Drinking whiskey can be one of life’s little pleasures.
Whether you’re a scotch, Bourbon, Canadian … you get the picture, there is something to be said for every type.
Well, maybe except for “well whiskey.” You know the kind I’m talking about.
It’s the stuff you had one bad experience with and swore of the drink forever. Brands like Old Grandad, Heaven Hill, and Old Crow might have you shuddering once you just hear the name.
Now, there’s a way to improve those bottom shelf whiskey with Whiskey Remedy.
Or, as they put it, “turn you well whiskey into swell whiskey.”
What is it?
Whiskey Remedy is an idea thought up by Chris Shell and Adam Brackbill.
The duo was looking for a way to make the horrible but affordable whiskey taste like top-shelf brands. They found that many distilleries use charcoal filtering to pull out impurities in whiskey and thought it could work on a smaller scale.
While the method was sound, they need to make sure it could be done practically for everyday use at home.
Their first attempt with charcoal filters was messy and expensive, but it eventually led them to their final product, activated charcoal sticks.
The sticks eliminated the mess and drastically brought down the cost, and they look pretty cool while doing their thing in the whiskey.
Doing the hard work, Jess Koontz, one of our newest contributors, and I had to test it out, and we were both pleasantly surprised at the outcome.
Testing and tasting
We went about this in the most “scientific” way we could when testing whiskey.
Whiskey Remedy recommends aging the sticks in whiskey between 4-8 hours. For our “experiment,” I aged a portion of Heaven Hill Bourbon for both four and eight hours.
You can put the stick directly into the bottle of whiskey, or parse it out like I did to see how it changes the whiskey over time.
We had our control of non-aged whiskey to compare to the different varieties, and this is what we found:
It’s just what you’d expect. It’s harsh, hard to drink, and brings back memories of college parties in cramped apartments when you couldn’t afford anything better.
Or, as Jess put it, “straight hot fire booze.”
With just four hours of aging, the whiskey mellowed out, and most of the harsh burn was gone. It still did have a bit of a bite, but that’s not something I counted as bad. I often enjoy that sensation when drinking my whiskey.
The four hours also brought out more traditional flavors of caramel and toffee you’d expect to find in finer whiskeys.
At the eight-hour mark, the whiskey becomes velvety. It’s incredibly smooth compared to the control sample. It changes so much so that you wouldn’t know it’s a bottom-shelf $10 bottle of whiskey.
That’s not to say this is as good as top-shelf brands, but it definitely eliminates the harsh burn and aftertaste.
While nothing can be proven, some studies say that activated charcoal does remove qualities in the spirit that lead to hangovers.
Plus, each stick can be used up to five times, so you’re saving even more money.
How do you get Whiskey Remedy?
Currently, Whiskey Remedy is running a Kickstarter to fund their project and R&D to include methods to improve vodka and tequila in similar fashions as well as to add all-natural means to flavor different spirits.
They offer several different levels of backing, but for just $12 you can get two sticks of your own to try for yourself at home.
Whiskey Remedy’s Kickstarter runs until Nov. 18, and if funded, all pledge rewards will be shipped out in time for the holidays.