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trumpstylz
12-30-2011, 19:16
A friend recently got a bottle of high west rezendevous that ended up having some wierd flavors- tasted like a spearamint bourbon. Anyways, it ended up that the cork was rotten or that the whiskey oxidized.

I feel that the best option is the screw cap. But if bottlers really need to make an impression with their high end whiskies (and not lose customers over something as trivial as using screw tops) that they should start using the sythetic (plastic?) corks. I think a friend had had a wt kentucky spirit, and while the top of the cork (the wooden handle part) actually broke off, he was still able to get at the stuff inside and seal it up because they used a synthetic cork.

High west did replace the bottle however.

Clavius
12-30-2011, 19:19
I'm not a big fan of real cork being used for any whiskies. As I understand it, you don't want to store a bottle of whiskey sideways if it has a real cork as this may affect the whiskey itself. But if you store it long term right side up you risk the cork eventually drying out at some point. Granted we're talking long term here. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong on either of the above.

Enoch
12-31-2011, 06:15
I think, just like wine, that buyers feel a natural cork is better. The wine industry has known for years that synthetic is better but it hurts sales.

I took 8 different bottles of bourbon to my wife's family Christmas weekend (nearly 40 serious drinkers). They know nothing about whiskey/bourbon/rye and yet all the cork bottles were empty by Sunday and the screw-tops were hardly touched (which included a 1980 OGD BIB - a wonderful bourbon).

I even filled an empty Pappy 15 with cheap new Old Fitz and they raved about it, exclaiming how they could see it was worth $60 a bottle and yet another bottle of new Old Fitz they didn't like....same bourbon.

It also seems the the number of cork tops has increased since the 80s with the emergence of high-end SB and 1B bourbons.

Last thought... even my 1934 bottle of Old Taylor has a screw-on top.

MJL
12-31-2011, 06:55
Refilling empty bottles is just evil.....:slappin:

MJL
12-31-2011, 06:57
Agreed with the whole discussion. Anyone whose pulled enough cork stoppers from spirit bottles will eventually confirm that they are less than optimal. My only beef with synthetic corks or stoppers are that they can be a real pain to pull and even harder to reinsert. I recently bought an older bottle of Wild Turkey Russel Reserve 101 proof that lost about an ounce from the cork on the way home. Pissed me the hell off but what can I do?

Special Reserve
12-31-2011, 07:01
Real cork has aesthetic value but nothing else. I've had to pull too many broken corks out of bottles and I'm not a fan of synthetic cork either.

The lowly screw cap is the best.

Enoch
12-31-2011, 07:04
The lowly screw cap is the best.

I totally agree!

Enoch
12-31-2011, 07:04
Refilling empty bottles is just evil.....:slappin:

But it's fun to mess with my brothers-in-law.

Special Reserve
12-31-2011, 07:20
Refilling empty bottles is just evil.....:slappin:

I do this. I found a case of lower shelved bourbon that was 30 to 35 years old that I got at a low cost. I transfer a bottle to a classy bottle and use it to make bourbon and Coke or ginger drinks. None of this bourbon is terrible but when you are accustomed to drinking upper mid-shelved bourbons or better it is hard to drink lower shelved bourbons neat.

I always make the drink strong and everybody who is served this thinks it is great. Of course they are not hardcore bourbon drinkers.

trumpstylz
12-31-2011, 07:26
Real cork has aesthetic value but nothing else. I've had to pull too many broken corks out of bottles and I'm not a fan of synthetic cork either.


I agree, the screw top would be optimal. But if I had to choose the lesser of 2 evils, the synthetic cork would win hands down.

Enoch
12-31-2011, 07:40
Awhile back I purchased a shoebox full of synthetic corks on ebay in various sizes and use them when others begin to have problems.

trumpstylz
12-31-2011, 08:05
Awhile back I purchased a shoebox full of synthetic corks on ebay in various sizes and use them when others begin to have problems.

I'm guessing they're wine corks?

cas
12-31-2011, 08:07
Are any bourbons bottled with synthetic corks? I can't think of one.
Craig

fricky
12-31-2011, 08:17
I like corks in whiskey bottles. I never had a problem with cork taint or any other negative effect of cork in whiskey. I have had cork-related problems in bottles of wine. I have also had a difficult time in removing synthetic stoppers from wine bottles.

Special Reserve
12-31-2011, 08:31
Are any bourbons bottled with synthetic corks? I can't think of one.
Craig

JRPS 17 had a synthetic cork.

trumpstylz
12-31-2011, 08:32
Are any bourbons bottled with synthetic corks? I can't think of one.
Craig

I'm pretty sure kentucky spirit is, as well as the costco bourbon. Google search seems to indicate that MM46 and some of the JPS 17 and Knob creek bottlings use it as well.

Someone else mentioned previously that RR 90 might also use it.

Enoch
12-31-2011, 08:57
I'm guessing they're wine corks?

The are actually brand new t-corks similar to the one used in Maker's 46. Some guy bought them for his bar. His bar went under so he sold them in lots of about 100.

Enoch
12-31-2011, 08:59
Are any bourbons bottled with synthetic corks? I can't think of one.
Craig

Maker's 46 and Jefferson's 10 year Rye.

My current KC and WTKS use natural corks.

RegChumpington
12-31-2011, 09:01
How do the synthetic corks differ from what's used on the bottles of Buffalo Trace's White Dog? Every one I've seen of those separates from the top and the whole thing becomes a real chore. ("Why am I going to this trouble to open a white dog!?")

I'm sure there's a design flaw there...

I had an Abhainn Dearg last month that was painful because of cork taint. Even though screw tops feel cheaper/bottom shelf, I think I'd gladly go that direction.

Enoch
12-31-2011, 09:05
How do the synthetic corks differ from what's used on the bottles of Buffalo Trace's White Dog? Every one I've seen of those separates from the top and the whole thing becomes a real chore. ("Why am I going to this trouble to open a white dog!?")

I'm sure there's a design flaw there...

I had an Abhainn Dearg last month that was painful because of cork taint. Even though screw tops feel cheaper/bottom shelf, I think I'd gladly go that direction.

The White Dog uses a synthetic cork. The ones I bought are a solid piece so it can't separate. Similar to the ones used in Magellan Gin. They look similar to the picture below.

ebo
12-31-2011, 09:36
Are any bourbons bottled with synthetic corks? I can't think of one.
Craig
I had a bottle of Old Ezra 101 that had a synthetic cork. None of the bottles I've had in the last year are corked... they all have screw caps.

B.B. Babington
12-31-2011, 15:11
though it's not US whiskey, I think crown XR uses synthetic similar to 1800 tequila and BT white dog.

I prefer plastic twist top, but have had them crack.

I think some small productions use stopper for ease of hand bottling.

steeltownbbq
12-31-2011, 16:11
I think, just like wine, that buyers feel a natural cork is better. The wine industry has known for years that synthetic is better but it hurts sales.



The wine industry struggles with the cork issue too. The consumer (not us obviously) equates screw caps with an inferior product. But the producers know that natural cork often leads to all kinds of bad things happening with their product. But, people won't buy a premium product with out a cork.

Good book on the wine industry's attempt to overcome the deficiencies and cost of natural cork, and the challenges in marketing synthetic closures.


Author Taber, George M. (https://sciron.cuyahoga.lib.oh.us/search%7ES41?/aTaber%2C+George+M./ataber+george+m/-3,-1,0,B/browse) Title To cork or not to cork : tradition, romance, science, and the battle for the wine bottle / George M. Taber.

http://www.amazon.com/Cork-Not-Tradition-Romance-Science/dp/B003JTHSJK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325376025&sr=8-1

ILLfarmboy
12-31-2011, 20:54
The White Dog uses a synthetic cork. The ones I bought are a solid piece so it can't separate. Similar to the ones used in Magellan Gin. They look similar to the picture below.

Glad to see they have fixed that problem.

The only synthetic cork that I've encountered that isn't hard to pull out of the bottle is Maker's 46.

Evey damn bottle I've had of El Tosoro tequila with a synthetic cork has separated. Ditto for BT's white dog (older tops)

spinningrecords
01-01-2012, 05:47
Are any bourbons bottled with synthetic corks? I can't think of one.
Craig

Anchor's 18th Century Rye. (99% sure)
Stranahan's Whiskey

ethangsmith
01-01-2012, 07:21
Since I often deal with 30+ year old Michter's decanters, dealing with old corks has become commonplace with me- and I hate it! If anyone needs proof that using real corks is a horrible idea, stop by and I'll show you what years do to them. I've had to open and pour our many mint condition, full bottles due to the cork rotting out, allowing air in and whiskey to leak out. Most of the "sealed" decanters, when opened contain heavily oxidized whiskey that looks like apple cider and smells terrible! My vote also goes to screw caps or synthetic corks.

And as for synthetic corks- Ezra Brooks products, which claim to be "The Only Bourbon Worth of a Cork" come with synthetic corks. My (new) jug of Platte Valley Corn Whiskey also comes with a synthetic cork. So at least McCormick and other products that come out of that plant have synthetic corks.

nor02lei
01-01-2012, 08:10
My vote also goes to screw caps or synthetic corks.


Mine to for the same reasons as yours.

Leif

PaulO
01-01-2012, 08:27
I keep a collection of corks on hand, in case a new one separates on opening. I wonder if the separation happens because higher end bottles can sit in the store longer. Does anyone know how to get a cork out of a bottle it has fallen into? I have an old decanter with a cork inside.

sailor22
01-01-2012, 09:21
I vote for screw tops. They work, they don't leak, they don't rot and they look retro.

trumpstylz
01-01-2012, 11:45
I vote for screw tops. They work, they don't leak, they don't rot and they look retro.

I just don't think the average consumer is educated enough (unless its something like van winkle 10 year, which is fairly sought after, sales would take a big hit). So, until consumers do become enlightened on the subject, I say synthetic corks (given the screw cap is not an option).

Synthetic corks might break when trying to get them out, but they don't rot an don't taint the product (think dustys- a few years down the road and up). It might take a little work, but you will still get it out in the end.

awachatz
01-01-2012, 13:07
Are any bourbons bottled with synthetic corks? I can't think of one.
Craig

Prichard's also uses synthetic corks. Personally, as long as the bourbon tastes good, it doesn't matter to me. If I placed a vote and pick one, I would place it for the synthetic cork as long as it is one solid piece.

rmallen
01-01-2012, 14:02
Does anyone know how to get a cork out of a bottle it has fallen into? I have an old decanter with a cork inside.

Give this a try:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL1ovAYtKuQ

Halifax
01-02-2012, 09:07
I like the way the "The Fox" VG 90s are done... Screw top dipped in wax. It works, and it still looks damn good on the liquor shelf.

B.B. Babington
01-02-2012, 10:37
I like the way the "The Fox" VG 90s are done... Screw top dipped in wax. It works, and it still looks damn good on the liquor shelf.Yes! Probably the all time best method for long term storage of a bottle that I've ever seen on a whiskey.

cas
01-03-2012, 15:14
Are synthetic corks supposed to function the same as real cork? Or is the use of a synthetic cork (as opposed to a screw top) just to preserve the look/feel of having a cork?
Craig

Enoch
01-03-2012, 15:33
Are synthetic corks supposed to function the same as real cork? Or is the use of a synthetic cork (as opposed to a screw top) just to preserve the look/feel of having a cork?
Craig
My bet is they are trying to preserve the look of a natural top.

One note: If the inside of the neck/top of the bottle is tapered then synthetic corks don't work very well. They don't give or conform to the shape and will eventually rise up. I've had this happen with a couple of my replacements.

jcg9779
01-03-2012, 17:15
I like the way the "The Fox" VG 90s are done... Screw top dipped in wax. It works, and it still looks damn good on the liquor shelf.

Johnny Drum Private Stock and Pure Kentucky XO are the same way.

smokinjoe
01-03-2012, 17:19
Johnny Drum Private Stock and Pure Kentucky XO are the same way.

And, so does Maker's Mark...Wait...I forgot...That's just Marketing mumbo-jumbo. ;)

jcg9779
01-03-2012, 17:25
And, so does Maker's Mark...Wait...I forgot...That's just Marketing mumbo-jumbo. ;)

Only on the 1.75's....right? Or on smaller bottles also? It's been a while since I've bought a bottle of Maker's (I repurposed a 750ml OWA bottle to hold the rest of my 1.75L that I bought a while back).

trumpstylz
01-04-2012, 20:17
I like the way the "The Fox" VG 90s are done... Screw top dipped in wax. It works, and it still looks damn good on the liquor shelf.

I have to agree. It's probably hands down the best ratio of looking good in the eyes of the masses to doing what its supposed to do. But still, absent this, please use synthetic corks (or to phrase it better- please stop using material that is made from an expensive, dead, and deteriorating natural product).

LongBeachScott
01-04-2012, 20:38
The wine industry (in California, at least) is making some headway in the use of screw tops. There are some higher end producers who are real zealots - Villa Creek in Paso Robles, for instance. I am seeing them on more and more higher end wines. Australian and South American wines are starting to use them too.

It is basically an education issue. Buyers associate cork with quality, but they are typically casual buyers. Aficionados normally know that natural cork has no real benefits and that synthetic corks are somewhat better but still don't seal as well as a screw top. Plus, screw tops are pretty cheap.

I see no reason the bourbon industry couldn't benefit from the changing perception of the wine world. By the way, there is no real reason to go to synthetic corks. Make the move straight to screw tops and educate the consumer.

Shuboy
01-04-2012, 21:56
But if you store it long term right side up you risk the cork eventually drying out at some point. Granted we're talking long term here. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong on either of the above.
I seem to recall someone on a Scotch forum mentioned a study was done on this. It was discovered that the alcohol fumes within the bottle (or rather the space between liquid and cork) will keep the cork moist for some time. However I wonder if ambient temperature and humidity also have something to do with it.

GreggJ
01-05-2012, 10:21
Are any bourbons bottled with synthetic corks? I can't think of one.
Craig

Jeffersons Presidential Select 17 is synthetic. Darn thing broke off from its handle when I went to pull from it last week. :hot:

Not wo worry though, I got the sucker out and was able to enjoy this fine SW juice.

Lazer
03-13-2012, 20:00
The last two bottles I opened, FR1B and WTRB, both corks broke. I don't like paying for nice whiskey and then have to pour it out into a decanter because of cork malfunction. We want screw tops!:smiley_acbt: Or at least synthetic corks.

yountvillewjs
03-13-2012, 21:22
Synthetic corks might break when trying to get them out, but they don't rot an don't taint the product (think dustys- a few years down the road and up).

I wouldn't be so sure about that. I'm in the wine production business and there have been some spectacular synthetic disasters. I'm leery of anything in contact with high proof alcohol over long periods of time.

Lazer
03-14-2012, 06:29
I wouldn't be so sure about that. I'm in the wine production business and there have been some spectacular synthetic disasters. I'm leery of anything in contact with high proof alcohol over long periods of time.

Screw tops it is then!:grin:

StraightNoChaser
03-14-2012, 10:11
I even filled an empty Pappy 15 with cheap new Old Fitz and they raved about it, exclaiming how they could see it was worth $60 a bottle and yet another bottle of new Old Fitz they didn't like....same bourbon.

lmao, that's amazing. blind drinking is the best!

Flyfish
03-22-2012, 17:52
When we toured Buffalo Trace, I asked why some of their bourbons had corks and some screw tops. The answer was "Marketing." Consumers associate real cork with real quality. On an intellectual level, I am ready to accept this. On an emotional level, I just love the sound of a cork coming out of a bourbon bottle.

Hershmeister
03-22-2012, 17:55
I prefer cork stoppers

Lazer
03-22-2012, 20:28
When we toured Buffalo Trace, I asked why some of their bourbons had corks and some screw tops. The answer was "Marketing." Consumers associate real cork with real quality. On an intellectual level, I am ready to accept this. On an emotional level, I just love the sound of a cork coming out of a bourbon bottle.

Dear whiskey bottlers,
If real cork = real quality, then why do your real corks really crumble?
-Lazer.

smokinjoe
03-22-2012, 20:43
The sound of the crack of the bat on a solid hit...or the sound of a good fastball smacking into the catchers glove, the sound of a basketball through the net on a "swish", the sound of a pad-on-pad hit in football, the sound of a money-putt plopping into the cup, the smacking sound of my hand landing squarely on Adriana Lima's..uh...sorry....got carried away there...:D........and the "thwump" of the cork being pulled from a bottle of whiskey...These are the sounds of pure enjoyment.

Gimme cork. Every time.

Andre28
03-22-2012, 20:48
Only on the 1.75's....right? Or on smaller bottles also? It's been a while since I've bought a bottle of Maker's (I repurposed a 750ml OWA bottle to hold the rest of my 1.75L that I bought a while back).

The 700ml bottle of Makers in Australia now have a screw top (dipped in wax of course). I only recently found this out, i always thought they used a cork of some description.

Wall Eye
03-23-2012, 05:39
The 700ml bottle of Makers in Australia now have a screw top (dipped in wax of course). I only recently found this out, i always thought they used a cork of some description.

I don't ever remember Maker's with a cork - and that goes back a ways.

Hershmeister
03-23-2012, 05:59
The sound of the crack of the bat on a solid hit...or the sound of a good fastball smacking into the catchers glove, the sound of a basketball through the net on a "swish", the sound of a pad-on-pad hit in football, the sound of a money-putt plopping into the cup, the smacking sound of my hand landing squarely on Adriana Lima's..uh...sorry....got carried away there...:D........and the "thwump" of the cork being pulled from a bottle of whiskey...These are the sounds of pure enjoyment.

Gimme cork. Every time.

+1 on ALL of the above

fricky
03-23-2012, 06:29
I prefer a stoneware jug with a corn cob stopper.

Lazer
03-23-2012, 07:37
The sound of the crack of the bat on a solid hit...or the sound of a good fastball smacking into the catchers glove, the sound of a basketball through the net on a "swish", the sound of a pad-on-pad hit in football, the sound of a money-putt plopping into the cup, the smacking sound of my hand landing squarely on Adriana Lima's..uh...sorry....got carried away there...:D........and the "thwump" of the cork being pulled from a bottle of whiskey...These are the sounds of pure enjoyment.

Gimme cork. Every time.

doesn't a synthetic cork make the same sound? Do you also enjoy pouring a glass of whiskey and fishing out pieces of cork? Does it remind you of fishing? :grin:

smokinjoe
03-23-2012, 07:57
doesn't a synthetic cork make the same sound? Do you also enjoy pouring a glass of whiskey and fishing out pieces of cork? Does it remind you of fishing? :grin:

I don't find synthetic corks to have the same depth and richness in it's thwomp as does real cork. :) And, on a side note, y'all got to quit Conaning these corks out of their bottles! Take it easy Barbarian. A gentle twist and light pull is all it takes! That said, there may be no hope for CGF WT 12's...

grubbster
03-23-2012, 17:44
y'all got to quit Conaning these corks out of their bottles! Take it easy Barbarian.
I think you created a new verb! I like it.

yountvillewjs
03-23-2012, 20:28
Personally I prefer non-tainted, bourbon-as-it-was-intended-to-be more than the romance of cork. Screw cap please.

smokinjoe
03-24-2012, 08:10
I think you created a new verb! I like it.

I wish I could take credit for it, but I lifted that from an old Dennis Miller bit. His thing was that airline flight attendants instruct passengers before take-off that in case of an emergency and sudden loss of cabin pressure, you should gently pull the oxygen mask down, and place over your mouth...His thing was that instead what would happen, is that people would be Conaning those things off the bulkhead...I really enjoy old Dennis Miller material. His "Off-White Album" is hilarious. It's >25 years old now, I've listened to it a hundred times, and it still makes me hoot.

But, since I haven't heard him use Conaning "live" in a couple of decades, and I have been...maybe I can take ownership! :D

mosugoji64
03-24-2012, 09:23
I wish I could take credit for it, but I lifted that from an old Dennis Miller bit. His thing was that airline flight attendants instruct passengers before take-off that in case of an emergency and sudden loss of cabin pressure, you should gently pull the oxygen mask down, and place over your mouth...His thing was that instead what would happen, is that people would be Conaning those things off the bulkhead...I really enjoy old Dennis Miller material. His "Off-White Album" is hilarious. It's >25 years old now, I've listened to it a hundred times, and it still makes me hoot.

But, since I haven't heard him use Conaning "live" in a couple of decades, and I have been...maybe I can take ownership! :D

It's an orphaned verb. You can claim it.
:lol:

grubbster
03-25-2012, 10:13
But, since I haven't heard him use Conaning "live" in a couple of decades, and I have been...maybe I can take ownership! :D
Yes, if it has been that long his intellectual rights to it are gone. It is in the public domain now. :slappin:

macdeffe
03-25-2012, 10:58
I dislike corks as well, seen too many broken and rotten over the years. As most others here I prefer a good quality screwcap!

Steffen

nblair
03-28-2012, 15:42
I want to like cork, but when it ruins a fine bottle of bourbon, I draw the line there. Has anyone heard of DIAM cork? A hybrid of natural and synthetic with no cork taint. Seems like a good alternative.

yountvillewjs
03-28-2012, 16:00
I want to like cork, but when it ruins a fine bottle of bourbon, I draw the line there. Has anyone heard of DIAM cork? A hybrid of natural and synthetic with no cork taint. Seems like a good alternative.

DIAM's are an agglomerated cork product. Basically they grind up a bunch of natural cork, treat it for taint then reform them with pressure and glue. I'm not sure these would perform any better than natural cork, especially if in contact with the actual spirit, as I would think the alcohol would break down the glue.

nblair
03-28-2012, 16:56
I suppose liquor and glue isn't the best combo...

Hershmeister
03-28-2012, 19:37
I don't find synthetic corks to have the same depth and richness in it's thwomp as does real cork. :) And, on a side note, y'all got to quit Conaning these corks out of their bottles! Take it easy Barbarian. A gentle twist and light pull is all it takes! That said, there may be no hope for CGF WT 12's...



What is good Conan?

Sip your bourbons
See them neat before you
And hear the lamentation of the pappy hunters