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View Full Version : The best Decanter Stopper



dlmartin
11-13-2005, 18:59
There was an early post that mentioned just a hollow glass decanter stopper but I recently happened to find in an antique shop several used decanters with different stoppers, cork, plastic and glass. I need help in deciding which to buy. They are all under $20.00.

I know there are a lot of knowledgable people on this site so my question is: What stopper will last longer, cork, plastic or glass? I'm assuming glass except I'm wondering if by repeated use, will the glass slowly chip away or not have a good seal? Will the plastic stopper degrade or split and will the cork eventually dry up and crack?
I appreciate any ideas... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/thankyousign.gif.


http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

JeffRenner
11-13-2005, 20:23
I recently happened to find in an antique shop several used decanters with different stoppers, cork, plastic and glass. I need help in deciding which to buy. They are all under $20.00.

I know there are a lot of knowledgable people on this site so my question is: What stopper will last longer, cork, plastic or glass?



I have assembled a bit of a collection of post-pro decanters. The best quality decanters all have glass stoppers. Most are ground glass, although some very fine ones have smooth glass.

Many older decanter stoppers have small chips, and sometimes the ends break off, but they all seal well.

I think plastic is tacky, and cork is not durable, although it can be replaced.

Hope this helps.

Jeff

BourbonJoe
11-13-2005, 20:54
The best decanter seal, IMO is the glass stopper, particularly the ground glass stopper. If you don't break it you have a lifetime seal.
Joe http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/usflag.gif

kbuzbee
11-14-2005, 07:49
But this begs the question of 'why would you decant Bourbon?' I understand wine. There may be sediment etc you want to remove. But the only reason I can see to decant Bourbon is you just like the decanter. Is that right? I have several nice glass decanters inherited from my parents. I filled them once because they looked "cool" but I find I'd really rather pour from the original bottles.

Just wondering,

Ken

doubleblank
11-14-2005, 08:29
Many reasons you may occasionally use a decanter. If you buy any older ceramic decanters, its much more attractive to pour from a nice crystal/glass decanter than that "Ma and Paw Kettle" decanter.....and you get to see the color (age?) too. If you do any "Gillmanizing".....decanters are great for showing off your blending skill. I also, on accasion, buy a 1.75 and prefer to put it into a smaller container on my display bar than have it stand out from the crowd.

Randy

kbuzbee
11-15-2005, 07:11
Good input, Randy, Thanks. I actually kind of like the Ma and Pa Kettle decanters. They have characture (and I can see the color in the glass). Gillmanizing is a great use. Have to keep that in mind.

Ken

chasking
11-15-2005, 15:32
There are a lot of whiskies that are excellent spirits but the packaging of which just doesn't convey elegance. If I was having a nice dinner party and I wanted to offer a bourbon like, say, Old Grand-Dad BIB, I suspect it would be better received from a decanter than from the bottle with the day-glo orange plastic cap, for instance. (Although personally I like the orange plastic cap.) Or Bulleit: the whole "frontier bourbon" thing is potentially off-putting, I think. I think a lot of bourbon packaging goes in a little too much for the hillbilly, good-ole-boy, hound-dogs-and-rocking-chairs image, and while that's a part of bourbon heritage, it may cause some people to take bourbon less seriously than SMSW or cognac, for instance. Even the cheapest rotgut looks impressive in a nice decanter.

Note re decanters: if you're going to use it for spirits, make sure the decanter is glass and not lead crystal. The high concentration of alcohol in spirits leaches the lead out of crystal.

Edward_call_me_Ed
11-15-2005, 23:44
I found this on a site about lead poisoning.



If imported wine containers have a lead foil wrapper, wipe the rim and neck of the bottle with a towel moistened with lemon juice, vinegar, or wine before using.




Is the foil on bourbon sometimes lead? Sometimes it is clearly aluminum, other times I think it is lead. Or maybe I am thinking of scotch.
Ed

kbuzbee
11-16-2005, 12:13
I see where you are going with this but I don't give one little whit whether someone else takes Bourbon "seriously' or not. If they enjoy it (for whatever reason), fine. I'm more than willing to share the things I have found in my journeys. If they don't.... more for me http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif

Ken

kbuzbee
11-16-2005, 12:15
Note re decanters: if you're going to use it for spirits, make sure the decanter is glass and not lead crystal. The high concentration of alcohol in spirits leaches the lead out of crystal.



Good point but would it really be an issue if you aren't storing it, only serving it, from the decanter??

Ken

JeffRenner
11-17-2005, 14:24
Note re decanters: if you're going to use it for spirits, make sure the decanter is glass and not lead crystal. The high concentration of alcohol in spirits leaches the lead out of crystal.



A couple of thoughts here - I think it is the acidity of beverages that leach the lead from crystal, not the alcohol. I don't know what the acidity of bourbon is compared to, say, wine. There certainly are organic acids. somePerhaps chemistry professor Tim can adddress this.

If you don't store whiskey in leaded crystal, but just decant for serving, it shouldn't be a problem, according to the sources I've read for years, and which can be Googled.

Jeff

chasking
11-17-2005, 15:00
If you don't store whiskey in leaded crystal, but just decant for serving, it shouldn't be a problem, according to the sources I've read for years, and which can be Googled.



No doubt true. I was thinking of the image of the decanter of whiskey and nice glasses sitting out all the time on a little table in the living room, a more or less permanent fixture of all the best homes in the old days, if 60s TV is to be believed.

JeffRenner
11-17-2005, 15:11
Many reasons you may occasionally use a decanter. If you buy any older ceramic decanters, its much more attractive to pour from a nice crystal/glass decanter than that "Ma and Paw Kettle" decanter.....and you get to see the color (age?) too. ... I also, on accasion, buy a 1.75 and prefer to put it into a smaller container on my display bar than have it stand out from the crowd.



I agree, Randy. I enjoyed seeing that attractive decanter in your post (http://www.straightbourbon.comhttp://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthreaded.php/Cat/0/Number/50737/page/vc/vc/1) on the one gallon Canadian Club bottle.

As I have mentioned before, I have accumulated a fair collection of antique post-pro decanters. The kind I collect are all glass from the 30's and 40's with the name of the spirit either molded into the decanter or incised. I don't care as much for the ones with a "dogtag," and definitely don't like the ceramic ones from the 50's on of hobos, hilbillies, etc.

These decanters easiest to find for rye and scotch. This is because these were the two whiskies that households that would have decanters would keep during this period. Less common was gin, and, outside of the south, bourbon even less so. Vodka, of course, came after this period.

Below is a complete (as far as I know) set of one of the most common patterns. The rye and scotch are on eBay almost any time. They often can be had for $10/set. The gin is much less common, and the bourbon was a real find.

I don't know the pattern or manufacturer, but for some reason I think they might have been made by Cambridge.

I buy 1 or 1.75 liters of spirits to fill these, and keep them on the side shelf, both as display and because they are handy. These are my standard, or generic, pours. That is not to say that they are "well" pours. In some ways, they are my favorites, at least except for special pours. Of course, more often than not, I pour one of those special pours, but the ones in the decanters are probably the ones I pour more than other brands.

They presently contain Jim Beam rye, Teacher's or Grant's scotch (whichever I get a good deal on), Old Forrester 100 proof, and Seagram's (I think) gin. The gin is mostly for G&Ts. For a martini, I prefer Tanqueray Ten or Anchor's Junipero.

I'll have to take some photos of my other sets and post them.

Jeff

AVB
11-21-2005, 14:09
If you plan to leave your whisk(e)y in a lead crystal decanter you should use it within the first 25 years or so. You get more lead in your system from breathing then will leach out of crystal in any normal use.

doubleblank
11-21-2005, 19:55
That's one of my faves Jeff.......given to me as a gift over 20 years ago. The whiskey in it is from a Michter's decanter in the shape of Penn. My decanter is much more attractive than that. The whiskey is pretty good too. From around 1976.....probably four to six years old.

Randy

BassCat1
08-02-2006, 13:04
Jeff - Those are really nice decanters. Show us a few more from your collection. I just started my collection of decanters with some Evan Williams and Heaven Hill stuff. I have filled them with EW 10yrs. old. For the money, a good pour from an attractive decanter is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also seems more pleasing to the pallet.