Scotland might be the spiritual home of whisky, but Japan is perfecting its own unique take on the liquor. At Nikka's Yoichi distillery in Hokkaido, watching a barrel get charred—for flavor!—looks a hell of lot like the living flames of satan's demons are being unleashed from within those wooden staves.
The fire is (obviously) put out before the ingredients are put in, and, in addition to adding taste, also serves to sterilize the interior surface before that happens. The clip comes from the food loving folks at Potluck Video, who went behind-the-scenes at Nikka and filmed some of the production methods and a bit more about the company. It was established in 1934 after founder Masataka Taketsuru took a trip to the birthplace of Scotch and brought some of the techniques back with him.
In the decades since, the process has been refined to keep traditional elements, like direct coal firing, and develop others. For example, Nikka has 3,000 styles of whisky for internal blending. They've won some of the world's top blind tasting awards with their single cask. And to think, it all started with a raging inferno. [Potluck Video]