London — A Silicon Valley-based start-up is taking on the $500bn global spirits industry with proprietary technology it claims can reproduce the taste of a barrel-aged whisky, rum or brandy in three to five days.

Bespoken Spirits, founded by materials scientist Martin Janousek and entrepreneur Stu Aaron, has won awards in blind tastings with drinks made by exposing alcohol to “micro staves” of different woods under pressure, in what they likened to a “Nespresso machine on an industrial scale”.

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