The Forge Clear Ice System promises “glass-like” ice spheres for your bourbon every single time.

By Mike Pomranz
June 19, 2019
GE Appliances’ FirstBuild

GE Appliances might be a go-to name for things like refrigerators or microwaves. But now, through its FirstBuild appliance incubator, the household brand is hoping to help with something a little more opulent than cleaning dishes: making perfectly clear ice spheres for your next glass of bourbon.

Today, FirstBuild has launched the funding phase for its Forge Clear Ice System — billed as an at-home icemaker “unlike any appliance available today.” Though the brand admits that clear ice “is the gold standard for connoisseurs of fine bourbon, whiskey and other spirits,” FirstBuild suggests that the Forge system is “revolutionizing the way clear ice is made” thanks in part to its “world’s first heated ice press.”

Though the Forge system helpfully doesn’t require any outside freezer, making its large ice spheres is a two-step process: The countertop ice maker produces “large blocks of gem-shaped ice” in about four hours (apparently faster than most other systems) and can store eight of these gems at a time. From there, when your next pour of whiskey calls, you slip one of the gems into the heated press which transforms it into a sphere “in about a minute, with virtually no pre-heat or recovery time.” Then, of course, the system comes with “precision crafted ice tongs” to transport your “glass-like ice sphere” into your actually-glass whiskey glass — and when your drinking whiskey, you definitely need the most precision tongs available.

“Our engineers have worked alongside whiskey experts and enthusiasts to create both an innovative way to make clear ice at home, and an experience that creates a wow every time,” Larry Portaro, executive director of FirstBuild, said in the announcement.

As an added flourish, FirstBuild is also offering a “custom ice brand” for an additional price. This add-on will allow you to quickly monogram your ice with your initials — because telling your friends to wait while you whip up awesome ice balls isn’t quite impressive enough. (You can also get a completely custom-designed press made that will turn your ice into any shape, but with a price tag of around $5,000, we’re kind of moving out of the “at-home” realm and into a more commercial application.)

As you probably now expect, the Forge Clear Ice System isn’t cheap. Though you can order the ice maker and the press separately, the whole package has an expected retail price of $1,499. However, since FirstBuild is going the “crowdfunding” route, you can preorder in the next 30 days for $1,199 with an expected delivery date of May 2020. Or if you order today — June 19, 2019 — GE Appliances is also offering an exclusive code to lock in the entire system for $999. Simply enter the code “FORGE” during checkout.

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