The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C. utilizes cutting-edge whiskey aging technology with power to mimic the barrel aging process of up to 10 years in a matter of hours.
Quadrant Bar & Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C., has launched a revolutionary sound-aged spirits program that utilizes sonic-sound wave technology to mimic the taste and qualities of traditionally aged spirits.
Using a scientific process that has never been utilized on spirits publicly in D.C., Chris Mendenhall, the lead mixologist behind Quadrant’s award-winning, high-end cocktail program, uses 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. Mr. Mendenhall uses variations of American whiskeys and bourbons with various styles of wood chips to mimic the flavor profiles created from traditional spirits aged in casks.
“After nearly a year experimenting with the technology, we’re thrilled to be the only luxury hotel to launch sound-aged whiskey tastings that takes our culinary approach to the next level utilizing science and technology.”
– Chris Mendenhall, Lead Mixologist, Quadrant
Quadrant’s tastings are offered in two ounce pairs; one tasting of the original spirit, called the “base,” and the “aged” variation, called the “change,” for guests to compare and contrast. Pairings vary by style and cost approximately $18 to $20. 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.
Quadrant’s sound-aged tastings offer a unique, educational experience where Mr. Mendenhall walks customers through the process and background on both the base and manipulated variations to showcase how time, and now science, can transform whiskey. Next, Quadrant will expand their sound-aged spirits, offering sound-aged rums and house-made gin created from vodka with various botanicals.
“It’s as if we’ve magically aged whiskey and other spirits in the time it takes you to watch a TV show. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
– Chris Mendenhall
The revolutionary spirits will be featured in Quadrant’s new summer menu, Traveler’s Journal. Created and written entirely by Mr. Mendenhall, the menu will also include high-end, handcrafted, artisanal cocktails utilizing elevated culinary techniques.
For more information, visit RitzCarlton.com.