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View Full Version : A new guy, a confession, a busted cork and some questions...



tango-papa
12-24-2006, 12:20
Yet another new guy...
Lurked for some time before joining, and have posted a time or two...
Really enjoy the site and check it out almost every day - my compliments and thanks to all.
Have always enjoyed craft brewed beer and while in college, had direct access to one of the best in the land (at least in my opinion) at the New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado - Fat Tire Amber Ale!
Developed an interest in Single Malt Scotch, however became frustrated with the prices vs. availability - make a decent living, but some of those Scotch prices are just plain silly.

And then The Bourbon... an accidental, yet oh-so-happy-new-found-joy.

My confession...
Since finding this site several months ago, I have read and read and read some more, and managed to do a bit of successful hunting along the way.
This has lead to the humble beginnings of what I think is and will continue to become a fairly decent bunker as it were. Being a married (14+ years now :bowdown: ...) guy, I have also been forced to duck and dodge the wife's "Fuzzy-Eyeball" (thankss ggilbertva - too funny!!!) on several bunker-stocking missions. Some of my recent noteworthy finds include...
~a few bottles of the 2005 BTAC WLW.
~One "case" of the 2006 BTAC WLW.
~a few bottles of the 2005 BTAC ER17.
~Several bottles of WT RR101 - I really, really like this stuff!
~Two bottles of WT 12 yr with split label (and, if anyone has a few "spares", I am definitely interested in one more as well as continuing to look for the elusive gold label version).
~A few bottles of PVW 15 and PVW 20.
~A few bottles of VWFR 12 yr Lot B.
~A few bottles of ORVW 10 and 15 year.
~and last, but not least, I have my eye on two that are gonna "hurt" a bit at the register... a PVW 23 and a few WT Tributes - should have those safely tucked-in by the end of January assuming all goes well.

A busted cork...
Recently found a bottle of WT Rye with a date stamp of 1997 and brought it home. Well, apparently Mr. Murphy likes this too, and when I went to pull the cork, it snapped off, leaving about half inside the neck. Obviously, the cork's gonna crumble so here's what I'm thinking: attempt removal with a corkscrew and assuming failure, pour the contents thru a coffee filter into a stainless mixing bowl, clean the bottle out and return the contents thru another filter and top off with a Haley's Corker (winecorker.org). Comments, feedback, suggestions and/or insults all very much appreciated.

Some questions...
~After the cork episode (see above), I'm a bit concerned about this happening with some of my more valuable finds as well as any older bottles in general. What, if any, are the methods to prevent this from happening in the future? Definitley still in the novice arena here and will be most appreciative of any Cork / Bottle advice.

~Does anyone use the Haley's Corker routinely? Seems like a really nice stopper and nary-a-drop spilled from my current bottle of regular 'ole WT 101.

~Currently drinking everything neat and using the Riedel Ouverture Bourbon glass. Considering a set (4-pack) of the Riedel Vivant Cognac glasses at Target - they're 21.13 ounce, lead-free Tyrol crystal... any thoughts here? Or, maybe just pick-up a few mid-size cognac glasses made by Libbey (specifically the Libbey Embassy 9 oz. Brandy Glass), they seem pretty stout and are relatively inexpensive locally.

~Finally, I can say without reservation, that I'm a fan of Wild Turkey and all things Van Winkle too. Just opened my first bottle of Weller 12 yr and am liking it after a few pours. Always open to suggestions... recently finished a bottle of EC 12 and can honestly say that I enjoyed it about half the time and found it a bit too bitter at others... seemed strange to me anyway and don't think I'll be going with that one again anytime soon.

Wow, this post turned out much longer than I anticipated... so if you've read it this far and are now bored beyond tears, my apologies :grin: .

Again, thanks to all and I really appreciate having "someone" to blame whenever the "Fuzzy Eyeball" catches me in action!

~tp

bluesbassdad
12-24-2006, 12:31
tp,



. . . and top off with a Haley's Corker (winecorker.org).




. . . my current bottle of regular 'ole WT 101.


Did you happen to keep the WT 101 cork when you installed the fancy thingamabob? It's probably a perfect fit on the rye bottle.

After a couple such incidents I started keeping one spare cork of each bottling I try. The result has been that corks no longer break -- except those from bottlings I buy for the first time. Most recently it was 1792 RR, where the wood gripper separated from the cork at the first gentle tug. Sigh.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

doubleblank
12-24-2006, 12:49
Where in SE Texas? We occasionally have a small SB.com get together here in Houston.

Randy

tango-papa
12-24-2006, 15:31
tp,

Did you happen to keep the WT 101 cork when you installed the fancy thingamabob? It's probably a perfect fit on the rye bottle.

After a couple such incidents I started keeping one spare cork of each bottling I try. The result has been that corks no longer break -- except those from bottlings I buy for the first time. Most recently it was 1792 RR, where the wood gripper separated from the cork at the first gentle tug. Sigh.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield


Dave,

Unfortunately, no... I had already tossed the WT101 cork when the "cork incident" occurred. I will, in the future, be keeping an extra cork or two as you have suggested.

My favorite aspect of the "fancy thingamabob" is that it's primary use is aimed at wine snobs... er drinkers, and I am using it for... :bigeyes: gasp...:bigeyes: WHISKEY :lol: !

tango-papa
12-24-2006, 15:40
Where in SE Texas? We occasionally have a small SB.com get together here in Houston.

Randy

Randy,

I'm in the Houston metro area as well.
I've enjoyed reading several of your postings over the past few months and have always found them to be quite informative.

A few other similarities...

We both drive Toyota 4x4 trucks.

I think I scored my case of BTAC 2006 WLW a day or two after you - albeit a different location.

And being in the homebuilding business, would I be correct if I guessed that you live in a home built by Perry Homes? I do not, but saw your pics from a recent tasting you hosted and it's their cabinets that give it away.

~tp

FlashPuppy
12-24-2006, 16:08
The only thing that I would recommend to help out the corks is a gentle "tumble" every once in a while. Every month, I pull all of the bottles out and roll them around a little. This helps keep the cork moist, and prevents the crumbling (sometimes) you experienced.

tango-papa
12-24-2006, 17:36
The only thing that I would recommend to help out the corks is a gentle "tumble" every once in a while. Every month, I pull all of the bottles out and roll them around a little. This helps keep the cork moist, and prevents the crumbling (sometimes) you experienced.

Jeremy,

Thanks. I had thought about that, but wasn't sure if it's something that's recommended. Sure makes sense though as it's the only way to keep 'em wet.

Is this a "normal" practice for bunkered bottles?

~tp

FlashPuppy
12-24-2006, 17:40
The problem comes when the bottles are left laying down. The high alcohol content tends to eat at the corks and speeds the deterioration.

I believe that there are several people who have bourbon rolling days here, and I assume this is a fairly common practice.

jburlowski
12-26-2006, 07:25
A busted cork...
Obviously, the cork's gonna crumble so here's what I'm thinking: attempt removal with a corkscrew and assuming failure, ~tp

What I do when I have a cork break off is use an Ah-So Cork Puller to remove the remainder. This device consists of a pair of thin, narrow, flexible metal blades mounted in parallel to a flattened loop of a handle. In The blades are inserted on each side of the cork Then simply twist and lift. Since nothing is inserted directly into the cork, it is less likely to crumble further. You can find this type of cork puler in most large liquor or wine stores, etc.

No guarantees, but it usually works for me.

doubleblank
12-26-2006, 09:04
No, T-P, its not a Perry home. The previous owner hired a custom builder to do a Louisiana plantation style home in 1993. I live in the Champions area in north Houston. I'll let you know the next time we do a SB get together.

Randy

tango-papa
12-27-2006, 17:49
What I do when I have a cork break off is use an Ah-So Cork Puller to remove the remainder. This device consists of a pair of thin, narrow, flexible metal blades mounted in parallel to a flattened loop of a handle. In The blades are inserted on each side of the cork Then simply twist and lift. Since nothing is inserted directly into the cork, it is less likely to crumble further. You can find this type of cork puler in most large liquor or wine stores, etc.

No guarantees, but it usually works for me.

John B,

Never seen one of those before - but thanks to you, I'll be looking to get one asap - thanks for the help.

~tp

tango-papa
12-27-2006, 17:59
No, T-P, its not a Perry home. The previous owner hired a custom builder to do a Louisiana plantation style home in 1993. I live in the Champions area in north Houston. I'll let you know the next time we do a SB get together.

Randy

I would have put money down (and lost) that it was a Perry home.
The cabinets look really nice - I'm a sucker for custom built stuff.
I'm on the Southwest side, but work has me all over the city daily.
I'd love to join in the next time there's a Houston gathering - perhaps a proper nosing/tasting block of instruction would be in order for the ignorant-novice... that'd be me :grin: .

~tp

Padwen
12-29-2006, 12:59
I would suggest rinsing out the coffee filter before using. As an experiment, pour some boiling hot water (carefully) through a paper coffee filter and smell the steam. When I do this, for the first few minutes the steam smells awful with strong chemical odors. This is why I always rinse out my coffee filters with boiling water before making coffee with them. I don't know if alcohol would work as a solvent for the residual chemicals in the filter paper or not.

And yes, everyone I tell this to says I'm nuts.

CrispyCritter
12-29-2006, 19:46
Developed an interest in Single Malt Scotch, however became frustrated with the prices vs. availability - make a decent living, but some of those Scotch prices are just plain silly.

Wow, that's familiar! I'd chalk that up to two things:
The 1980s and early 90s were very lean times for Scotch producers, there's only so much aged whisky to go around, and demand is very high
The unfavorable currency exchange rate (as of this writing, 1 = $1.96)Then, I discovered that there's much joy to be had from bourbon and rye - and premium bourbons and ryes cost a hell of a lot less than premium Scotches.

Welcome aboard!

minnesota wade
12-30-2006, 09:14
Welcome aboard ! I am also new to bourbon but have had a similar road as I also lived in Fort Collins and still am a big fan of the micro industry. I just tried the WT RB and found I do like it, but I like it more with a few drops of water. Now if I can get my wife on board with collecting a few more bottles...