View Full Version : Black Bourbon?

11-24-2007, 15:24
Well, I liked my Thanksgiving WT Kentucky Spirit so much that I decided to go pick up the couple of bottles I left on the shelf. One of them looked identical to my original purchase, but the other was absolutely black in the bottle. No light coming through it at all. Like coffee liqueur or something. I was so intrigued that I considered buying it just to open it and see what was going on. But rather than spend the 40 bucks, I thought I'd post the question here and save myself some money: Has anyone ever seen a bottle like this before and if so, how could the color change so completely? We're talking a single barrel bottling from the same barrel, same warehouse, same date, etc. And less than 7 yrs in the bottle.


11-25-2007, 00:23
Sounds like the bourbon somehow came in contact with iron. In a discussion with one of the Master Distillers in the past couple of years, I think it was Parker Beam but not sure, I remember the story of a Kansas City bar owner who complained that his bourbon had turned black sitting on the bar. Parker or whoever told the guy to stop watering his bourbon down because KC has a lot of iron in the water supply and that was what turned the bourbon black. The same source advised that in a case where a barrel had leaked and someone put a nail in the hole to stop the leak, the nail caused the whole barrel to turn black. This is the explanation I have second hand so I hope it's what you're looking for Mike.

11-25-2007, 11:08
is it mainly a (dis)coloration problem? or would the flavor be heavily altered?

11-26-2007, 09:18
If water was added....the flavor is altered.

11-26-2007, 19:35
Sounds like the bourbon somehow came in contact with iron...

That's one of the best stories I've heard in awhile. :lol: :lol: :lol:

It reminds me of some pre-pro bottles that Mike Veach showed some of us awhile back. IIRC they were rum bottles from Boston that had turned black from the high-iron water. I wish Mike would tell the story correctly.

Also, I've heard stories of stray bits of ferrous metal turning the contents of a barrel black, so it the watered-down liquor story seems true and hilarious.


11-26-2007, 21:47
If I understand you correctly, this is a bottle of Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit, the color of which looked significantly different, i.e., much darker, than its neighbors? As dark as coffee liqueur? If that's what you're saying, no, that's not normal. That's the exact opposite of normal.

The first explanation that comes to mind is that somebody has monkeyed with it...i.e., drank some and added water, drank some and added water and coloring, replaced the WT with something else entirely. Whichever it is, that's serious. Whiskey doesn't change color in the bottle. And Wild Turkey doesn't put out bottles of its most premium standard product that don't have a consistent appearance. Somebody did something to that bottle after it left the distillery.

That would lead me to be hesitant about shopping at that store, for anything. If I had a relationship there, I would say something. If my understanding of what you are saying is correct, something is seriously wrong there.

11-27-2007, 05:36
I'll never forget the late 1800's bottle I saw at the Getz Whiskey Museum: the whiskey was an emerald green in color!


11-28-2007, 21:15
Actually other than being watered down, from my understanding the flavor wouldn't be changed noticably. Still, as Chuck says it's not normal and even if it did taste right, it wouldn't look right and I wouldn't touch it for fear of what else might be masked by the color. Whatever happened pretty much had to happen in the bottle or there'd be a bunch of these around. Unless WT pulled most of the off colored bottles off the packing line and missed this one of course.