View Full Version : Alchohol content and the cork

04-26-2008, 16:32
I was advised a couple of weeks ago on this forum that you should not store bourbon on its side because the alchohol will dissolve the cork.

How long does this take to have an adverse affect on the cork. I know the proof has an effect on this but I'm not sure the time it takes.

04-29-2008, 07:57
I don't know if there are any scientific studies (if there are, someone on this site probably did them)... it's not going to happen immediately (don't worry about the bottle on the car seat on the way home from the store) but I would imagine it would begin to happen over several months or more.

The key is: don't risk it! Store upright, or drink it! :lol:

04-29-2008, 18:23
There is no benefit to storing a corked bottle of whiskey on its side and there is potential for harm. How fast depends on the quality of the cork. Contact with a poor cork for even a few weeks could affect the taste, I would say. Or it might never affect the taste or have any adverse effect. The point, as John B says, is why take the chance?

I have tasted many instances of corked whiskey. In every case the bottles or decanters were probably 20 or more years old. If the seal is compromised there usually is evaporation (or leakage) and oxidation damage.

There are a lot more cork closures in the whiskey business now than there used to be, with the emphasis on premium products. That's what makes this advice more urgent than ever before. Do not store whiskey in any way that causes the spirit to have prolonged contact with the cork.

There's no good reason to store screw cap bottles on their side but there the primary risk is leakage. Still, the best thing to be in constant contact with a high proof spirit is either glass or stainless steel, not plastic and definitely not cork.

04-30-2008, 15:49
Do you think the whiskey industy will ever go to plastic corks like some of the winery's did?

04-30-2008, 18:06
Plastic would be OK, but the stuff they use for wine is an odd compound... I do not think that would be good with the higher alcohol content.

04-30-2008, 19:49
The screw cap is the superior closure. Corks are used because consumers equate them with quality even though they are inferior in just about every respect.

The customer is always right.

Of course, the same is true with wine and you wouldn't think that people would find plastic corks "classier" than plastic screw tops, but apparently they do.

Many European spirits products use the metal screw cap, which is perceived as "classier" than plastic screw tops and I believe some U.S. producers are messing with it too.

Part of the problem is that spirits producers insist on operating on the assumption that people will buy their products, take them home, and drink them, not put them in a closet for 40 years.

04-30-2008, 19:54
....Many European spirits products use the metal screw cap, which is perceived as "classier" than plastic screw tops and I believe some U.S. producers are messing with it too.

Some time ago I picked up a bottle of Beam Black before heading to a party/cookout. I want to say it had a metal cap. I have an older bottle here at the house (I keep for guests) its cap is definitely plastic.