View Full Version : Exploding Wax.

01-11-2011, 22:40
Why is it that Maker's Mark has the only wax capsule that doesn't explode when you open it? Is that another thing they have trademarked?

01-11-2011, 23:13
I do appreciate the fact that their wax doesn't pop and crumble all over the place.

KC's doesn't either. But it has been a long time since I bought a bottle. Booker's wax will fly all over.

01-11-2011, 23:45
The worst problem with wax I've personally had, was from a couple of older bottles of ETL. There were pieces of the crap all over my kitchen. :rolleyes:

A little side note here. I seem to remember reading or hearing somewhere, (maybe even here) about a way to make it easier to open bottles with brittle wax capsules. Warm the top of the bottle up a little. Run it under hot water for a few seconds. Personally, I've never tried it. I always forget about it until after I open one and make a mess. :smiley_acbt: Joe

01-12-2011, 00:12
I wonder if they all get their wax from the same manufacture? I know MM gets theirs from a place up here in Noblesville, IN. I've talked to to the guy and it seems to be a small three man operation.

01-12-2011, 07:12
The Fall 2010 issue of Bourbon Review had an article/ad (it's hard to tell which) about the wax company for Maker's. It's a small family operation named The Franco Company. It's run by Tom and Eric Hammonds. The article reads: "Eric's father, Tom Hammonds, created the formula for this perfect "wax seal" in his own garage, while enjoying the aromas of fresh baked bread eminating from his wife Gertrude's kitchen. Nah, sorry. The bread part is bogus. I made that up. But the garage part is from the story. :)...After six months of trial and error,...Tom finally hit upon the solution. And as he shared it with Bill Samuels, Sr., the two men began to develop what would eventually become a very strong bond...The wax must be of consistent color and gloss. When handled, the wax must not become discolored or display fingerprints. The wax must be able to withstand extreme heat and cold without cracking or melting. And, naturally, the wax must have the ability to make those famous tendrils....The Franco Company remains a very small, yet successful, family business. It serves the wine and bourbon industry along with some specialty foods, and Eric readily admits that virtually all of their business has been borne from their relationship with Maker's...Of course, he's always ready to answer the call when Maker's recommends Franco to anyone else needing this type of product..."

01-12-2011, 07:23
I have to wonder if thermal shock has anything to do with it. IIRC, one of the distilleries immediately after dipping dunks the wax in water to prevent any trademark infringing tendrils from forming. Such rapid cooling could cause stress in the material which, when opening, causes the wax to split forcefully resulting in said exploding.

01-12-2011, 08:23
Not bourbon, but Aberlour's wax doesn't crumble as much as some-- but it is thick. I had to use a utility knife to get into my last bottle of A'bunadh.

01-12-2011, 08:34
Blanton's wax goes all over the place and they don't dip it in water. One of the problems I have with Bookers and Bakers is the pull strip is too hight up on the bottle and when you get the wax off you can't get a good grip on the cork. I have to cut the wax back with a knife to get the cork out.

01-12-2011, 09:07
The EW SB I recently opened sort of cracked all over the place, making it uncomfortable to open and unsightly to look at.

I wish they would all have done with this faux retro packaging. It's so nice to open a nice, honest screw top...:rolleyes:

01-12-2011, 11:13
Sam Cecil told me that it was he, not Bill Sr., who did the research and experimentation to get the wax right. The Samuels had the vision of what they wanted, but it fell to Sam to figure out how to do it. He said it was perhaps the biggest challenge he faced in developing the product.

01-12-2011, 12:02
Is it really wax? I always figured it was some plastic wax-like compound. It is much more pliable than a lot of wax. I was opening a dessert wine the other day and I nearly cut my finger off trying to pry the wax off.

01-12-2011, 13:33
Yeah, some of the wax from Willett's bottles fly all over the place.

01-12-2011, 14:03
It is a "plastic" and not wax at all.

I've read the side of the boxes at MM and it says what it is.

Poly sumpinorudder. (spoken like a true scientist, eh?)

I have resorted too using a paring knife since my first encounter with an ETL gold wax seal back in the day.

I tried very hard to not let the flash of the light going on over my head blind many others.

Just because they give you a pull tab, doesn't mean you have to use it.

BTW: Warm is always better.

To anyone from HH and Beam listening. It would be nice if the hardness of that plastic was at least similar batch to batch. I mean, you don't seem to be able to change the flavor of your whiskeys. I think you should be able to use some of that variability reduction on your seals.

01-12-2011, 14:36
The worst bottle I've encountered was a bottle of Knob Creek. The wax was hard as a rock. I had to use Channel Locks to open the bottle. I have joked previously that Beam should put a set of Channel Locks in the KC holiday gift packages!


01-12-2011, 14:42
The Hirsch 16 BW were the worst I ever had to deal with.

01-16-2011, 10:45
For me they're all a pain to deal with. I use gloves, utility knife and a pair of pliers.

01-16-2011, 10:56
Also- maybe the fact that Makers doesnt use a cork while all the others do- might have something to do with it.