What is the history of whisky?
Distilling has been going on for hundreds of years, and from it has evolved the production of a very specific drink, whisky. This spirit is also called the "water of life" and always consists of the same three basic ingredients - water, yeast and malted barley. After distillation, the so-called "New Make Spirit" is stored in carefully selected barrels, where maturation takes place over several years.
This craft of giving the distillates their special characteristics and aromas through contact in oak barrels has been practiced for a long time. Traditionally, age was traded as a decisive quality characteristic, because the longer the maturing New Make had contact with the wood, the more aromas are developed, and the more undesirable components were absorbed by the barrel.
But is age really the only way to get tasty, delicious whisky? Our inventor, Dolf Stockhausen, asked himself this very question, and his answer has had a significant influence on the aging of spirits.
Why do whiskies taste so different?
The variety of flavors of whiskies is almost infinite: from slightly citrusy and very delicate to full-bodied malts with lush notes to earthy, very smoky whiskies, you can find everything. The determining factor for these variations are water, barley, distillation, but primarily the cask maturation, which has the greatest influence with almost 60%.
But unfortunately, this variety of characteristic whisky varieties is constantly decreasing due to the lack of good barrels. This is a consequence of the ever-increasing demand for the golden elixir. Due to legal requirements, however, the sherry, port and bourbon industries must also produce barrels to the same extent, because only pre-stored barrels may be used. Unfortunately, this is no longer possible to the same extend and therefore the quality of the barrels decreases due to the enormous demand, which in turn has a negative effect on the flavor in whiskies.
Therefore, we are of the opinion, that it is not the age of the whisky that is the deciding factor for the taste and the quality. A bad barrel is just a bad barrel and remains of low quality even after 30 years because the important exchanges simply cannot take place that well.
IF AGE IS NOT THE DECISIVE FACTOR, WHAT IS?
In recent years, various new whisky distilleries around the world have come onto the market with new, innovative maturation processes. These partly revolutionary developments show that not only the time in the barrel is critical for the production of a high-quality whisky. For example, high pressure, ultrasound, music and various mechanical influences have been used to accelerate this phase of aroma release from the barrel to the whisky. If this maturation process can be shortened, it has numerous advantages: On the one hand, barrels that have been blocked by storage for decades are back in circulation more quickly, and on the other hand, the financial storage costs are reduced many times over. Seven Seals has analyzed in detail the chemical processes in whisky aging and developed with the same basic materials a new method to reunite the flavors of wood and the existing spirit such as sherry or port. Our Fast Forward Finishing process makes the whiskies more delicate, refined and flavorful.
It is essential for us not to replace the traditional maturing process, but to have developed a proprietary finishing process which allows us to produce scalable, aroma rich whisky in weeks instead of years. We use the same basic materials and parameters as in traditional maturation and merely apply the laws of diffusion from physics more consistently.
What makes it so exciting? Our revolutionary Fast Forward Finishing process was born by necessity. Because our inventor Dolf Stockhausen, at the age of 72, simply didn't have the time to wait another twelve years until he could taste delicious whisky himself. And so, together with Chris Lauper, CEO of the Swiss distillery Langatun, he perfected his first experiments. To show how well the process works, Seven Seals was initially born as a proof of concept.
WHAT EXACTLY IS SEVEN SEALS?
Seven Seals is like the book with seven seals from the Bible, a great mystery. Only a small number of people know exactly how the process of finishing whisky takes place. And it works! Numerous awards at the most prestigious whisky competitions in the world show that taste is not guaranteed by age but by our patented process. Every Seven Seals whisky that leaves our facility can legally call itself whisky before it goes through our short, effective Fast Forward Finishing process. But see for yourself, our whiskies speak best for themselves…