View Full Version : Wax

01-25-2004, 07:08
on another thread Boone mentions the awful wax on the 28yr old Heaven Hill. I have never liked wax on any bottles. I don't drink Makers Mark anymore...the most ubiquitous wax user and a distillery that seems determined to explore all color combinations and call it innovation rather than age their product to a finer level. I don't judge a bourbon that has it,in the end it is the bourbon not the packaging. I do like Elmer T. Lee, Blanton's etc and am eager to try Black Maple but I think the wax thing is silly, ugly, unnecessary and messy. It also adds to the cost. I know initially it was to show the unique "hand crafted" aspect of a quality bourbon but I just don't care for it. Just give me a great bourbon for the price in an attractive, functional bottle with a simple, interesting label. Any opinions?

01-25-2004, 07:18
I agree that Makers Mark has gone too far with these different wax colored dippings already instead of trying to produce a better product or add something different to their lineup. And yeah, funny coming from someone who has their share of wax dipped bottles, I know! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif As for other offerings that have wax dipped tops, I like them. I think it adds that extra something special, especially for bottles like Hirsch 20, Pappy 23 etc. Even on regular bottles like EWSB, ETL, Ezra B 15 yo etc I like it. I actually was upset to see that when they ran the final bottling of Hirsch 16 they cheaped out and went with foil caps. It took away from that special something on a special bottling. As for some people having a bitch of a time opening the wax bottles, I never have... I always run a sharp knife around the top and bottom part of where the peel off tape is under the wax making a 'groove. This ensures that when I pull the tab, the wax comes off in one even strip with little strain. This simple procedure has always left me with an easy to open bottle and one that looks nice as well.

01-25-2004, 09:26
I'm a middle-of-the-roader on wax. It is a messy nuisance on a bottle I want to open. I usually either peel the wax off, if possible, and just reseal the bottle with the cap/cork, or use a previously saved cork and discard the wax top. On the other hand, I also collect rarer, hard-to-find bourbons which I may or may not ever open. In those cases, the wax is both attractive and appears, at least, to further ensure a proper seal over many years.

01-30-2004, 15:02
Just be sure to check your wax seal every so often.
I just finished a bottle of Pure Kentucky XO, and
to be honest, I had no intention of drinking the contents
for at least another year or two. However,
upon inspection of the unopened bottle I noticed
that the wax had cracked and seperated. The cork was also about a third of the way out of the bottle.I removed the wax and cork( which had dried out ) and inserted a
tighter fitting cork into the bottle.

The bourbon at first tasted horrible( perhaps it was the
dreaded burnt mash edition ). But I didn't discard it and eventually( after struggling through half the bottle ) a fruity and cinnamon spice taste could be detected.+

I would welcome any thoughts or ideas as to why this
happened or if anyone has had a similar experience.

01-30-2004, 16:21
I don't think my bottle of Pure Kentucky XO was damaged. I just didn't like it. My impression was too much age. I found cutting it with young whiskey helped both.

01-30-2004, 16:28
I agree. I don't think cracks in the wax or a slightly protruding cork could affect the whiskey in the least. I have had this whiskey and it is an example (in my opinion) of what I was describing earlier, i.e., bourbon where the barrel has completely taken over and effaced the other elements that make for a fine-tasting drink.

Chuck's right, add lashes of the remainder to, say, Jim Baem White Label, or Maker's Mark - the result may surprise you.


01-30-2004, 18:11
Credit where credit is due, Gary.

I got the idea from you.

01-30-2004, 18:21
Thanks Chuck, but I got the idea from that 1885 book on blending whiskey we've discussed by J. Fleischmann.

As another Chuck (Berry) once said a propos where he got his guitar style from, "there is nothing new under the sun" (citing Charlie Christian and other 40's influences for his guitar style).


01-31-2004, 05:03
I had the same encounter with a bottle of XO, about seven months ago. The cork was broken and stuck in the neck of the bottle. Like you, when I finally fished out most of the cork, I found that the bourbon tasted bad. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/puke.gif I didn't have a spare cork lying around, so I put the XO into a decanter. I didn't have the will to dump it (it was a special order from the VA ABC). Maybe I'll tray it again tonight. Thanks for sharing, dgonano.


01-31-2004, 14:37
I special ordered mine from the VA ABC also!
This bourbon along with the other EK whiskies are
not available in Maryland.
I thank all who responded.

01-31-2004, 23:27
wax on...wax off...where's Ralph Macchio when we need him?(OK, that was corny, I admit). I don't mind the wax. Can take it or leave it.

Forgive my ignorance, but what is "EK"? I have been trying to find out info for months on this Small Batch Collection (Noah's Mill, Rowan's, Pure Kentucky, & Kentucky Vintage). The NY distributor, believe it or not, is a kosher bourbon company, and couldn't give me any info at all.

02-01-2004, 06:05
Forgive my ignorance, but what is "EK"?

It's not ignorance, it wanting to learn... Nothing wrong with that! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif It's actually who rather than what though. EK meant Evan Kulsveen. He does bottlings such as (I think he does these at least) Pure KY XO (and the other 3 from the Boutique Bourbon Collection), the new Black Maple Hill stuff, Corner Creek, Johnny Drum 15 and others...

02-01-2004, 10:55
Try CVI Brands, San Carlos, CA -- it is listed as 'sole agent' on the back of EK's current Black Maple Hill bottling. Don't know if it also serves as agent for the others, but it's worth a try.