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RWBadley
06-02-2009, 11:11
I have an opportunity to get some vintage bottles. Some are 1950's-'60s, some even older. At what level of fill do you think the whiskey has lost it? Some of these are down maybe 10%, while some are down a bit more maybe up to 20%. The lower ones still any good to drink at all? Or just soft and gone...?

Thanks,

RW

ggilbertva
06-02-2009, 18:10
I have an opportunity to get some vintage bottles. Some are 1950's-'60s, some even older. At what level of fill do you think the whiskey has lost it? Some of these are down maybe 10%, while some are down a bit more maybe up to 20%. The lower ones still any good to drink at all? Or just soft and gone...?

Thanks,

RW

RW,

I've had a couple of bottles that showed signs of evaporation at the percentages you listed. I opened a 1959 Old Forester BIB that had lost around 10-15% and it was delicious. Another recent opening was a 1980 Old Grand Dad that had lost about the same amount and it didn't have any off notes. I will say that it's a crap shoot as some bottles can take a negative turn because of evaporation. Only thing to do is open and try.

RWBadley
06-03-2009, 00:04
RW,

I've had a couple of bottles that showed signs of evaporation at the percentages you listed. I opened a 1959 Old Forester BIB that had lost around 10-15% and it was delicious. Another recent opening was a 1980 Old Grand Dad that had lost about the same amount and it didn't have any off notes. I will say that it's a crap shoot as some bottles can take a negative turn because of evaporation. Only thing to do is open and try.

Thanks, I'll give it 'em a try. I opened a Walker's Deluxe '62 that was down about 10% and I think it was pretty fresh tasting. Maybe not new, but not bad at all...

Cheers,

RW

Bourbon Geek
06-03-2009, 05:34
I think the key here would be either cloudiness or a precipitate layer in the bottom of the bottle. If you have either, there will be taste and aroma change ... if it's still clear, shold be good to go. I have seen pre-great experiment botles that were clear and good ... but down 15 to 20 % ... I have also seen bottles of the same vintage that literally were as cloudy as Mississippi River mud.

StraightBoston
06-03-2009, 10:53
I'll agree -- yet again -- with Dave P. I've even tried a couple Prohibition-era bottles at almost 50% evaporation(!) and they tasted fine. I won't touch the cloudy ones, though.

10-20% just proves that cork is porous and alcohol is volatile, IMHO. Think of it as your personal "angel's share".