View Full Version : Ill-fitting corks

01-18-2008, 15:09
I have noticed that sometimes when nursing a bottle over a long period, say, perhaps a year or two, some corks will seem to shrivel a little as time goes on and the bottle's contents dwindle. The cork remains spongy not hard and dry like what occurs when storing spare corks in a drawer. It looks sort of shriveled and prune like. With bottles where the cork never was a very tight fit (such as some WT bottlings) the cork is noticably loose.

I currently have a bottle of WT 12 open where this is the case. Additionally there seems to be a film of debris in the neck of the bottle where the cork sits. On one occasion I carefully wiped this debris out with a (damp with whiskey) paper towel only to have this film reappear. Is this a sign of a deteriorating cork? The whiskey tastes fine and the cork doesn't give off any odd odors. I thought of placing a small square of cellophane (Glad cling wrap) over the mouth of the bottle and then seating the cork as a way of preventing any further deterioration as well as a shim of sorts to prevent any evaporation from the poor fitting cork. Is this a good idea? would the alcohol have any negative effect on the cellophane?

01-18-2008, 15:53
Clearly the WT12 is a bad bottle... you should dispose of it immediately! (say, to my address :grin:)

When in doubt, I seal my loose bottles w/Saran wrap as you suggest (or paraffin over the top) or in the case of decanters where the cork has completely deteriorated, pour through a coffee filter into a dishwashered and double-rinsed wine bottle.

01-21-2008, 21:21
Put a piece of glad in a little bourbon and let us know what happens.
I just had a Pappy 20 cork break and a few pieces of cork fell into the bottle. I replaced it with some fancy wine stopper that seemed to fit pretty well. Not noticing any ill effects on the always excellent P20.

01-21-2008, 21:40
bigtoy is right... since this is not a wine, you do not need to worry about degradation of the product... although it pains me to say it, a synthetic cork would work better for regular use... for sealing, but make sure it is not susceptible to the alcohol and break down...