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Grain Belt
05-01-2013, 10:01
Here in Minnesota, most 750's and 1L bottles are made of glass. Exception being some 750's are offered in plastic "traveler" bottles. A few of the bottom shelf 1.75's are made of plastic. Ancient Age comes to mind. Does anyone notice a taste difference when comparing a brand of bourbon in glass vs. plastic? I would guess that we would possibly see more plastic rather than less in the future.

p_elliott
05-01-2013, 10:16
I don't know if there is any thing real about it but I wouldn't buy any bourbon bottled in plastic. I think it comes from me not liking draft beer as well from plastic cups no matter what Toby Keith says, I like glass.

squire
05-01-2013, 10:19
No, I don't find any difference at all in the flavor of Wild Turkey 101 whether it presents in a glass or plastic container. Frankly, for mixing whisky, which most brands are, the family sized plastic bottles are easier to handle.

p_elliott
05-01-2013, 10:37
Like I said it's more of a mind block than anything scientific.

Brisko
05-01-2013, 12:00
I just picked up a fifth of EWB in the PET traveler (on sale for $9) and it tastes pretty good to me.

squire
05-01-2013, 12:14
For $9 it's a remarkable Bourbon irrespective of container type.

Brisko
05-01-2013, 12:18
I agree completely, squire, and I find that it tastes better than I remember from a couple years ago. It's very well balanced in my opinion.

PaulO
05-01-2013, 12:56
Plastic is semi permeable. If a 2L bottle of pop sits around unopened, it will eventually go flat. A glass bottle or can will have a much longer shelf life. I guess my point is, bourbon in plastic bottles is probably ok if you don't plan on storing it very long.

SWC
05-01-2013, 14:53
Only for short term storage. Taste doesn't change until a long period of time passes. Oxygen interacts with the ethanol and you get acetone. Glass is inert, but even tough polycarbonate plastic is still permeable. Also plasticizers leach out over time. But hey, if thats your thing, I couldn't even give a rip.

Flyfish
05-01-2013, 15:29
AAA by the handle comes in plastic. I decant it into a 1L glass bottle not because I expect it to go bad but because a 1L bottle is easier to pour from. After several pours, I can't be foolin' around with that family-sized jug.

Josh
05-01-2013, 15:46
AAA by the handle comes in plastic. I decant it into a 1L glass bottle not because I expect it to go bad but because a 1L bottle is easier to pour from. After several pours, I can't be foolin' around with that family-sized jug.

That's exactly what I do, but with 750 ml bottles. The Heaven Hill White label, Green label (90) and AAA 10 y/o all come in plastic handles and I usually get at least two of those three when I'm in Kentucky. I have stored those in my garage for months in some cases and I have never noticed any change in the taste of any of them.

squire
05-01-2013, 15:48
I also decant which forestalls the temptation to drink oughta that big sucker with both hands.

BigBoldBully
05-01-2013, 20:29
forestalls but does not extinguish, eh squire?

I personally avoid plastic 99% of the time due to leaching and oxidation fears, along with my tendency to let things sit a long while before opening. Time really flies while you're having fun with other bottles! Plus, a voice in my head keeps telling me "if they didn't care enough to put it in glass, maybe they didn't care enough to make it any good." Very disappointed to hear that 1.75s of HH white and AAA are plastic - was planning on picking some up this summer while traveling.

TheNovaMan
05-01-2013, 22:48
Oxidized ethanol is ethanal (an aldehyde), and fully oxidized ethanol is ethanoic acid, which is vinegar. I'm much less worried about the ethanol oxidizing than the congeners. I have a plastic handle of Benchmark that's about two years old, and it tastes just like the handle I bought about a month ago. That being said, I will be putting my stash of Ten High straight in glass bottles for long-term storage; sometimes it's better not to take a chance.

squire
05-01-2013, 23:17
Having given the matter sufficient thought I've decided not to worry about it.

JB64
05-01-2013, 23:19
If I have the choice between glass or plastic I will go with the glass bottle. I just like my drinks packaged in glass, not sure why, must be a quality perception thing. I have purchased some canadian mixers, both club and mist, in plastic handles and didn't feel they tasted any different from the juice in glass bottles. I tend to go through my lower shelf whiskies fairly quick so anything I would buy in plastic wouldn't be around long enough to go bad.

squire
05-01-2013, 23:26
Know what 'cha mean Jim, those plastic handles seem to evaporate quicker.

Flyfish
05-02-2013, 09:30
forestalls but does not extinguish, eh squire?

I personally avoid plastic 99% of the time due to leaching and oxidation fears, along with my tendency to let things sit a long while before opening. Time really flies while you're having fun with other bottles! Plus, a voice in my head keeps telling me "if they didn't care enough to put it in glass, maybe they didn't care enough to make it any good." Very disappointed to hear that 1.75s of HH white and AAA are plastic - was planning on picking some up this summer while traveling.

Your loss, BBB. If you really believe "they didn't care enough to make it any good," take a tip from the Squire and try a blind tasting.

BigBoldBully
05-02-2013, 20:44
To Flyfish: I am a blind tasting freak, to the point of only having rarely allowed myself to try a new bourbon while knowing what bottle it came from. So far, glass v. plastic has been a moot issue for me, as practically nothing I have any interest in trying is offered in plastic in my area. But if I do someday encounter plastic handles of reputedly good liquor, I will probably break out in a sweat as I stand at the crossroads.

There is no doubt in my mind, from a scientific standpoint, that plastic containers are inferior bourbon storage vessels. And it seems perfectly logical to conclude that a producer who cares a great deal about the quality of a product would be very unlikely to allow it to be packaged in such an inferior vessel. Perhaps I could convince myself of a total disconnection in the company between people making the stuff and taking the highest pride in it and people deciding to defile and denigrate it by putting it into plastic bottles. If you come upon a man in the bourbon aisle mumbling something along these lines just . . . walk away.

CoMobourbon
05-04-2013, 11:58
There is no doubt in my mind, from a scientific standpoint, that plastic containers are inferior bourbon storage vessels. And it seems perfectly logical to conclude that a producer who cares a great deal about the quality of a product would be very unlikely to allow it to be packaged in such an inferior vessel. Perhaps I could convince myself of a total disconnection in the company between people making the stuff and taking the highest pride in it and people deciding to defile and denigrate it by putting it into plastic bottles. If you come upon a man in the bourbon aisle mumbling something along these lines just . . . walk away.

Two points:

First, never underestimate the extent to which bottom lines win out for any company, respect for their product notwithstanding. And when value bourbons have pretty tight margins, as value bourbons generally do, anything to cut costs is a no brainer.

Second, regarding the whole "from a scientific standpoint": yes, of course it is inferior, but how much so? Is it inferior to any appreciable degree whatsoever? To the degrading effects take decades to manifest? Years? Months? I am not offering answers here (I have no idea) but rather answering clarifying questions. I am reminded of when my mother in law set up my wife in her college housing. She found out that the city had failed its water test for the presence of certain carcinogenic substances and rushed to get a filter so that we wouldn't die. Marginally failing the test to her meant "the water gives you cancer". We later found out that to have even fractional increases in the likelihood of contracting cancer, one would have to drink half a gallon of the stuff every day for 15-20 years. Was the water inferior? Yes. Did it really matter at all? No.

squire
05-04-2013, 12:08
Aren't the imitation corks used today a form of plastic?

Flyfish
05-05-2013, 06:41
Aren't the imitation corks used today a form of plastic?
Evidently the distillers who use corks, real or synthetic, don't care enough about quality to use a screw cap.

squire
05-05-2013, 07:18
Good point, we live in a World of diminished standards.

Enoch
05-05-2013, 07:42
In the 80s, Stillbrook bourbon was sold in both plastic and glass bottles. I have managed to pick up both. While this was not a top shelf bourbon, it was not bad. My observation is that evaporation was about the same, although the plastic bottles have collapsed a bit. I can not really tell any major difference in taste, smell, or appearance. FWIW...

squire
05-05-2013, 08:30
That's an interesting first hand comparison. I don't recall when plastic containers started but I do remember Stillbrook, the broke grad student's friend.

Flyfish
05-05-2013, 12:14
In the 80s, Stillbrook bourbon was sold in both plastic and glass bottles.
So is (was?) AAA. I buy my AAA in plastic handles and then decant into a AAA glass 1L bottle. I have had the bottle for years so I don't know if AAA is still sold that way because I never even look at anything but the handle.

emr454
05-05-2013, 13:09
I've had good whiskey in glass and plastic bottles. Like others here have already mentioned, whiskey just doesn't last long enough here to oxidize regardless of container. IMO, basing your purchase decision on container type is like basing your purchase decision on the mostly made-up marketing story on the label. In the end, all that matters is what's on the inside.

Eric

scubadoo97
05-05-2013, 13:39
Should a consumable solvent like ethanol be put in plastic? I know there is a lot of concern about BPA these days

squire
05-05-2013, 14:16
My minimum standard for plastic bottled booze is 80 proof.

deerhuntre
05-06-2013, 10:33
I like my AAA plastic bottle because it travels well and is approved for use at hotel pools.

squire
05-06-2013, 23:24
Had forgotten about the pool angle, yeah plastic.

TheNovaMan
05-13-2013, 22:36
Should a consumable solvent like ethanol be put in plastic? I know there is a lot of concern about BPA these days My understanding is that BPA only matters if you're a male and your sexual organs are still forming.

LiveFromLou
05-14-2013, 06:02
AAA by the handle comes in plastic. I decant it into a 1L glass bottle not because I expect it to go bad but because a 1L bottle is easier to pour from. After several pours, I can't be foolin' around with that family-sized jug.

I can't tell a difference between the AAA in handles and the AAA in glass, side by side, even 6 months after buying the plastic bottle. At this point I have no trouble buying plastic, but I wouldn't exactly want to display it in my house. Still looks like a college kid left it here or something...

squire
05-14-2013, 18:07
Plastic definitely gives a house that lived in look.

TheNovaMan
05-16-2013, 00:19
Thanks to my awesome sister, I have a handle of HH white BIB (which is plastic), and for some reason I'm not exactly scrambling to get it into glass bottles. I have spare glass bottles in the basement, but there's just no way it will last long enough for the plastic to make any difference!