El Tesoro (tequila) seems to have moved to synthetic corks. I've already lost a good bottle of another brand's reposado to cork that had dried and flaked in the liquid, so I was eager to see how this one performed.
Essentially, it does the job. No "PHWONK" sound but it creates a tight seal that's easy to remove. I like knowing that it won't/can't flake in the bottle.
Regarding screw caps, I had just opened a Weller Antique 107 for the first time about six weeks ago. I replaced the cap and somehow managed to screw it on so tight that I ruined the cap completely. Not by stripping, but by screwing the top so hard that the top part separated from the sides. Never had that happen before or since.
The only time I ever came across a questionable cork was with a bottle of Port Ellen (an Islay Scotch from a long-defunct distillery). It was a Cadenheads 150th Anniversary bottle, that had been on a store shelf in (of all places!) Michigan. At 64.1% or thereabouts, it was the strongest whisky I had until I came across Stagg. The cork had a "crumbly" quality to it, and it would leave little bits in the neck of the bottle when opened. A bit of paper towel took care of those.
Very fortunately, the whisky inside the bottle was untainted - and it was magnificent. This was one bottling that absolutely needed a bit of water, though.
Man what a scary looking bottle of RHF!
As for the second matter, upon further examination I have found the aforementioned perforations. This will make the next time much easier!
What's with the waxed screw top on the Pure Kentucky XO bottles? I brought one home the other day and it didn't have the release stringy thing sticking out. I had to hack at it with a knife all the way around and once done I tried pulling on it to no avail. That's when I realized it was a screw top. I just don't understand the logic either. The cheapest in the KBD small batch lineup has a cork (Kentucky Vintage), so why does the next step up have a screw top...with wax?