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BourbonGuy
01-02-2013, 16:22
I was reading this months Whiskey advocate (peat issue) and I noticed guys with huge whiskey collections and a question comes to mind….

Why is whiskey stored upright as apposed to on its side like wine? Wouldn’t keeping the cork wet increase the integrity of the whiskey by letting less air in? Some of these bottle are decades old.

squire
01-02-2013, 16:44
That doesn't work BG because while cork can withstand the alcohol content of wine, even sherry or port, it deteriorates when in contact with the higher alcohol content of whisky.

Yeti
01-02-2013, 19:39
All of the above, and also I believe that the increased vapor of the higher alcohol proof provides for significant moisture in the cork when upright.

squire
01-02-2013, 19:46
Or say it dries the cork, then you can tell the wife the levels are dropping due to evaporation because you hafta to store them upright.

Tico
01-02-2013, 19:54
I store mine upright in my wine cellar, hoping the added humidity helps with dry corks.

Restaurant man
01-02-2013, 20:07
I store mine upside down with the corks off. my mouth underneath to catch any, um, drips:drinking:

Yeti
01-02-2013, 20:53
It's really the only way to know the whisky is being properly taken care of.

fishnbowljoe
01-02-2013, 21:03
That doesn't work BG because while cork can withstand the alcohol content of wine, even sherry or port, it deteriorates when in contact with the higher alcohol content of whisky.

What he said.

FWIW, I've also heard that it's also a good idea to store whiskey out of direct sunlight.

unclebunk
01-03-2013, 07:59
FWIW, I've also heard that it's also a good idea to store whiskey out of direct sunlight. Like in my stomach, right Joe? :grin: Happy New Year, BTW!

AaronWF
01-03-2013, 08:12
I left a bottle of WLW on its side for about 14 hours once. When I came back to it, the wooden top that holds the cork had completely warped, and whiskey had started leaking out of the bottle. I cringe when liquor store clerks retrieve a bottle for me and walk around with it upside down. I won't even let a corked bottle lay on its side in the car as I'm driving home. The only bottles I let sit on their side are those with screw caps, but even with those, only temporarily.

ChainWhip
01-03-2013, 09:29
I think for short periods, laying it on its side is fine. Who know how long our bottles sat in a case that has been laying on its side in transit or in a warehouse.

squire
01-03-2013, 09:56
That's why they print 'this end up' on the carton.

squire
01-03-2013, 10:00
I should add though I don't think a cork stoppered bottle laying on it's side for a short time or in transit would suffer any damage to the cork. With screw cap closures it shouldn't matter at all.

doubleblank
01-03-2013, 10:23
I'll throw this factoid out there once again. Cork is graded for quality. The best cork is expensive and is sold to top tier wineries. Lesser quality is also sold to the wine trade and for other uses. Stoppers using cork for whiskey and other similar consumables tends to be from the lower grades......unlike fine wine, the whiskey is already aged and ready to drink when you get it home. Nobody intended for the whiskey stopper using cork to need to last 10 or more years. Nor for the bottles to be laid down on their side. Porosity is even acceptable in the lower grades making leakage a good possibility over time. Greenwood is also acceptable and could add flavors to the whiskey. In summary, the low quality cork used by whiskey bottlers does not lend itself to long ageing periods or laying the bottles on their sides.

T Comp
01-03-2013, 11:07
I should add though I don't think a cork stoppered bottle laying on it's side for a short time or in transit would suffer any damage to the cork. With screw cap closures it shouldn't matter at all.

My wife had a PVW 15 leak a quarter out on the 15 minute ride home from the store back in 2007. The 2 others didn't and Binny's was kind enough to replace the leaker even though she admitted to the transport on it's side. The 3 made for a nice Christmas present back then and the last bourbon Christmas gift received...which is a good thing.

squire
01-03-2013, 11:13
Good argument for screw tops, whisky doesn't need a cork anyway.

Restaurant man
01-03-2013, 20:06
Good argument for screw tops, whisky doesn't need a cork anyway.

+1. No corks necessary. I'll take a screw cap or those glass stoppers they use on Austrian wines

Bourbon Boiler
01-04-2013, 17:46
I prefer screw tops, but there is a perception of lesser quality. BTW, storing a bottle on its side in a freezer is a terrible idea. I learned that one the hard way.

ChainWhip
01-04-2013, 23:07
BTW, storing a bottle on its side in a freezer is a terrible idea. I learned that one the hard way.

What happens? Does it explode?

squire
01-04-2013, 23:15
Cap freezes to the bottle.

Shuboy
01-05-2013, 00:39
Keep in mind that a screw capped bottle shouldn't be put on its side either. The inside of the cap has a piece of cardboard for sealing and that flavor might get into the whisky when it comes into contact with it.

Bourbon Boiler
01-05-2013, 08:35
What happens? Does it explode?

No explosions, but the cork gets wet on one end but doesn't wick. Ended up with some oddly shaped cork that didn't fit the bottles well. It's a bad sign when you go to pour for friends and the cork slides out of the bottle.

smokinjoe
01-05-2013, 09:04
Keep in mind that a screw capped bottle shouldn't be put on its side either. The inside of the cap has a piece of cardboard for sealing and that flavor might get into the whisky when it comes into contact with it.

I don't think they use cardboard anymore, do they? I went through several bottles I have, and the only one I could find with one was a BHC OF 12 yr. Most of the bottles (mostly recent vintages) just had the cap with nothing else.

Venturing a bit off-topic here, anybody remember when they put a real cork "disc" inside softdrink caps? :) Then they went to the plastic disc, now nada.

ErikH
01-05-2013, 12:29
And I thought I was the only one anal enough to make sure my bottles stay upright for the ride home.:cool:

I remember the cork disks in bottle caps. I remember carefully popping the disk out, putting the bottle cap on the front of my t-shirt, and popping the cork disk back in through the back of the shirt so the cap would stay on like a button.

Mickbourbon
01-05-2013, 15:44
I bought a bottle of Stagg last year and when the clerk came from the back where it was stored he was holding it upside down by the neck and was
waving it side to side like he was trying to mix the ingredients. I almost said something but it was the last bottle they had and it took a phone call to the boss for them to ok them
giving it to me so I bit my lip, and was happy to know it didn't leak.

B.B. Babington
01-05-2013, 17:38
My wife had a PVW 15 leak a quarter out on the 15 minute ride home from the store back in 2007. The 2 others didn't ...
Lots of bottle ship with ability to leak. Lots, many. Corks, twist tops, all types. Seems to be a bigger problem with twist tops.

Some adamantly refuse to tip bottle to side fearing cork taint.

I'd like to stuff the ballet box in favor of plastic twist tops. Corks are good for hand bottlings, so they still get used.

A dry cork shrinks. But a cork in the bottle picks up humidity from air above liquid and swells, so storing on the side is unnecessary. Anyone that re-uses old corks will see this. Dry cork goes in loose, but tightens up pretty quick.

Shuboy
01-05-2013, 21:16
I don't think they use cardboard anymore, do they? I went through several bottles I have, and the only one I could find with one was a BHC OF 12 yr. Most of the bottles (mostly recent vintages) just had the cap with nothing else.

Plastic screw caps don't usually have the inside filling but I've seen a few metal screw caps with some type of paper disk to help with the sealing. I seem to recall Ralfy calling it cardboard in an old whisky review but the material looks more like white paper to me.