allowing whiskies to breathe, and the ones that don't do wel

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Zeno Marx
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allowing whiskies to breathe, and the ones that don't do wel

Postby Zeno Marx » Tue May 06, 2003 10:10 pm

Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve Aged 10 years bourbon:

The first 2-4 days after I opened this bottle, I was happy and enthusiastic about Russell's Reserve. It was a full-flavored bourbon full of saddle leather and dusty flavors. I could taste it for minutes afterwards as well. But after those first few days, it progressively breathed itself into a very mediocre, almost "cheap" tasting whisky. I was baffled by how much the flavor changed over the three weeks I drank through this bottle. I can't honestly recommend this to anyone. If it held the flavors, I'd recommend this for any lover of bourbon. Unfortunately, it didn't, and I can't.

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Postby Gate » Wed May 07, 2003 5:09 pm

I am starting to wonder whether there is something in the notion that some whiskies handle oxidation worse than others. I have tsated the fag end of a bottle of Scapa against the start of a new one, and found no difference, and tasted the ancient remains of a bottle of Maker's Mark - about two inches in the bottle, probably that way for two years - against a new bottle, and found maybe a very little difference, but nothing that would worry me, and nothing I'd have noticed if I hadn't been looking for a difference. But I have just gone back to a bottle of Arran, which was half empty and which I really enjoyed when I opened it and emptied the first half, and it doesn't excite - it seems just a bit flat and almost metallic. This may just be mood/tastebuds on the day, but I have to say I've never found that sort of change in my appreciation of a whisky before. Could be just a duff cork stopper on the bottle, though. Has anyone else had the same disappointing experience?

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Postby hpulley » Wed May 07, 2003 6:39 pm

I too have found that some whiskies go flat while others remain good for some time and others even improve. Some are fine until the bottle is half empty, many others are fine until there is a dram or two left while others are fine all the way to the bottom of the bottle. Some improve after the first few days (and also improve with a few minutes of development upon pouring) while a few rare bad ones are fine the first day and dead awful thereafter even in a few days. Some don't go flat but become bitter (aldehydes?).

I haven't kept any records which would let me see if the ABV or cask type has any effect. Unfortunately for those that go flat I rarely buy another bottle to see if it was just a poor cork which ruined it.

Tough to say if this is the result of a bad seal, oxidation, loss of alcohol causing different congeners to come to the fore or what.


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Postby WhiskyHill » Thu May 08, 2003 12:26 am

I've found that on a couple of excessively woody old Springbanks, a good airing out helped tame them. I have a bottle of OMC 1967 Springer in the cabinet; my first couple of drams out of the bottle were extremely woody. It sat for a few months before I returned to it and it had gotten better. Now the bottle is down below half and it's quite drinkable. A more dramatic experience was from Ardbeggeddon (the 2002 gathering I believe). One of the ringleaders brought out a bottle of Springbank 40 LE, and again it had a very woody finish to it. About half the bottle got killed the first night. The next day we returned to it and in the opinions of many, the woodiness had diminished quite a bit overnight.

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Postby peatreek1 » Thu May 08, 2003 12:01 pm

I have found that in general most whiskys do improve somewhat a few weeks after openning the bottle. I've never had one go flat (as opposed to start and stay flat) probably because I finish most bottles within 3 months of openning.

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Postby skywalker » Thu May 08, 2003 1:20 pm

I remember one bottle that managed to survive in my cabinet with just 10 cl in it, and even after that time there was no sign of deterioration. Up to now I didn´t experience the phenomena that a whisky got worse, most of the time the whisky even improves after opening. The only exception i had was a Mortlach SMWS, it turned somehow sour after 6 months.

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