|Bryan Davis at his new LA distillery.|
A few years later, Davis started promoting a quick aging scheme for spirits. I never tasted those spirits, mostly rums, but I'm generally skeptical of quick aging schemes, having never tasted one that was any good. Originally, he was selling his technology to other companies, but he is now concentrating on using the technology himself. Along with rum, he recently, released two Islay whiskeys that he treated with his system.
Davis is getting ready to open a new distillery here in Los Angeles and, after not being in touch for five years or so, he invited me to come take a look at it and try some of his recent spirits.
Now, I've been on a lot of distillery tours, and let me say, I have never seen a distillery like this one. In his previous career, Davis made theme park rides, and his LA distillery is like a cross between Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean and the boat ride in the original Willy Wonka movie, complete with boat, palm trees, jungle sounds and talking birds. I kid you not.
At one of the boat stops which has a sort of English drawing room aesthetic, Davis showed me a presentation on his system, which seeks to produce the same esters present in aged spirits through a combination of wood manipulation and infrared light (though never with additives). There will always be deviations, but on paper, he claims he is very close to copying the esters present in aged rum. For his Islay whiskeys, the process was less analytical. Rather than trying to mimic a particular ester profile, he just went by taste and smell.
Boats, birds and charts are all well and good, but how does this stuff taste? Tune in on Wednesday and we'll find out.