Would You Try a Whiskey Developed by Artificial Intelligence?


A Scottish distillery has used artificial intelligence to create a rare whiskey, now selling for $50,000...

Diageo has merged the new with the old to create two rare bottles of whiskey available for purchase at $50,000 each. The novelty comes in the form of artificial intelligence technology named SmokeDNAi, which explores the whiskey aging process in barrels like never before. Diageo has invested nearly $44 million in whiskey aging research and revived the abandoned Port Ellen distillery with Port Ellen Gemini, the name of the pair of rare whiskeys. The technology opens the door to analyzing the flavor profiles of non-identical twin whiskeys distilled in different barrels – one previously used and one original.

According to Fox News, between the two barrels of Port Ellen whiskey, a variation in vanilla characteristic was observed; one contained about 3%, while the other was around 6%. The previously used barrel contained spirits from the 1960s and 1980s, according to Morgan. "What we want is to have this wonderful slow maturation in the barrel where we control the taste," said Evan Morgan, national luxury ambassador and head of whiskey advocacy at Diageo North America, to Fox News Digital. "We have a much better understanding of why they taste the way they do, or why they smell the way they smell, or what the mouthfeel is." He added, "We can have a much better understanding of what the final product will be."

The process requires whiskey samples to undergo chemical analysis, followed by gas chromatography, and data sets on different components are broken down by an algorithm. An extraordinary aspect is that connoisseurs can observe combinations of flavors, aromas, and profiles invisible to the human eye. "On the visual, you’ll see small amounts of one particle moving," Morgan said.

"Then, there’s a larger cloud inside and it will show you the percentage share of these compounds that are found inside." According to Fox News, visual profiles can include combinations of coconut, smoky, earthy, medicinal, floral, and sweet flavors. "It gives you a really great, at first glance, visualization of what's happening inside the barrel," Morgan said. "It just gives us much, much clearer understanding of our own whiskey."

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