View Full Version : That's The Breaks

12-28-2003, 16:22
I just now had a most unsettling experience as I opened a bottle of Rock Hill Farms. (See photo.)

It was packaged in a box that should have given it some protection from whatever befell it. When I took it out of the box, I could see that the top of the bottle looked strange, but I didn't really pay attention. I was mainly struck by the neck hanger, which was absent from the only other bottle of RHF I've ever seen. Then, when I tore the plastic seal, and glass fragments cascaded everywhere, I suddenly started paying attention.

Without disturbing the stopper, I did everything I could to dislodge any glass fragments that might be hanging around. Then I carefully removed the stopper, which was nerve-wracking, to say the least. It took quite a bit of torque to turn it at first, and then it took a considerable twist and tug to remove it. I immediately saw that the break extended down into the interior of the neck.

A gentle probing with a non-essential finger (Hey, I'm talking music here -- no snickering!) revealed no sharp edges inside the neck. I decided the contents were safe and poured myself a drink, allowing the liquid to flow over only the small remaining section of undamaged lip.

If I'd bought this bottle recently, I probably would have decided to take it back where I think I bought it and ask for a refund. (This was the only bottle on the shelf when I was there a few months ago.)

All and all, this experience introduced a note of apprehension into what I expected to be a totally pleasant, relaxing experience.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield (The Original DaveM)

12-28-2003, 17:36

I suggest that you filter the remaining whiskey through cheesecloth or a coffee filter, or something, and transfer it to another bottle.

12-28-2003, 17:41
How did it taste?


12-28-2003, 17:44

Thanks for the sensible suggestion; I should have thought of it myself, but I guess I'm still in mild shock and/or denial.

I don't have an extra bottle right now. Until I do, I think a sensible precaution would be to use a coffee filter at each pour. They're cheap.

Of course, another lurking disaster is the possibility of complete structural failure of the bottle, with the loss of $40 worth of bourbon. I'd better go find my least-full bottle and get to work.

If my Grandma were still alive, she'd have her Mason jars on the sill of the enclosed back porch, and I could beg one of them. Wouldn't it be fun to drink Rock Hill Farms from a jar? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

12-28-2003, 17:55

It tastes terrific! (And thanks to careful pouring/decanting, I have experienced no bleeding so far.) Even Marvin's recent panning of this bottling hasn't affected my enjoyment of it.

The only difference is that this time around I'm getting more of the spicy character (nutmeg/cinnamon) that I associate with Elmer T. Lee. Even a tiny bit of the clove that Marvin mentioned.

I'd still take RHF over Blanton's, any day.

To my taste, RHF is excellent, but on my income it's just not worth the price premium over Russell's Reserve and Old Commonweatlth/ORVW 10/107, among others. My association with $40+ bourbons may be drawing to a close.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

12-28-2003, 18:58
My association with $40+ bourbons may be drawing to a close.

That very thought was in my mind today as well!

12-28-2003, 19:09
Sounds to me like a good excuse for one of those fancy-schmancy crystal decanters that you can set on a tray with matching old fashioned glasses you can usually buy as a set. Right after Christmas you can usually pick a set up at a discount.


12-29-2003, 07:25
I hate the anti-climactic element of it all too--you decide to open a brand new bottle, and what was SUPPOSED to be a stress-reliever becomes an ordeal. At least the contents are salvageable!

Well, look at it this way...at least you won't have misgivings about drinking that last inch-or-so and putting the bottle in the recycle bin! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

12-29-2003, 14:26
Yep; you nailed it. Opening a bottle is supposed to be a happy time. (At least now my attachment to a fancy bottle with an inch of bourbon left in it may be broken forever. From now on, it's "Outta here, before you betray me, too!")

As luck would have it, I found an empty WT101 bottle in my recycle bin (How did that get there? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif ), and it has now swapped places with my injured RHF bottle. (I even remembered to scribble "RHF" on the label, to keep it from accidentally becoming flask-bourbon.)

Speaking of flasks, here's a little tip. Don't try to use a flask-funnel when filtering bourbon through a coffee filter. Get a funnel of sufficient size, even if it means making a trip to a housewares aisle somewhere.

I found that the filter absorbed bourbon to the extent that the portion outside the funnel became saturated and started dripping, whereupon I bathed the kitchen counter top with at least an ounce of fine bourbon. Trying to pour faster to minimize that effect caused even greater loss due to accidental overfilling. Sigh...

I was planning to do formal tasting notes on Rock Hill Farms, but I've decided not to. I don't think I could keep an open mind while gazing at a recycled WT101 bottle. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield (The Original DaveM)