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bgast1
06-14-2011, 11:22
This is probably a very dumb question to many of you, but my curiosity has been piqued. Does a plastic cap instead of a cork mean that the bourbon is lower quality than a bottle that comes with a cork?

I just bought a bottle of Old Weller Antique that came with a plastic cap and I thought that it was pretty good bourbon and have heard/read here that it may even be better than Maker's Mark.

White Dog
06-14-2011, 11:29
The purpose of a seal is to keep out the air, nothing more or less. If real cork is used, I hate it when it crumbles. Synthetic cork can be a pain when they're tough to remove or put back in. Haven't seen any Bourbons using glass stoppers(Vino-Lock), but I love 'em. Screw caps, while not sexy to most, are very reliable.

As for quality of the contents, it has no bearing, although natural cork is used more on the high-end.

And I agree that Weller spanks MM right off the table.:cool:

BradleyC
06-14-2011, 11:30
OWA is a whole lot better than MM. In my opinion, cap vs. cork is just a marketing ploy. Plastic caps work better, last longer, and are much more reliable. Corks look nicer. There are some really good whiskies with caps and some mediocre at best bottlings with corks.

bgast1
06-14-2011, 11:34
Thanks for the reply. Since this is my thread and I mentioned the Old Weller Antique I would like to also ask which would be considered better (general consensus since it is entirely subjective), the OWA or the Special Reserve. I had both in my hand last night and settled on the OWA.

Parkersback
06-14-2011, 11:36
Thanks for the reply. Since this is my thread and I mentioned the Old Weller Antique I would like to also ask which would be considered better (general consensus since it is entirely subjective), the OWA or the Special Reserve. I had both in my hand last night and settled on the OWA.

It's the exact same bourbon at different proofs.

I think Bradley C's comments on plastic vs. cork are spot on. I mean, these are sub-$25 bottles, but some of my favorite bottles in the world (RittBIB, OGDBIB and Weller 12) are plastic screw top.

White Dog
06-14-2011, 11:39
Thanks for the reply. Since this is my thread and I mentioned the Old Weller Antique I would like to also ask which would be considered better (general consensus since it is entirely subjective), the OWA or the Special Reserve. I had both in my hand last night and settled on the OWA.

If BT is telling the truth when they say Antique is still a 7yr, then the only real difference is proof. Sometimes I take my Antique neat, and sometimes I cut it a bit. I never cut SR, but I love both. If you can find Weller 12, buy it. Outstanding value, although I'm sure that every SB'r wishes it was 107, or at least 100 proof.

But the only way for you to really know is to buy every damn Bourbon, and Rye, and try them all. That's what I do.:cool: :cool:

mrviognier
06-14-2011, 11:45
The idea of stuffing a piece of tree bark in a bottle of anything is an idea that needs to go away. It's bad for wine and for spirits. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about.

So There.

Okay...I'll climb down from my soap box.

bgast1
06-14-2011, 11:46
:slappin:Very limited budget. After being out of work for a year, I just landed a part time seasonal job.

I generally drink Evan Williams Black -- it is cheap. After hearing a great deal about Weller I decided to celebrate the job and my 30th wedding anniversary with OWA last night. I would have loved to get that Pappy I saw sitting in locked glass shelf, but at $99.00 it was waaay to rich for my budget. Even Knob Creek, which I want to try is too rich for me right now.

Thanks for the tips on how to drink the Wellers. I started off drinking the OWG neat, but found I enjoyed it more with the addition of 3 ice cubes. I never mix my whisk(e)y's except with plain tap water. I am still a beginner.

Parkersback
06-14-2011, 11:49
I generally drink Evan Williams Black -- it is cheap.

It's also good. There's no shame in EWB.

White Dog
06-14-2011, 11:53
For budget drinking, try some OGD BIB or 114. And since you're in Illinois, you can also get VOB BIB. Give 'em a whirl.

White Dog
06-14-2011, 11:55
The idea of stuffing a piece of tree bark in a bottle of anything is an idea that needs to go away. It's bad for wine and for spirits. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about.

So There.

Okay...I'll climb down from my soap box.

I seem to remember your Craic Syrah being sealed with tree bark.:lol:

bgast1
06-14-2011, 11:59
For budget drinking, try some OGD BIB or 114. And since you're in Illinois, you can also get VOB BIB. Give 'em a whirl.

Thanks, I was looking at them last night as well. I am trying to get to the point where I enjoy my bourbon neat rather than the 3 ice cubes, but so far I really like it cold.

nor02lei
06-14-2011, 13:32
[quote=mrviognier;250497]The idea of stuffing a piece of tree bark in a bottle of anything is an idea that needs to go away. It's bad for wine and for spirits. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about.
quote]

I say amen to that! I do also believe cans is a better seal to beer than normal beer bottles.

Leif

mrviognier
06-14-2011, 16:10
I seem to remember your Craic Syrah being sealed with tree bark.:lol:

NEVER was. Must've been someone else's Craic. :grin:

G.H.Adams
06-14-2011, 21:00
I'll second the mention of OGD BIB and 114. Both are great value pours. As to a screw cap or cork give me a cap as I have had too many corks crumble on me in the past. When I tried to open a bottle of Knob Creek Single Barrel I thought I was going to have to use a pair of channel lock pliers to get the synthetic cork out of the bottle.

emr454
06-14-2011, 21:09
I'll third the OGD 114 suggestions. Best barrel proof bourbon you'll find for $25-ish. Even with a natural cork, my bottle opened easily and with no signs of damage to the cork. Never had a problem with corks in whiskey. Wine, on the other hand...

Eric

mosugoji64
06-14-2011, 21:47
I'll third the OGD 114 suggestions. Best barrel proof bourbon you'll find for $25-ish. Even with a natural cork, my bottle opened easily and with no signs of damage to the cork. Never had a problem with corks in whiskey. Wine, on the other hand...

Eric

Is fourthing an option? I was pleasantly surprised what a great pour 114 was for the money. A friend of mine who tried OG BIB and didn't like it was even taken with 114.
If HH BIB is available in your area, grab one of those. They're great values as well.

JB64
06-15-2011, 00:02
I vote for cork. There is something about the sound made by the cork being pulled out of the bottle that I really like.

mrviognier
06-15-2011, 04:16
I vote for cork. There is something about the sound made by the cork being pulled out of the bottle that I really like.

Sure, the sound is nice...but 9 times out of 12 the smell is terrible.

MarkEdwards
06-15-2011, 04:43
Sure, the sound is nice...but 9 times out of 12 the smell is terrible.

"My cork has no nose."

"Well then, how does it smell?

"Terrible!" :slappin:

Young Blacksmith
06-15-2011, 06:11
There are some bourbons whose 750's are cork, and the half gallons are plastic. They taste the same to me.

Enoch
06-15-2011, 07:34
It actually seems to me that corks are used a lot more today than they were used 20 or so years ago. Every 20 year plus dusty I have found has a screw on top and they taste great. Every 15 year old WT I have found, the cork falls apart as I try to remove it. It still taste great though. I have several WTKS pewter tops with damaged corks. It's a shame because I love the tops.

PaulO
06-15-2011, 07:43
What I gather is the real problem with corks comes into play when a bottle is a couple or more years old. Old corks can shrink causing oxidation and evaporation, or taint the contents with "corked" taste. I haven't had the bad luck of a corked bottle, but most stuff I buy has not been on the shelf very long. One significant difference between whiskey and wine corks is; whiskey should allways be stored upright, wine on its side.

silverfish
06-15-2011, 07:57
I seem to recall a thread where someone posted of having a corked
bottle in the trunk of their car on a very hot day and the cork was
blasted out. Someone (Chuck ?) replied words to the effect that
"That wouldn't have happened with a screw cap."

BradleyC
06-15-2011, 08:21
I've had 2 bottles come "uncorked" in the heat of my car. First was a Jefferson's 17. That bottle didn't have plastic on top, just the little piece of paper. The other one was a bottle of BMH rye. The cork came out on that one and split the wax right off. A year or two ago, I picked up a VWFRR and set it on the passenger seat of my car. I was out running errands that day. After another stop, I got back into my car and it clearly smelled of whiskey. Upon inspection of my bottle, I noticed it was dripping through the tear tab hole in the foil top. It obviously had a bad cork. I have learned to ask for a box when purchasing, or at least try to keep bottles upright in the car so that they don't spill ALL of their contents in the case of corks popping out.

For the record, it was not all that hot on either of these occasions.




I seem to recall a thread where someone posted of having a corked
bottle in the trunk of their car on a very hot day and the cork was
blasted out. Someone (Chuck ?) replied words to the effect that
"That wouldn't have happened with a screw cap."

mrviognier
06-15-2011, 09:02
One significant difference between whiskey and wine corks is; whiskey should allways be stored upright, wine on its side.

I don't know about that...if the whiskey is cork-finished AND you plan to store it unopened for more than a year, I'd suggest storing it on its side.

AaronWF
06-15-2011, 09:09
I don't know about that...if the whiskey is cork-finished AND you plan to store it unopened for more than a year, I'd suggest storing it on its side.

I learned the hard way never to store whiskey on its side; not even overnight. A bottle of WLW '10 was on its side for maybe 10 hours in my cabinet before I noticed the cork had badly warped and began leaking the whiskey. I think it was laid side by side with an ER17, and that had no problem. My research has indicated that the higher proof whiskeys can eat right through even a good cork.

I don't know if it was Cowdery's blog or some other blog that referenced alcohol content, but I'll never store another bottle of whiskey on its side again. Not even on the ride home from the liquor store.

callmeox
06-15-2011, 09:16
I don't know about that...if the whiskey is cork-finished AND you plan to store it unopened for more than a year, I'd suggest storing it on its side.

That is very bad advice.

mrviognier
06-15-2011, 09:24
Hmmm. Never had a problem with long-term storage...but, of course, I'm not setting it @ 90 degrees...just tilt it over enough to keep the cork wet. And this is for long-term storage only.

sailor22
06-15-2011, 09:32
I don't know about that...if the whiskey is cork-finished AND you plan to store it unopened for more than a year, I'd suggest storing it on its side.

Maybe if you open it in a few months that will be OK but for any period of time much longer than that I would say you greatly increase your chances of producing a cork tainted bottle.

I have had problems with a few corks and run across numerous dusties that were cork tainted. Never had a problem with a screw top no matter how old the juice. Never had a problem with a synthetic cork.

bgageus
06-15-2011, 09:35
I had heard somwhere, maybe it was on a distillery tour somewhere, that the high alcohol content will break down synthetic corks, and they should be only used for wine. That was the rationalle given for using real cork by whoever told me that. I took it with a grain of salt and have not been able to confim the statement, but I have had high alcohol spirits with a synthetic cork no problem.

I wish I could remember who told me that.

mrviognier
06-15-2011, 09:39
Never had a problem with a screw top no matter how old the juice. Never had a problem with a synthetic cork.

Hence the industry term, "Screwed for GOOD" :grin:

White Dog
06-15-2011, 15:25
Hmmm. Never had a problem with long-term storage...but, of course, I'm not setting it @ 90 degrees...just tilt it over enough to keep the cork wet. And this is for long-term storage only.

???? The corks that are being discussed in regards to Whiskey are T-corks, which should never be stored on their sides, not even those sometimes used on Sherry or Port. Any bottle sealed with a regular wine cork may be placed on it's side, but never a T-cork. They will fail.

callmeox
06-15-2011, 15:28
I doubt that the combination of spirits and dissolved glue and cork is tasty.

bgast1
06-15-2011, 15:32
So then, if corks tend to fail, why don't they all go for plastic caps instead or is it an 'image' sort of thing?

mrviognier
06-15-2011, 17:56
???? The corks that are being discussed in regards to Whiskey are T-corks, which should never be stored on their sides, not even those sometimes used on Sherry or Port. Any bottle sealed with a regular wine cork may be placed on it's side, but never a T-cork. They will fail.

Sorry, guys...I was talking about CORKED bottles, not T-Corks. My bad.

craigthom
06-18-2011, 12:31
So then, if corks tend to fail, why don't they all go for plastic caps instead or is it an 'image' sort of thing?

Absolutely an image thing, especially with wine. Producers don't think anyone is going to pay over $20 for wine with a screw cap, and I think they are right.

Corks are more expensive and make poorer seals.

ebo
06-18-2011, 14:47
Absolutely an image thing, especially with wine. Producers don't think anyone is going to pay over $20 for wine with a screw cap, and I think they are right.

Corks are more expensive and make poorer seals.
Yep... but it makes superior fishing rod grips. :grin:

mrviognier
06-18-2011, 15:45
Absolutely an image thing, especially with wine. Producers don't think anyone is going to pay over $20 for wine with a screw cap, and I think they are right.

Corks are more expensive and make poorer seals.

Nobody will pay for a BAD +$20 screwcap wine. There are PLENTY of wines over $20 that are screwcapped and sell just fine, thank you.

Today the hesitation for screwcaps is more an issue for producers of wines below $8. For them, it's an image thing...they don't want their cheap wines looking, um, cheap.