spirit, young or old. The team discusses what they want in the resultant spirit in terms of aroma, color, and taste. Once they have decided, they can tailor a recipe for it.
They then select the right types, amounts, and combinations of small pieces of wood they refer to as microstaves. After that, they decide how to toast and char the micro-staves for the desired result, a function similar to traditional spices.
It all comes together when the microstave mixture marries the source spirit in the proprietary activator, which controls the environment for temperature, pressure, and churn rate. And just like that, it only takes three to five days to mature a premium, award-winning spirit.
The reason Bespoken has won 111 medals throughout only two years of eligibility, including high scores and the Sustainability Emblem in The Chilled 100 Spirits Awards is obvious. They’re able to design and produce premium quality products mindfully while using less than 3% of the wood, 1% of the energy, and a fraction of the water required by traditional barrel aging. This emphasis on taste, product, and value is a better whiskey for you, and the planet,
- 1½ oz Bespoken Spirits Rye Whiskey
- 1 oz Bespoken Rum
- ¼ oz Crème de Cacao
- ¼ oz Demerara Simple Syrup
- 2 Dashes Blueberry Cardamom Bitters
- Garnish: Brandied Cherries
Preparation: Combine all ingredients with ice into a shaker and stir until chilled. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over a cube of ice. Garnish.
- 1 1/2 oz Bespoken Rye Whiskey
- 3/4 oz Cynar 70
- 1 oz Apple Cider
Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass or cocktail shaker with ice. Stir to chill, then strain into rocks glass over large ice. Garnish with apple slices.