Reason I ask is that I bought a bottle of The Singleton of Dufftown recently which had a slight musty smell and taste to it. I've since bought another bottle of the same and that did not have the same musty overtones.
lionelttrain wrote:...the recommendation is to store whisky upright, which I would think will eventually allow the cork to shrink and oxidize the contents of the bottle. Given the infrequent occurrence of contaminated corking, I would lay it down and take my chances.
The worst strategy anyone could possibly adopt would be to store spirits (with cork stoppers) horizontally. The resulting continuous contact between high-alcohol spirit and cork will reek havoc with the latter (not to mention with any adhesive utilized to attach the cork to the top of the stopper) within a rather short period of time.
When it comes to contact between liquid contents and corks, whisky simply IS NOT LIKE wine!
Also, unless the cork stopper is malfunctioning (in terms of tightness when inserted into the bottle neck), oxidation will normally be extremely minimal, even over quite long periods of time.
If anyone is planning to store bottles of whisky for decades, then they could always bolster the effective air-tightness of the seal by adding a wax (or other) covering as an adjunct.
P.S. If you're ever in a store and notice bottles of spirit lying on their sides, do everyone a favour and immediately alert the store staff that those bottles should be stored upright. (I've occasionally come across this phenomenon, usually when being shown boxes on their sides in back storerooms.)
I find screwcaps a lot better. They have quality differences, but I particular like the way its done in Japan. Giving the bottle a cheap look and not the posh look as corks do, this is not used by many, despite the quality differences
Yes I had tried a corked whisky, but it's rare. The main problem is broken corks (from bottles standing up) or disssolved corks.
A good solution would be to see more usage of artificial corks
And wouldn't whisky just dissolve artificial corks or become tainted in some way. It would take some time to be sure of the long term effects these would have on the whisky. I'm not bothered about the downsides to natural cork, the quality of modern cork is exceptional and those useless granule corks are rarely seen these days. And we'd miss the pop-glug-glug. Not to mention the European jobs, culture, and wildlife that would be preserved.
But I liked the look of the cork.
I have experienced cork problems (made by traditional cork), for quite a lot of my bottle purchases, ranging from both recent and not so recent bottlings, which have made me conclude that this material is very unsuitable for whisky
To such and extent I have started to love the sound of opening screw capped whiskies
I don't think the usage of corks in whisky or not will affect the cork-business. A lot of wine out there
But a lot of wine producerts have changed material as well, I am suree why..
MacDeffe wrote:But a lot of wine producers have changed material as well, I am sure why..
This is still an area of debate as far as I'm concerned. Generally speaking, the pros and cons (with wine) break down as follows...
1. Allow (ideally) a slow air-fluid/oxidation process, which can (in particular) benefit wines (both red and white) suited to medium to long-term cellaring.
2. Add a certain cachet to broaching a bottle.
3. Benefit the environment in terms of cork trees providing habitats for a multitude of species.
1. Variability of quality as well as periodic occurrence of tainting of the contents.
2. Succeptibility to degradation over the mid to long-term, often necessitating recorking of bottles.
1. Relative impermeability when compared to natural corks.
1. Often more difficult to remove with corkscrews.
2. Can prematurely strip teflon (or other non-stick) coatings from corkscrews.
3. Almost impossible to reinsert into bottles once removed.
1. Usually provide almost air-tight seals when properly done.
2. Significantly retard air-fluid exchange/oxidation (particularly advantageous with regard to delicately balanced white wines).
1. Less stylish when broaching bottles. Let's face it... There's little cachet in unscrewing the top closure of a wine bottle!
2. Can retard air-fluid exchange/oxidation to the point of slowing down the maturation process of the contents to a 'crawl'. This is OK if you have the patience to wait decades for your cellarable wine to reach its apogee. Otherwise...
3. Requires hefty investment of wineries in the specialized machinery necessary to install screwtops.
A little something interesting about cork.
bredman wrote:The issues for wine may be quite different, 5% (seems to be accepted by all) of wine bottles opened are ruined by TCA's effect on the flavour.
While I'm not at all sure about the statistically analyzed occurrence of 'corked' wines, I do know that many a bottle of 'tainted' wine returned (either in a restaurant or to a retailer) is not, in fact, corked. Many a time, such a wine is affected by a wild yeast named Brettanomyces. This yeast is often present in old wine barrels, and it can impart a 'sweaty saddle' characteristic to wine that many (especially those not familiar with it, and more attuned to modern-style, 'clean', fruit-thrust wines) may interpret as a flaw. However, many a great wine displays, to varying degrees, this very trait.
Back on track, I agree that when it comes to whisky, the quality of the corks utilized has improved lately. The only type I take issue with, though, it the composite cork (such as that employed in some recent batches of Laphroaig Quarter Cask I've purchased). Give me a straight-grained, quality cork anytime.
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