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View Full Version : Sediment In Old Whiskey



Bmac
09-30-2012, 07:59
So tbere was a thread on this sometime back but of course is closed. Certainly therehas been a lot of dusty drinkables out there. The 750ml bottles of Old Fitzgerald have sediment. Its the type of sediment you see in bottled tea, where there are some flakes and some lighter colored clouds along the sides.

In a different forum i read online suggests that this is the hallmark of a good whiskey that hasnt been overly filtered.

I have opened it and had a pour. It was delicious.

Questions:

1. Is is fats, esters, and solidified oils? It's not cork because it's a twist off plastic cap.
2. If the code on the bottom is any indication of age, could that much sediment appear after only 12 yrs in the bottle?

Bmac
09-30-2012, 13:41
Wow, 38 views and not one comment. Have I stumpped the crowd or...is it just not as interesting to others?

I have seen sediment in GTS and WLW, but that's char. There was sediments in my Rare Breed,but those were solidified fats.

As I said, these are clouds of light colored stains on the bottom. Again, there is no cork to taint it. Could it be that whiskey does in fact change in the bottle after a number of years? Is 10 or..(dare I say it) 12 years the magic number before particles coagulate and separate from the alcohol?

Am I the only SB'er curious?

When do deer turn into elk?
Are stars merely pin holes in the curtain of night?

darylld911
09-30-2012, 15:04
Guilty as a viewer, but have no answer. I haven't found my first "dusty" yet, and the only sediment I've seen is in unfiltered bourbons like GTS. But I keep checking back to see what the answer is :grin:

Now deer turn into Elk when they move to Canada, eh. Their antlers need that fur to keep warm is my understanding.

Bmac
09-30-2012, 18:38
Guilty as a viewer, but have no answer. I haven't found my first "dusty" yet, and the only sediment I've seen is in unfiltered bourbons like GTS. But I keep checking back to see what the answer is :grin:

Now deer turn into Elk when they move to Canada, eh. Their antlers need that fur to keep warm is my understanding.
LoL!!!! Yeah, that sounds about right. There "technically" shouldn't be any sediment, especially in an 80 proof bottom shelfer like Old Fitz. Of course there are those who believe in the controversial OBE (Old Bottle Effect) Suggesting that whiskey does in fact continue to age in the bottle as the suspended esters, oils, fats, etc continue to interact withthe glass. Although glass has been described as inert, it is always moving (on a molecular level). It is said that the whiskey does begin to interact with it. But....who knows what difference that'll make.

Going back the sediment in these litterally Old Fitzes...could it be remotely possible that these weren't chillfiltered? When did chillfiltration become an industry standard? Surely the historians here could chime in *cough* Cowdery *cough*. :)

B.B. Babington
09-30-2012, 19:10
...Although glass has been described as inert, it is always moving (on a molecular level). It is said that the whiskey does begin to interact with it. But....who knows what difference that'll make....
Glass has reactive hydroxy groups on the surface which can catalyze all sorts of reactions such as oxidation, hydrolysis, and polymerization. But that's not such a big factor as whiskey has plenty of water and alcohol that do the same. Also, whiskeys have tannins and other components that can act as acids for doing the same thing. So yea, things can change with time. But how about sittin' around for 17+ years in a barrel?

Of greater concern to me is what happens to it after it's half empty and still sittin' around. The finer stuff seems to lose a little character to me; some of the fruit seems to go away.

tmckenzie
10-01-2012, 05:00
It is protien that was not filtered out. Probably was not chill filtered. When you cut whiskey down past about 90 proof it will take a protien haze.

Bmac
10-01-2012, 06:47
It is protien that was not filtered out. Probably was not chill filtered. When you cut whiskey down past about 90 proof it will take a protien haze.
Might explain why it tastes good. :)

StraightNoChaser
10-03-2012, 11:58
I've seen this in old bottles. I always assumed it was precipitations of the above mentioned organic compounds.

Bmac
10-03-2012, 13:43
I've seen this in old bottles. I always assumed it was precipitations of the above mentioned organic compounds.

Have you tried any of the whiskies? Did you find them good, bad, ugly?

tmckenzie
10-03-2012, 19:26
Lower proof off the still has a lot to do with it. We have it if we are not careful. I have some IW harper that has it and it is great.

WsmataU
04-25-2013, 13:09
Resurrecting an older thread....I was inspecting some of my older bottles sitting in my basement and noticed some small "clouds" in the bottom of a Rathskellar Rye and some in an old Michter's bottle. I don't intend on opening either any time soon, but wanted to figure out what may have caused this.

MauiSon
04-25-2013, 14:02
As a former student, I can say that a state of equilibrium in solutions can often require long periods of time to achieve, even decades. When the barrels are dumped and diluted, the juice simply isn't given sufficient time before bottling. So, precipitates often form in the bottle. This is general chemistry. [I once conducted an experiment that failed to achieve the proper results until the final solution sat for 3 months (which was 1 month beyond the semester's end).]

As well, the equilibrium point may change with changes in temperature, and precipitates can form more easily than returning to solution.

bllygthrd
04-25-2013, 16:21
While touring Buffalo Trace, and specifically the the Blanton's bottling line ... they pick up a QC sample bottle, then swirl (agitate) it ... then put it over a contrast light. The suspended solids disperse the light and clearly show the turbidity. Its my understanding that these suspended solids (fats/proteins) are present in all unfiltered bourbons and play a role in the flavor profile ... hence, the bartender's double pour to provide "mixing".

Flyfish
04-25-2013, 16:42
While touring Buffalo Trace, and specifically the the Blanton's bottling line ... they pick up a QC sample bottle, then swirl (agitate) it ... then put it over a contrast light. The suspended solids disperse the light and clearly show the turbidity. Its my understanding that these suspended solids (fats/proteins) are present in all unfiltered bourbons and play a role in the flavor profile ... hence, the bartender's double pour to provide "mixing".
Sounds like Freddie gave us both the same demonstration.
Deer turn into elk during the rut. (And you'd better stand back.)
Yes, stars are just pinholes in the curtain of night.
Rosey fingered Dawn, the child of Morning, drives them all away.

Balcones Winston
04-29-2013, 13:21
Over time precipitate can form in bottles of lower proof, non-chill filtered whiskey. This is actually an occurrence we have in bottles of Baby Blue and Rumble over time. There's nothing wrong with the whiskey, just a sign of rich oils and esters present in it.