View Full Version : It's a sad day on the 2" bourbon shelf
Went to the premium shelf today, and what did I find?
Only an inch and a half left of my ER17. Should I drink it or keep it. I think I'll keep it.
2" left in my 1990 EWSB.
Only 2" left in my VW 12yo. and can't get more any time soon.
The Wathens is almost gone and I KNOW I can't get any more without great expense.
2" left of my WTRR, 2" left of my WT 8yr.
I promised I would make my Blanton's last longer but it's so darned good, there's only 2" left.
The list goes on and on.
Do you get my point?
Woe is me. I'm a man undone.
What's this?... two bottles of ORVW 15yo behind the couch.
Like you, I'm always tempted to lay off a bottle when it get two or three inches from the bottom but that practice, which is very instinctive, can be a little dangerous. While the risk is not imminent, if you leave them like that for too long oxidation can start to set in. If you think you are sad now, just imagine how distraught you will be if that happens.
Ohhhh pile on the pain. Now you mean I have to drink them before they go bad. I wonder if I can freeze them? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
You can't freeze them. You could transfer them to smaller bottles, but a better solution is just to enjoy them. The good news is it probably will be several years before any degradation from oxidation is noticable.
Welcome to my world! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif Actually, I haven't completely uncovered the psychological block I have to taking the plunge and finishing that bottle on the shelf. It isn't even necessarily related to expense or hassle-factor of replacement, because I even do it with ones I keep bunkered. But I have a shelf full of 2" almost-dead 'soldiers' that I won't finish.
For a few of them it's the fear of having to discard the pretty container (that would definitely apply to Blanton's and Antique Collection), or maybe more simply it's saying goodbye to a valued friend? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
To avoid a forest of mostly empty bottles I hardly have room for and to preclude the oxidation risk I either finish the "heel-taps" or more often, combine a number of them to form a personal "vatting". I don't feel even a good bottle is wasted by vatting it because I have had over 20 ounces of the good stuff straight, so I have "tasted" it. Recently I made my best-ever vatting. It is a combination of the last ounce or two of Hirsch 16 (the recent leaner-tasting one), some Hirsch 20, some McKenna single barrel, some ORVW 10 year old and some Rittenhouse and Woodhouse Reserve (for youth against the older whiskey) and I think also some Baker's. The result is a one-off blend of straight whiskeys. It can't be repeated because I doubt I will ever get more Hirsch (too expensive or hard to find) but the general formula is one I will go back to. It tastes very soft and long, mature yet with a round youthful fullness; it is a cognac-type, sipping bourbon. The Rittenhouse leaves faint tangs that the bourbons don't have on their own. I got the idea to balance old against younger from a Canadian whisky brand called 8&18 which is no longer made. Clearly this was a mingling of 8 and 18 year old whiskies, to get a balance. My vatting combined examples in three age brackets (16-20, 10 years or so, then around 6-8 years). Doing this is a nice way to remember the last ounces of the various whiskeys - they last longer in a sense, and often the mingling is very successful.
By acknowledging you have a problem, you have taken the first step on the road to recovery. The solution is simple: You must move to the US, KY in particular, where quality bourbon is but a short trip to the Liquor Barn away. No need to keep your money tied up in bourbon futures that you are afraid to drink, you simple enjoy then go get more http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
BTW, I am a recovering 2" bourbon hoarder as well. On day Leslie took a look at about 20 bottles that were almost empty and she gave me that look, I'm sure you know the one. Since then I finish all but the most exceptional bottles before I buy another. Yes dear, whatever you say dear http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/kiss.gif
That's why I only have one bottle of bourbon,rye and scotch open at any given time. I can't wait to try a new and different selection.Even if I love my current bottling
I never let those last two ounces remain.
Hmm... I know i have in the past opened some bottles of bourbon, had a couple glasses and been less than impressed with them.. A year or so later i uncorked the bottle again and I was very impressed with the bourbon... I know it's an unscientific test and could probably be attributed to changing tastes, but I would like to think that some bourbons are favorably affected by sitting in a half-empty bottle for a bit...
Many bourbons open up if a few inches are taken off the top. Leaving a few inches on the bottom for six months or more......well, not recommended. There is too much air in the bottle.
I agree with Chuck, drink 'em up and never fear oxidation. Has anybody ever experimented with nitrogen gas or preservers like the Vacuvin pump used with wine bottles? Hmmm...never thought about trying that to prevent oxidation of whiskey until this thread.
It makes sense with wine because wine can go so quickly. Whiskey doesn't oxidize very quickly, at least no so as you'd notice. When I have tasted oxidation in a whiskey it has been because of several years of exposure. If you really intend to keep a small amount of whiskey for an extended period of time, the best way to preserve it is in a well sealed bottle of suitable size.
If you really intend to keep a small amount of whiskey for an extended period of time, the best way to preserve it is in a well sealed bottle of suitable size.
Absolutely. Another tip if you don't have a bottle of the appropriate size, (or if you just plan on taking a few nips once in a while) is to sterilize some glass marbles and add to the bottle to minimize airspace.
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