How The 'World's First Molecular Whiskey' Gets Made (HBO)


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The conventional image of whiskey brands evokes scenes of bucolic homesteads, a banjo or two, and usually some white guy waxing poetic about heritage. But a startup in San Francisco called Endless West is trying to change that by making an aged style whiskey in a lab, in the span of about 24 hours.

The first bottles of ‘Glyph’ recently hit the shelves and retail for around 35 dollars, billed as ‘the world's first molecular whiskey… that's never seen the inside of a barrel.’ Or a banjo.

The process begins by studying existing popular aged whiskies at the molecular level, to understand and map the flavor profiles. Endless West then builds Glyph from scratch by adding a plethora of different chemicals to medical-grade alcohol. Thus mimicking the desirable elements of other aged whiskies and tailoring it to create a distinctly familiar, but entirely unique whisky - overnight.

VICE News took a tour of the lab where the alchemy happens, and had an exclusive tasting before Glyph went to market.

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