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View Full Version : Guilty Pleasure: the cork



Danger
04-04-2013, 19:51
I love my nightcaps and look forward to them. The squeaking sound of the cork squeezing out of the bottle and the eminently satisfying pop makes me smile. So, when I kill a bottle I save the cork in an old cloth Blanton's bag and when I buy a new bottle that has a screw top I throw away calloused plastic lid and plug it with a suitably sized cork from the stockpile so I can reproduce the miniature squeaking symphony each night. Am I the only one who does this?

savagehenry
04-04-2013, 20:12
I read a study by Freud that reminds me of this.

Lazer
04-04-2013, 20:17
Yes, you are the only one.

Restaurant man
04-04-2013, 20:32
I throw away the corks. I love the sound of a screw cap in the morning.

Danger
04-04-2013, 20:35
I read a study by Freud that reminds me of this.

I think Freud and Palvlov would both have something to say about this.

TheNovaMan
04-04-2013, 21:53
It's a wonderful sound, indeed! I hadn't thought about recycling used corks in bottles that didn't originally come with corks. Hmm...

HighInTheMtns
04-04-2013, 22:21
I hate corks. They're an antiquated, inferior method of sealing a bottle. They fall apart sometimes. They leave little cork bits on the lip of the bottle sometimes. They dissolve when foolish liquor store owners (or dudes with really old bottles of rye) store bottles on their sides. They dry up and stop sealing well. I save my old corks too, so that I can replace them when I get a faulty one.

Screw tops are the best, but I can understand the romance in pulling a cork and so I propose that synthetic corks are a very good compromise.

TheNovaMan
04-04-2013, 23:07
I knew you'd come in here and bash corks. :p

MauiSon
04-05-2013, 00:19
I can't understand cork-preference. They leak, they rot, they break. What's more, most corked bottles dribble. I'll grant they squeak and pop, but 'silence is golden'. I never want to hear,'You're having another?'

RocknRoll
04-05-2013, 03:27
I'll grant they squeak and pop, but 'silence is golden'. I never want to hear,'You're having another?'
When given the choice, going "ninja" is usually best. :lol:

deathevocation
04-05-2013, 04:07
I can't understand cork-preference. They leak, they rot, they break. What's more, most corked bottles dribble. I'll grant they squeak and pop, but 'silence is golden'. I never want to hear,'You're having another?'

Haha. We've all been there.

Flyfish
04-05-2013, 06:13
I love my nightcaps and look forward to them. The squeaking sound of the cork squeezing out of the bottle and the eminently satisfying pop makes me smile. So, when I kill a bottle I save the cork in an old cloth Blanton's bag and when I buy a new bottle that has a screw top I throw away calloused plastic lid and plug it with a suitably sized cork from the stockpile so I can reproduce the miniature squeaking symphony each night. Am I the only one who does this?
Aha! So that's what Blanton's bags are good for. And, of course, the Blanton's corks are to be displayed on a barrel stave. Now, what to do with those lovely bottles? Decanters for Early Times perhaps?

HighInTheMtns
04-05-2013, 06:57
I knew you'd come in here and bash corks. :p
Can't resist a good opportunity to bash corks.

portwood
04-05-2013, 08:02
I hate corks. They're an antiquated, inferior method of sealing a bottle. They fall apart sometimes. They leave little cork bits on the lip of the bottle sometimes. They dissolve when foolish liquor store owners (or dudes with really old bottles of rye) store bottles on their sides. They dry up and stop sealing well. I save my old corks too, so that I can replace them when I get a faulty one.

Screw tops are the best...
Agree 100% with this.

PaulO
04-05-2013, 08:16
I save the corks from whiskey bottles to use as stoppers for open wine bottles. A wine cork can be hard to re-use after the corkscrew. It's also nice to have an inventory of stoppers in case one comes apart like some Rare Breed stoppers have. I think some brands use the cork to symbolize that they are marketing something as a more high end brand.

Danger
04-05-2013, 08:48
I hate corks. They're an antiquated, inferior method of sealing a bottle... Screw tops are the best, but I can understand the romance in pulling a cork and so I propose that synthetic corks are a very good compromise.
I accept your compromise, as long as it squeaks. My bottle of Temperance Trader came with a synthetic cork and I quite liked it.


I can't understand cork-preference. They leak, they rot, they break. What's more, most corked bottles dribble. I'll grant they squeak and pop, but 'silence is golden'. I never want to hear,'You're having another?'
That's like saying, "I don't get wall art, its so much more expensive than wallpaper and doesn't even cover the same amount of space." The cork is for the aesthetics, not the functionality. And I think the solution to being stealthy is to start with a double :)

Wee Robbie
04-05-2013, 09:17
I save my old corks too. But I just keep them to replace corks that give me problems. Some are prone to breaking.

p_elliott
04-05-2013, 09:43
I also have a bag of corks and do like corks best. I know they get old and fall apart but there is just nothing better than opening a new bottle and hearing thump. Screw tops do leak as well I had a bottle of Wellers SR I put in my luggage and it leaked all over the place.

MyOldKyDram
04-05-2013, 09:53
I too have had screwcaps leak, so just give me the good ole squeak and thump.

Kalessin
04-05-2013, 10:34
"What weasel stole the cork from my lunch?"
-- W.C. Fields

Sure, cork is impractical. I don't care, I prefer them. I haven't had a cork failure or leakage on any of my whiskey bottles that are younger than about 30 years old (the bottle, not the whiskey...)

WAINWRIGHT
04-05-2013, 11:50
I would have to agree with a corked bottle is preferred in my case more traditional and I enjoy the look,feel and sound better.I don't really mind a lot of the newer synthetic corks,but it still is just not the same.

TheNovaMan
04-05-2013, 16:40
I don't really mind a lot of the newer synthetic corks,but it still is just not the same. Amen.



This sentence here makes the reply more than 16 characters. :p

JB64
04-05-2013, 22:45
I too like corked bottles better. I just love the sound of the cork being extracted from the bottle even though it is usually followed by the "are you having another drink" from my better half.

squire
04-06-2013, 13:16
I've got a box of corks which I hang onto in the event I ever need one but that is unlikely.

Flyfish
04-06-2013, 14:03
Had a pour of KCSB this afternoon. OK, more than one pour. Followed by regular KC. Noticed that the pricier single barrel has a screw cap whereas the regular has an artificial cork.
On one of the distillery tours, BT I think, the guide said that cork or screw cap was entirely a marketing issue. Consumers associate cork with quality. So, bottom shelf bourbons come in handles with screw tops and upper shelf bourbons come with corks.
A few years ago, wine went through the transition. Screw-top wine used to mean crap. Now it's not so much an issue. Even though I like the good solid thunk of a cork coming out of my bourbon bottles, I expect that before long the screw cap will be widely accepted.

TheNovaMan
04-06-2013, 21:07
Current KC in MI has a screw-top.

Lazer
04-06-2013, 21:41
Yes, you are the only one.
My claim still stands. We have people that save corks and people that prefer corks, but nobody else throws away the screw caps so they can plug the bottle with a cork.

Personally, I'm a screw cap kinda guy.

Flyfish
04-07-2013, 05:22
Current KC in MI has a screw-top.

You're right, 750s of KC have screwcaps. I was pouring from the family-size jug of KC that has an artificial cork.

macdeffe
04-07-2013, 05:46
I hate corks. I see around 20 of them annually, usually from bottles you specifically dont want it to happen to

I am 100% with HighInTheMtns here. I prefer a good quality screwcap over artificial (rubber?) corks over traditional corks


They rot, they break, they even sometimes taint the whisky.

A couple of years ago I created an anticork facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/groups/101684892845

44 members today, I guess we are a minority, but there's an excellent gallery of broken corks and people fighting to remove from the bottles

Feel free to join and post photos :-)

Steffen

Danger
04-07-2013, 07:09
My claim still stands. We have people that save corks and people that prefer corks, but nobody else throws away the screw caps so they can plug the bottle with a cork.
Ok, I guess I'm the only one who likes corks enough to swap out the screwtops. I see all the points being made by the anti-cork movement and they all seem very practical. But where's the romance? Maybe what I really like about the corks is that it gives the bourbon some identity and individuality: you unscrew a coca-cola or a jar of pickles, but you uncork a fine spirit. I might be okay with another sealing method as long as it was unique to good alcohol.

HighInTheMtns
04-07-2013, 07:29
Ok, I guess I'm the only one who likes corks enough to swap out the screwtops. I see all the points being made by the anti-cork movement and they all seem very practical. But where's the romance? Maybe what I really like about the corks is that it gives the bourbon some identity and individuality: you unscrew a coca-cola or a jar of pickles, but you uncork a fine spirit. I might be okay with another sealing method as long as it was unique to good alcohol.
The romance is inside the bottle. All I can say is wait until you're straining cork bits out of some nice whiskey and see what you think of corks then.

Also, glad to hear that KC has gone to a screw top. The one I have open now is corked. One more step in the right direction.

squire
04-07-2013, 07:37
For me the romance begins after pullling the cork.

Danger
04-07-2013, 09:54
The artistic component of drinking good bourbon doesn't start with putting it in your mouth and end with swallowing, imo. Its just like paintings. Everyone appreciates paintings more when they're hanging in a museum. All the things that surround the bourbon impact how you perceive the experience. For example, I enjoy it more with a cork, with a snifter or rocks glass than from a solo cup, while relaxing at night and browsing the forums rather than as I'm heading out the door to dinner.

There was an interesting anecdotal social experiment in 2007 where a world-class concert violinist plays in a European metro station incognito as a normal street performer. Basically nobody stops to listen because they aren't in the right state of mind to appreciate it.
Joshua Bell plays in L'Enfant Plaza Station (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040401721.html)

CoMobourbon
04-07-2013, 09:57
The artistic component of drinking good bourbon doesn't start with putting it in your mouth and end with swallowing, imo. Its just like paintings. Everyone appreciates paintings more when they're hanging in a museum. All the things that surround the bourbon impact how you perceive the experience. For example, I enjoy it more with a cork, with a snifter or rocks glass than from a solo cup, while relaxing at night and browsing the forums rather than as I'm heading out the door to dinner.

There was an interesting anecdotal social experiment in 2007 where a world-class concert violinist plays in a European metro station incognito as a normal street performer. Basically nobody stops to listen because they aren't in the right state of mind to appreciate it.
Joshua Bell plays in L'Enfant Plaza Station (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040401721.html)

Absolutely true. We all try to play Bourbon-Puritan-iconoclast around here and pretend like the experience starts and stops with flavor, but aesthetics, romance, narrative, etc. clearly play am integral role. The medium is the message.

*At the same time though, one really should strive to deliberately notice and adjust for the effects of these ancillary factors. Even if looks matter almost as much as quality, quality should be (almost) everything. So we should try to minimize the influence of looks - in so far as this is possible. Blind tastings go a long way here.

squire
04-07-2013, 10:23
I get this image of a bunch of darkly clad Puritans sitting around a table, no one's laughing or joking, just somberly getting sloshed while mentioning only flavor.

MauiSon
04-07-2013, 16:36
So, you've been spying on us, eh?

HighInTheMtns
04-07-2013, 16:45
I get this image of a bunch of darkly clad Puritans sitting around a table, no one's laughing or joking, just somberly getting sloshed while mentioning only flavor.
This is what I thought I was getting into at the gazebo in a couple weeks. But remember, we are also iconoclasts; there may be a pile of broken fancy glass. ;)

But seriously - I think presentation is important. For example here are two bottles of Tequila:

http://i.imgur.com/hzmYPjel.jpg

Both are nicely done. Espolón is a cork; Siete Leguas (the higher end bottle, by the way) is a screwtop. A wood screwtop like this would fit many bottles well - FRSB, WTKS, etc... Similarly, compare a bottle of screwtop Maker's Mark (open or unopened) to a cork-sealed waxed bottle like EWSB. Again, both very nicely presented. I have no argument with artistry in packaging. My argument is with packaging that is inferior.

CoMobourbon
04-07-2013, 17:51
Again, both very nicely presented. I have no argument with artistry in packaging. My argument is with packaging that is inferior.



I completely understand (and even agree with) your point: we need not make a dichotomy between aesthetics and utility because it is completely possible to accomplish both simultaneously. But I still sympathize with Danger's original point - the sound of that popping cork is irreplaceable.

In short, artistry one thing and (pseudo) history/narrative is another (even if they do overlap from time to time). The Siete Legueas looks great - but much of its old-fashioned historo-logical authentic-ness appeal disappears as soon as you twist away that cap see find no cork / hear no pop. The fakeness of pseudo-old-fashioned bottle comes through the surface in a way that does not happen with the equally fake Espolon bottle. The cork covers the seem / fills that gap in the surface of the narrative.

Again, I really do agree with your core points: artistry is nice, utility is most important, accomplish both simultaneously when possible, etc. But, for what it's worth, the pop of the cork is irreplaceable. To me, it's just not at all worth it (in terms of price and in terms of risk for ruined whiskey).

Kalessin
04-08-2013, 09:27
I do occasionally replace a screw-top with a cork. "Ptoonk!" Not the only one! :D

Danger
04-08-2013, 12:39
I do occasionally replace a screw-top with a cork. "Ptoonk!" Not the only one! :D
Heeeeyo!!



Absolutely true. We all try to play Bourbon-Puritan-iconoclast around here and pretend like the experience starts and stops with flavor, but aesthetics, romance, narrative, etc. clearly play am integral role. The medium is the message.
Amen, bro.

WhiskyToWhiskey
04-08-2013, 13:05
The only cork sound that really stands out, is opening a bottle of Plantation Grande Reserve Rum for the first time. The "pop" that it makes is like no other I have every heard. Chip Dykstra on rumhowlers who rates rum as well as whisky always deducts points on presentation for screw cap bottles. His reasoning is the metal and glass have different expansion rates. I think we all store our spirits indoors with little fluctution in temperature...it shouldn't matter.

smokinjoe
04-08-2013, 14:09
I'm one that really loves that "thwonk" that the cork provides. Despite its functional liabilities, I prefer cork. I am, however, liking the metal "capsule style" caps, like those on certain Jim Beam products. Makes a nice, pleasing, tinny sound when you screw it on the bottle, and makes for a nice presentation. The regular cheapo plastic caps do nothing for me.

5 pages of closure talk. Jeeze, we are nerds...;)

dohidied
04-08-2013, 14:32
I definitely prefer the stealthiness of corks. And I have a bag of corks for when I snap one. Hell, I have a whole bottle and cork for WTRB and WTKS because I know I'm going to have to decant my old bottles.

Lazer
04-08-2013, 14:42
The regular cheapo plastic caps do nothing for me.

except keep the bourbon from spilling out of the bottle. Cuts evaporation loss too.

Flyfish
04-08-2013, 14:44
5 pages of closure talk. Jeeze, we are nerds...;)

Joe knows us. But lets get back to talking about bourbon.

fishnbowljoe
04-08-2013, 15:00
Cork or screw tops? Cork or screw tops? Cork or screw tops?

Costello:.... and I don’t give a darn!

Abbott: Oh…What?

Costello: I said, I don’t give a darn!

Abbott: Oh, that’s our short stop.

:slappin::slappin::slappin::slappin::slappin::slap pin::slappin:

smokinjoe
04-08-2013, 15:18
except keep the bourbon from spilling out of the bottle. Cuts evaporation loss too.

Yeah...well...that...If you want to be picky about it...:D

MyOldKyDram
04-08-2013, 15:26
How drunk are you guys to be spilling bourbon out of a corked bottle? Maybe I'm just lucky, but I've never had any of the problems being discussed here with corks.

CoMobourbon
04-08-2013, 15:51
I get this image of a bunch of darkly clad Puritans sitting around a table, no one's laughing or joking, just somberly getting sloshed while mentioning only flavor.

:lol:

I don't now how I neglected to mention this but I nominate this for post of the year.

Flyfish
04-11-2013, 15:03
How drunk are you guys to be spilling bourbon out of a corked bottle? Maybe I'm just lucky, but I've never had any of the problems being discussed here with corks.
I can understand the people who object to corks because they have had problems with them--theoretically. In actual experience, however, I have opened hundreds of bottles of bourbon without a problem. Wine yes. Bourbon never. I guess I have just been lucky too.
And I supposed Blanton's could still attach the little horsies to screw caps. But it just wouldn't be right.