PHOTO: My sound whiskey tasting at Quadrant (c) Sery Kim
The Ritz Carlton D.C.'s Quadrant Bar & Lounge has a new quaint twist on whiskey. Using a specially-made homogenizer that applies vibrations of sound energy to create barrel-aged flavor similar to that of five to 10-year-old spirits in a matter of hours, Lead Mixologist Chris Mendenhall has created a spirits program utilizing sonic-sound wave technology to mimic the taste and qualities of traditionally aged spirits.
Quadrant’s tastings are offered in two ounce pairs. One tasting of the original spirit, called the “base,” and the second is an “aged” variation, called the “change,” for guests to compare and contrast. Pairings vary by style and cost approximately $18 to $20, and it's something new/different to do on an average night out in D.C. There are four pairing styles of bourbons and whiskeys, including the following:
Bourbon Style #1: An example of a pure age reflection, this bourbon shows the true power of the machine without added variables such as wood chips to mimic a cask. The “base” is a 120 proof, nine-year-old Kentucky bourbon. After being sound-aged, the “change,” yields a more mellow bourbon with pepper, leather, and vanilla notes.
Bourbon Style #2: This seven-year-old Kentucky bourbon has a “base” of 107 proof, and after being sound-aged with American Oak chips soaked in a 10-year port, the “change” yields a sweeter, richer bourbon with caramel notes.
Whiskey Style #1: The “base” is a 90 proof Tennessee Sour Mash whiskey. After being sound-aged with French Oak chips soaked in sherry, the “change” yields an incredibly smooth whiskey with notes of corn and vanilla.
Rye Style #1: The “base” is a 100 proof, 4-year-old American Rye whiskey. After being sound-aged with French Oak chips soaked in cognac, the “change” yields bold hints of pepper, orange and chocolate.
My favorite was the Whiskey Style #1 and you can go anytime the Quadrant Bar & Lounge is open to try it for yourself.