Methods to artificially age or speed aging of whisky have been published for over two centuries now and the only thing that has been proven is none of them work.
But you are correct cowdery: the point is that the market will figure itself out in terms of pricing. And since spirit producers can't add an "msrp" or print a price right on the bottle like other industries (think potato chips), we will see the highest price consumers will bear (for mass market brands).
Competition drives price down, but supply shortages force it up--hence my comment that, during this bourbon shortage, I bet many end consumers will explore alternative brands..
Ohio is as controlled as it gets and there are 3 tiers here.
The producers may ship liquor to the state warehouse, but the transaction is brokered by a distributor.
I'd personally love to see more places like Corsair, where almost everything they make is "experimental." The downside to these types of micros is that they often can't afford to play around and have a great everyday bourbon (at least not in reasonable supply/circulation). But I know Corsair uses small barrels to "age" faster (which apparently works pretty well?), but "faster" still means a couple years. They can't keep up with demand as is, and I'd hate to see them slow their experimentation in favor of lots of traditional product because I think the industry needs more of the experimental stuff. So you have to take the lesser of two evils in cases like this, balancing innovation for extra supply of a more traditional product.
In any case, I'm open to new ideas in this industry and will try anything once. Be it now or a hundred years from now, someone will probably look back on some of the things we do with bourbon today and compare it to the clay pot "stills" used in the earliest years of distillation. Will they still be honoring traditional distillation methods and barrel aging as they look back and reminiscence? Absolutely. That will never drop away--we won't let it! But will the bourbon most people drink everyday be produced the same way as today? Probably not. No clue how it will be made, but you've got to believe that in today's world of "disruption" and bourbon both being trendy, something going to happen sooner or later.
Actually, I don't "got to believe" anything.
Historically in Ohio, the state was both distributor and retailer, and actually performed both functions, though separately (so two, not one). Now the retailers are private owners who act as agents for the state; and even though the state is still technically the distributor, the actual work is done by a private, commercial distribution company. Since the state occupies two of the three tiers, you could argue that it's a two-tier system, but functionally it is a three-tier system, in that producers do not ship directly to retailers.
The producers wish they could sell direct to major chains, both on- and off-premise. They do in a way, in that they can do everything except actually write the order. The order must go through a distributor.
The system has broken down in the sense that prohibitions against the same person having ownership interest in more than one tier are easily gotten around, and the local companies distributors were supposed to be are now legal fictions, since most distribution is done by national or large regional companies. The idea was that a producer could be remote and hard to touch legally, but a distributor would be local and thus more readily brought before the law. It's still true in the sense that distributors are required to have in market assets. Therefore, a distributor who has business in both Ohio and Indiana can't supply Ohio entirely from its Indiana warehouse. At least, I don't think they've gotten around that one yet.
Like a lot of Prohibition vestiges, the problems these systems were meant to solve don't seem like problems anymore, but the system doesn't change because there are people who have a powerful financial interest in keeping things the same.
If you consider the state to be a distributor due to the regional warehouses, then Ohio has a 4th tier as the state buys through traditional distributors like Glazers and Southern Wine and Spirits.
Also, Ohio DLC is the only liquor retailer as the local shop does not own the booze on their shelves. It belongs to the DLC until it is sold on a consignment basis by a retail permit holder. This is only true for liquor over 21% ABV and not other alcoholic beverages.
Regardless, there are quite a few profit minded folks who touch the liquor between the distillery and the consumer.