The Oak Bottle is barrel aging for people who are pressed for time, poor planners, or simply of the Veruca Salt persuasion: Daddy, I want a bottle of whiskey custom-infused with complex oak-aged flavors, and I want it NOW!
You got it, angel. Daddy will send an oompa loompa over with a glass on the rocks in 48 hours or less.
Developed by winemaker Joel Paglione, the Oak Bottle is a 100% American White Oak vessel that claims it can turn cheap or average-tasting wine, whiskey, and other spirits into an aged, vintage-tasting drink in 24 to 48 hours. Available in standard 750 mL and mini 355 mL sizes, the Oak Bottle puts the barrel aging process on light speed by reducing the size of the vessel and quantity of liquid, but increasing the surface area of oak with which these smaller batches have contact. In making such proportional tweaks, Paglione says his bottles can achieve the same smoothness and caramel notes as chips, spirals, and barrels in a fraction of the time, and without the addition of newfangled technology or chemicals. The speed of flavor development is greatly accelerated, but the process remains all natural.
The Oak Bottle aging process begins with a 24-hour period of water swelling to prep the wood and seal any open grains. Once the day is up and the bottled emptied, fill it with your choice of wine or spirit, cap with the cork, and let it sit for 24 to 48 hours. That's it. When the hours have passed all that's left to do is drink. And then go again. The Oak Bottle is reusable for 50+ normal aging cycles. While red and white wine and whiskey are the most popular liquor choices, Oak Bottlers also recommend testing out the taste of the forest on saki, tequila, and beer too. Or, for more or different aromas and accents, the company sells an array of wood bottles spiked with flavors including Cherry, Smoke, Cinnamon, Coffee, Chocolate, and Vanilla.
Oak Bottle products are available for purchase through the company's online store. They are also running a Kickstarter campaign through November 4, with funds raised going towards the production of an improved Oak Bottle prototype, the 3.0.