A while back, I ran across a neat little contraption used to aerate wine. It was a nice looking glass device equipped with a funnel for the wine to run through and into the receiving glass. Earlier this year, I noticed a spirit aerator was launched specifically designed to decant undiluted spirits and, according to the claims of the manufacturer, enhance the drinking experience.
The product, the Vinturi Spirit Aerator, is now in my possession and I took it for a spin this evening in an effort to determine its effectiveness.
The box is designed to portray a high end product and the design of the aerator itself is eye catching. The whole is an elegant, transparent device whose sleek appearance, shiny metal parts, and crystal-like reflection of light make for a nice showpiece. The top part is shaped like a shot glass and comes with markers indicating the volume poured from 1 to 2 ounces. This leads into a funnel through which your drink passes into your glass when a button is pushed on the side of the device.
I decided to test the product on a single malt whisky, the Glenfarclas 105 (initial review here). This particular whisky was chosen as my experience has lead me to believe that this whisky responds quite well to airing out for approximately 20-30 minutes prior to drinking. In fact it is quite coarse without the proper preparation (some water should also be added prior to consumption).
Using the measurement indicator on the Vinturi Spirit, I added an ounce to each glass but added no water to ensure a proper comparison could be made. The glasses were marked beforehand underneath in order to be able to identify them. I then switched their places a few times such that I could no longer tell which was which. The tasting could now take place.
The first glass contained the harsh product I was familiar with. My hopes for the Vinturi Spirit thus resided in the second glass. My first sip was a revelation. Gone was almost all of the grittiness, replaced with the silky and smooth flavour of honey. My tongue was warmly enveloped with apple and caramel, and then oak and fruits. I looked for the marker under the glass and sure enough, this glass contained the aerated product. Not that the first glass didn’t showcase the qualities of the Glenfarclas 105, the big difference was how much more smooth the product that passed through the Vinturi Spirit became. The removal of the grit made the flavours clearer and more easily identifiable. The Glenfarclas was easier to drink and a more pleasant experience right from the get go, no need to let it sit and aerate. I do recommend adding some water to this particular drink regardless.
You can see how the product is used here.
Also, a link to the website from Vinturi.
The Vinturi Spirit claims to do wonders for other spirits as well, namely cognac, port, tequila, bourbon, vodka, gin, rum, brandy, sake, and liqueurs.
One thing I must mention, the aerator does an admirable job speeding up a process that occurs naturally over the course of about a half hour anyway. You may notice sometimes a drink becomes better as you are consuming it or after sitting for a while, the Vinturi Spirit is speeding up that process and making the drink accessible immediately. Therefore, it is entirely up to you if you think the $30 to $40 you will spend on this is worth the time.