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  • Mike J. Walker

Episode 49: Is Molecular Whiskey the Future?

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

Ever want to know what a “Molecular Whiskey” really is? Well today, Mike J. Walker speaks to Alec Lee, CEO and Co-Founder of Endless West. Glyph, the worlds first molecular whiskey has taken the world by storm with 14 awards internationally. This revolutionary start-up is challenging the status quo of conventual whiskey norms through innovation. Listen in to hear about their revolutionary business model, why they are doing it, deep dive into the process, and the emerging technologies that make it possible.

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In this Episode 00:00 - Opener

About Endless West

Endless West is a technology startup using scientific methods to create its own blend of spirits. Its first product, Glyph, is the first spirit to be made ‘note by note’ using pure flavor and aroma molecules extracted from nature. Unlike conventional spirits, Glyph is made without traditional inputs like aging or barreling — which means significantly less wood, water and land is used in its production process.

Imagine what would happen if a chemist, a chef, and a sommelier teamed up and started tinkering together. That’s them! They’ve spent their careers in laboratories, kitchens, technology companies, and — of course — on both sides of the bar.

Founded in 2015 by Alec Lee and Mardonn Chua, and sommelier, Josh Decolongon, the company is headquartered in San Francisco and has raised $30 million in total funding to date.

For more information, visit

About Glyph

Inspired by an American bourbon, Glyph Spice isdescribed as a medium-bodied spirit with notes of nutmeg, cassia, oak spice, caramel undertones and banana aromas. It is crisp and carries an earthy, savory finish —perfect for those nights by the fire pit. Meanwhile, taking inspiration from a sherry cask aged Scotch, Glyph Royal offers a deep bold warmth for the soul that pushes the boundaries of Old-World traditions. It is full-bodied and luscious with notes of coffee, dried fruit, burnt sugar, almond skin and sherry, and ends with a light twist of citrus.

In addition to the new flavors, the company will be promoting the Glyph range under the brand’s newmarketing campaign titled “All of the Spirit, None of the Rules”, in which they celebrate the everyday societal rule breakers and benders —those who live their lives on their own terms.

"Who says time is necessary to make a fantastic spirit?" said Alec Lee, Endless West's CEO. "We've been supported and inspired by a number of open-minded, creative folks in the industry and beyond. Like Glyph, we want to highlight people who are doing things their own way."

In its first two years, Glyph Original has taken the world by storm. Glyph picked up 14 awards, including the 2020 SIP platinum medal, a 2019 silver medal from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and an 89-point silver medal from the Beverage Testing Institute.

Glyph Original, Spice and Royal are available in standard 750ml bottle sizes, retail for $25-30 each, and are available for purchase online via and in select states.

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The Process                                                                 

About Alec Lee

Alec Lee is the Co-Founder & CEO of Endless West, a food technology company using innovative methods to create wines and spirits at the molecular level. After leaving Harvard Business School to pursue a new startup venture, Alec teamed up with fellow scientist, Mardonn Chua, and sommelier, Josh Decolongon to form Ava Winery, now Endless West. Their first product, Glyph, is the first whiskey ever to be made note by note, using flavor and aroma molecules extracted from more efficient sources in nature. Unlike conventional whiskeys, Glyph is made without any barrel aging, which means significantly less wood, water, and land is used in its production process. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Alec studied science & biotechnology at the University of British Columbia and currently lives in San Francisco, California with his wife Lina and daughter Emma.

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