PDA

View Full Version : What would you do if you discovered ...



ronald
01-18-2007, 07:40
That Johnnie Walker Blue label you happily unearthed from your grandfathers dusty collection,

turns out to be OPENED, tasted and then recorked 18 years ago:slappin: , and on top of that, stored lying down...

Would you dare drink it? the cork seems a little dry and a little twist produces the dry crackling sound of old cork being torn apart... although there has been no leakage thus far.

Or should this dusty bottle head straight for the bin?

Edward_call_me_Ed
01-18-2007, 08:11
I would precede in stages. Nose it. If it passes that, taste it. If is passes that, drink it. If it fails at any stage, either toss it or keep it as a memento.

Ed

cowdery
01-18-2007, 10:58
First, don't worry about it. The worst cork taint will do is make it taste a little off, but it won't hurt you. It doesn't make it poisonous or anything. Taste it and if it tastes good, drink it, if it doesn't, don't.

Second, according to Wikipedia, JW Blue was introduced in 1992, which is consistent with my own recollections, so at the most it is 15 years old, not 18. Not that it matters, but just FYI.

ronald
01-19-2007, 09:02
Second, according to Wikipedia, JW Blue was introduced in 1992, which is consistent with my own recollections, so at the most it is 15 years old, not 18. Not that it matters, but just FYI.


Thanks for the replies!

Good call there, after a little investigating i discovered that the bottle actually arrived after we moved. making it about 12-13 years old.

Ill give the bottle a shot, but something about dusty boxes, and *THAT* musty smell associate with old paper and cloth puts me off. i hope the JW blue inside doesnt taste like old cloth though...

TnSquire
01-29-2007, 10:16
That Johnnie Walker Blue label you happily unearthed from your grandfathers dusty collection,

turns out to be OPENED, tasted and then recorked 18 years ago:slappin: , and on top of that, stored lying down...

Would you dare drink it? the cork seems a little dry and a little twist produces the dry crackling sound of old cork being torn apart... although there has been no leakage thus far.

Or should this dusty bottle head straight for the bin?

I would fall on my knees and thank Jesus that I had not been tempted to enter into the wilderness of scotch drinking.........

Just kidding.....

How was it?

OscarV
01-29-2007, 16:31
That Johnnie Walker Blue label you happily unearthed from your grandfathers dusty collection,

turns out to be OPENED, tasted and then recorked 18 years ago:slappin: , and on top of that, stored lying down...

Would you dare drink it? the cork seems a little dry and a little twist produces the dry crackling sound of old cork being torn apart... although there has been no leakage thus far.

Or should this dusty bottle head straight for the bin?




really,....how was it?

ronald
01-30-2007, 11:46
Well actually, all truth be told... the johnnie blue tasted good! no cork taint whatsoever, fruits and long smokey finish and all.

the interesting thing is this. since my first post, i have taken the time to clear out a cabinet full, and i do mean FULL, of blended scotch and cognac. and they were ALL stored lying down. Some bottles like a Hennessy VSOP and the Chivas Royal Salutes experienced massive evapouration. these were bottles that were at the half mark, and they werent even open. thats right. the plastic seals were not at all airtight.

In any case ive noticed a trend, the bottles with screw caps ( the cognac VSOPs and some XOs ) on average experienced the most evapouration, with bottles coming down to the 60% mark or less. Those with corks tended to suffer less loss, although there must be something in the quality of the corks chivas uses, as all the royal salutes had evapurated to the 40% mark or less. By way of comparision, the Johnnie blues fared the best with the least cork decay and least evapouration.

I have now decanted the above mentioned royal salute into a 375 ml bottle. Ive thought of sampling them but although they smell good... and i know 40% alcohol tends to kill most bacteria, but im slightly put of by the thought of drinking something that has been mouldering away in the corner of a dusty cabinet for 15 years.

cowdery
01-30-2007, 16:48
Would that we could get all of the TV networks to run public service announcements to tell people, please don't store whiskey on its side.

AVB
02-02-2007, 05:22
I have about 250 bottles with 170-180 of them open. I regularly put a group of them on their side for a day or two just to keep the corks wet and swelled. Are you saying that this practice isn't good or just long term storage on the side isn't good?


Would that we could get all of the TV networks to run public service announcements to tell people, please don't store whiskey on its side.

cowdery
02-02-2007, 11:37
Don't do it. Only bad things happen when the whiskey comes in contact with the cork. If you are concerned that you don't have a sufficient seal (and that probably is not a valid concern in most cases), there are much better alternatives, such as sealing the entire top of the bottle with Parafilm M, or decanting into a smaller bottle with a screw cap.

The only reason people do this is because they know it's done for wine and they figure that if it's good for wine it must be good for whiskey. It isn't. The much higher alcohol content of whiskey will cause the cork to break down. Alcohol, remember, is a solvent, which is related to the verb "to dissolve."

AVB
02-02-2007, 13:06
Gee, I've been doing this for decades so far. I'm not so much concerned that there isn't a good seal I just thought it was a way to keep the cork from drying out and perhaps have a slightly better seal. Some of the less popular bottles might take a decade or so to finish.

OK, they are all standing up now, thanks for the info.

cowdery
02-02-2007, 17:19
If any are less than half full and you expect them to be open for years, you should seriously consider transferring them to smaller bottles with screw caps. This goes for the currently screw capped ones as well as the corked ones. Oxidation is the risk here and, again, it's hard to say you'll absolutely have a problem because of it. Most damaged bottles I have tasted were damaged by corks, not by oxidation, but I have experienced heavily oxidized ones as well. The first time was very memorable, because it was a bottle of Henry McKenna from the McKenna distillery, but it had sat on a back bar with one drink in the bottom of it for about 20 years. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't right either. Oxidation seems to emphasize the vanilla to a point where it becomes the only thing you can taste.

What kind of bar would let a bottle with one drink in it sit on the back bar for 20 years? A very peculiar one, (http://www.chicagoist.com/archives/2005/09/09/the_legacy_of_the_bucket_osuds.php) but that's another story.

AVB
02-02-2007, 17:46
The vast majority of what I have open is Scotch, not that it would make a difference in the oxidation itself but vanilla flavor doesn't seem to be a problem.

cowdery
02-02-2007, 18:22
There is another issue with scotch that doesn't apply to bourbon. Most scotch contains spirit carmel, a sugar that is added for color, that can break down simply due to time. I don't know enough about it to know if it's a problem or what the problem might be, but I do know it's there and sugar is something that can break down with time. I know it's a problem with liqueurs. If you've ever tried an old liqueur and found it nasty, that's why.

AVB
02-02-2007, 19:36
I'm going to have to disagree about the caramel in most scotch. The single malts I'm interested in do not have caramel added at least the independent bottlers that I mostly have. I know Wm. Grant (Glenfiddich & Balvenie) and Glenlivet don't but I wouldn't be surprised if Macallan does to keep the color uniform.

cowdery
02-03-2007, 12:49
I don't know which scotches contain spirit carmel. My point is that the additive, not permitted in bourbon, is permitted in scotch.