Whiskey Elements, cured wooden sticks which impart barrel-aged flavor into any bottle of whiskey, is a reality thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign this past fall. In fact, Forbes reports that the project, by Portland, Oregon-based company Time and Oak, received 10 times its requested backing.
Tony Peniche and two partners are behind the revolutionary product, which adds barrel-aged flavor to whiskey in 24 hours. They took the art of aging whiskey — whiskey is traditionally aged in charred oak barrels over a long period of time — and, using specially designed pieces of wood that are exposed to temperature and pressure (to release the wood's natural sugars), the sticks create quick barrel-aged flavor. Usually notes of maple, caramel and vanilla.
After "a year of development, 6 patents filed, hundreds of samples tested, 3 ovens destroyed and a couple nights we don’t really remember," they narrowed down stick cures from thirty to one. The first "flavor" to launch adds notes of maple and vanilla.
Right now their website, which sells a pair of sticks for $12 or $14, offers Whiskey Elements imbued with smoke or "wine cask" flavor, in addition to their initial signature set.