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  1. #1
    Enthusiast
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    Question on fill level vintage

    I have an opportunity to get some vintage bottles. Some are 1950's-'60s, some even older. At what level of fill do you think the whiskey has lost it? Some of these are down maybe 10%, while some are down a bit more maybe up to 20%. The lower ones still any good to drink at all? Or just soft and gone...?

    Thanks,

    RW

  2. #2
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    Re: Question on fill level vintage

    Quote Originally Posted by RWBadley View Post
    I have an opportunity to get some vintage bottles. Some are 1950's-'60s, some even older. At what level of fill do you think the whiskey has lost it? Some of these are down maybe 10%, while some are down a bit more maybe up to 20%. The lower ones still any good to drink at all? Or just soft and gone...?

    Thanks,

    RW
    RW,

    I've had a couple of bottles that showed signs of evaporation at the percentages you listed. I opened a 1959 Old Forester BIB that had lost around 10-15% and it was delicious. Another recent opening was a 1980 Old Grand Dad that had lost about the same amount and it didn't have any off notes. I will say that it's a crap shoot as some bottles can take a negative turn because of evaporation. Only thing to do is open and try.
    “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” - P.J. O’Rourke
    Greg's "bourbondork" blog

  3. #3
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    Re: Question on fill level vintage

    Quote Originally Posted by ggilbertva View Post
    RW,

    I've had a couple of bottles that showed signs of evaporation at the percentages you listed. I opened a 1959 Old Forester BIB that had lost around 10-15% and it was delicious. Another recent opening was a 1980 Old Grand Dad that had lost about the same amount and it didn't have any off notes. I will say that it's a crap shoot as some bottles can take a negative turn because of evaporation. Only thing to do is open and try.
    Thanks, I'll give it 'em a try. I opened a Walker's Deluxe '62 that was down about 10% and I think it was pretty fresh tasting. Maybe not new, but not bad at all...

    Cheers,

    RW

  4. #4
    Advanced Taster
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    Mar 2009
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    Mt. Washington, KY
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    Re: Question on fill level vintage

    I think the key here would be either cloudiness or a precipitate layer in the bottom of the bottle. If you have either, there will be taste and aroma change ... if it's still clear, shold be good to go. I have seen pre-great experiment botles that were clear and good ... but down 15 to 20 % ... I have also seen bottles of the same vintage that literally were as cloudy as Mississippi River mud.
    Dave

    "Remember, the BEST bourbon is FREE bourbon ..."

  5. #5
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    Jul 2005
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    North Shore Boston, MA
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    1,604

    Re: Question on fill level vintage

    I'll agree -- yet again -- with Dave P. I've even tried a couple Prohibition-era bottles at almost 50% evaporation(!) and they tasted fine. I won't touch the cloudy ones, though.

    10-20% just proves that cork is porous and alcohol is volatile, IMHO. Think of it as your personal "angel's share".
    Kevin

    "Clears up her head with bourbon/Cause beer is so suburban/And declasse for what it's worth"

 

 

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