View Full Version : Will bourbons taste change in an unopened bottle?

01-31-2003, 19:43
I was just wondering if bourbon would age for the good or bad over time in an unopened bottle. I know that the taste changes once the bottle is opened (from experience), but I was thinking of grabbing a few extra bottles of Stagg to keep around. I'm wondering relative to # of years. Kinda like some wine I have around from the 70s...

01-31-2003, 22:51
Does Bourbon age after it comes out of the Oak Barrels? My guess is no but I am such a knob about bourbon.

02-03-2003, 12:15
as I understand it, whiskey does not change in the bottle (provided it is kept around room temperature, etc)

there isn't any wood in there to alter it.

Once you open it though, it can change a bit. (Like my EC18 has).

02-03-2003, 15:58
High proof distilled beverages, will not change when intense light and oxygen are ruled out. But, what is the point of storing away stagg or any other bourbon, unless it is a bourbon no longer available. It appears stagg or another ultra bourbon will be released on a limited but regular basis.

02-04-2003, 02:16
There have been some opinions expressed here that it does continue to change in the bottle, but the generally accepted answer is no, it doesn't. Because of the high alcohol content, whiskey is safe from any microbiological action, so it's pretty darn stable for extended periods. For long term storage you want a good tight seal so no oxygen gets in, and if the bottle is cork finished you absolutely want it upright, to avoid cork taint (in other words, the opposite fo the rule for storing wine).

02-04-2003, 15:00

What do you think about the possibility of "plastic taint"? (If a screw-top bottle is stored on its side?)

Thinking about plastic screw-top bottles just now, I realized that there may be a hidden advantage to squat-shaped bottles, such as ORVW. Because of the shape it would be less tempting to store it on its side, as compared to, say Old Grand Dad.

Another off-the-wall thought... Someone here wrote about periodically tipping all his bottles to moisten the corks, thereby assuring that they wouldn't dry out. Is that really necessary, even assuming that the bottle is never tipped for the purpose of pouring? If done regularly enough to keep the cork damp, would the practice lead to "cork taint", just like storing the bottle on its side, only slower?

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

02-04-2003, 16:32
Oxygen can enter a bottle in the form of moisture or air circulating. I think those gobbs of sealing wax is the ticket. In the lab, when we are working with ether or chloroform, we'll seal it with parafin wax to keep it from reacting with the oxygen in the air. Air and water are the enemy. There is O in the air and there also O in water.

02-04-2003, 18:45
There is no good reason to bring the liquid into contact with the closure, regardless of its type. Only bad things can happen.

02-04-2003, 20:23
except, of course, to pour a drink!

02-05-2003, 20:12
Well, I can think of at least a few good reasons for storing Stagg:

1. BT may decide not to bottle another batch;
2. Even if BT does, it may not be as good as this batch of 137.6 proof uber bourbon;
3. Even if BT does and it is as good, it will likely be somewhat different and you'll have a stash of this first bottling for comparison that you can enjoy down the road;
4. Even if BT does and it proves to be no different at all, you'll have lost nothing but storage space while preventing against lost opportunities that might otherwise have befallen you;
5. You may need some around simply to inflict TBS at Festival time;
6. It's unlikely to get any cheaper than it sells for now; and, most importantly,
7. Storage will forestall, at least for a while, the sheer horror of having to open one's last remaining bottle of Stagg. A sad day, indeed, that would be.

02-05-2003, 20:56
Good reasons all, Cliff. If I may is it possible for me to add #8 to your list, or at the very least # 1 on my list

# 8 Or #1
Because looking at all those bottles of George T Stagg makes me feel all warm and fuzzy! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif

When I buy a bottle of Stagg ( believe me , I know of what I speak) I feel like I have saved an orphan. It's off to a fine home now you little scallywag. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif There it is , I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy again. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif