Re: Real vs Fake
Agreed - the addition of wood chips is invariably a sign of someone trying to disguise a cheap distillate, generally from extractive industrial 4 column stills. cough *panama* cough.
On the other hand, a company in California by the name of Lost Spirits has succeeded in producing some superb aged spirits ... equivalent to 20yr rums ... in six days.
And I mean they won industry awards, and gained recognition from a lot of the big names before they revealed their process. See http://www.wired.com/2015/04/lost-spirits/ for a good writeup after the reveal.
They do around 550L per run, but to be fair their spirits don't always mix well in cocktails - they've been engineered to be a specific flavour profile, and adulterating the mix can lead to unpredictable results.