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  1. #91
    Connoisseur
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    Toledo, OH
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    857

    Re: Leaching of Lead into Whiskey from Ceramic Decanter Glazing

    My wife's uncle was a wine and spirits distributor who always had those ceramic bourbon releases on his bar. Very genorous with his product and the New Year was always special at his house. Dead ten years ago today. RIP Cletus. We still miss you. I don't think your passing had anything to do with lead in the glaze. Even so, we miss you--and the booze.
    If God made anything better than bourbon he must have kept it for Hisself.

  2. #92
    Advanced Taster
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    Oct 2012
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    218

    Re: Leaching of Lead into Whiskey from Ceramic Decanter Glazing

    I found four porcelean WT 101 8 year decanters from after 1980. NOT the ceramic ones. I have emptied the 1981, 1982, and 1985 into empty bottles and every single one yielded 740-745ml after pouring through a metal tea type filter. 2 of the corks were broken off of the head pieces, but the cork still had a good seal to the decanter. The other one had an intact tax strip, but when I took it off the cork broke from the head piece like the other two.


    Once i pushed through the cork with a cork screw it fell apart, but no evaporation. Had a little taste test of the 81 and 85 and had no cork/air taste whatsoever. It tasted like WT 101, but more mature. Very smooth, creamy mouth warming, less rye then I was expecting and more vanilla. Very tasty pours.

  3. #93
    Guru
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    Oct 2011
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    Marietta, GA
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    2,509

    Re: Leaching of Lead into Whiskey from Ceramic Decanter Glazing

    The 50 mL was also porcelain according to the box. When I pushed the cork in and poured (similar tea filter!) I got roughly 3/4 or 4/5 of an ounce. As a 50 mL, I was hoping to see 45 mL (10% loss), but even a level ounce would have meant roughly a 40% loss. I tried some WT 101 12 yr a couple weeks ago and thought it was amazing stuff. I never would have thought to look at flea markets (and really more of an antique store), but will definitely keep my eyes open! Sounds like you had great results with great whiskey!
    Gary
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    "Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough." - Mark Twain
    "Because Whiskey Matters!" - David Perkins

  4. #94
    Advanced Taster
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    Oct 2012
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    Re: Leaching of Lead into Whiskey from Ceramic Decanter Glazing

    according to the OP, the porceleans should be fine, he heard it from the wt tour that the lead was used through the ceramic decanter era. I have seen a few other ones as well at second hand stores/antique shops/ etc. like you mentiong, but those all had nothing in it. I found mine at a local liquor store randomly.

  5. #95
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    Dec 2012
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    Re: Leaching of Lead into Whiskey from Ceramic Decanter Glazing

    I just recently found a porcelain S-W WSR decanter from 1986. Where did you see that porcelain would not have a lead glaze? From what I've read there is little practical difference between ceramic and porcelain stoneware and they both use glazes to seal them. The glaze is what contains the lead. I think I'll just leave this puppy sealed even though it feels and sounds full.
    I've never tried GTS with any sort of soda. Maybe I'm missing out; but I'm OK with that.

  6. #96
    Connoisseur
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    Jan 2010
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    927

    Re: Leaching of Lead into Whiskey from Ceramic Decanter Glazing

    This thread and several things I have seen and learned while dealing with the new still we have in now. How much lead was in whiskey produced way back before people knew lead was a problem. I know they used lead solder, Tail Boxes had lead in them I know, I doubt lead pipe was used, but it is possible. I know my yeast jug I use to this day has a lead seal on the valve.

  7. #97
    Virtuoso
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    Apr 2011
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    Sutton, Massachusetts
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    Re: Leaching of Lead into Whiskey from Ceramic Decanter Glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by smknjoe View Post
    I just recently found a porcelain S-W WSR decanter from 1986. Where did you see that porcelain would not have a lead glaze? From what I've read there is little practical difference between ceramic and porcelain stoneware and they both use glazes to seal them. The glaze is what contains the lead. I think I'll just leave this puppy sealed even though it feels and sounds full.
    Looking a bit online, porcelain is fired at a higher temp and does not need glazing to make it non-porous. However, that doesn't mean they didn't use a glaze for decorative purposes. If that glaze however was only used on the outside (which you'd assume they'd do since glazing internally would only be needed for making it non-porous which would be unnecessary for porcelain), it might be OK even if it included lead. The only way to know for sure (and peace of mind) would be to get a test kit and test the whiskey inside.

    Lead crystal/glassware is a different matter - lead oxide makes glass easier to work with and also increases its refractive index (making it "sparkle" more - which is why they are usually so ornately decorated - has the effect you'd look for in a properly cut diamond ring). Other information posted here indicates that undesirable levels of lead will leach into a sufficiently acidic solution in as little as 24 hours. Wine's acidity and pH is particularly effective at leaching the lead from lead crystal - so your decanters should be lead-free, but for serving you could probably safely use fancy, expensive decanter/glassware as long as it didn't sit in there more than a couple hours during a typical dinner, and if used occasionally. For a whiskey, I don't know what typical pH/acidity would be, however, in there you would be storing it for a longer period, and that is likely to lead to undesirable levels of lead accumulating over time.
    Mark

  8. #98
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    Re: Leaching of Lead into Whiskey from Ceramic Decanter Glazing

    Thanks for the info Mark. That's somewhat encouraging I have a sample of S-W WSR (from a glass bottle) that I'm getting ready to taste. If I decide that I must have more I'll send a sample to be tested. It certainly is a shame that it's just been sitting here not being consumed.
    I've never tried GTS with any sort of soda. Maybe I'm missing out; but I'm OK with that.

  9. #99
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    Re: Leaching of Lead into Whiskey from Ceramic Decanter Glazing

    Quote Originally Posted by smknjoe View Post
    Thanks for the info Mark. That's somewhat encouraging I have a sample of S-W WSR (from a glass bottle) that I'm getting ready to taste. If I decide that I must have more I'll send a sample to be tested. It certainly is a shame that it's just been sitting here not being consumed.
    Glad to help - be safe - for a small investment, you could gain the peace of mind that you can imbibe with confidence! If it goes the other way, well, at least you have a nice decanter and know you won't end up with the sanity of a Roman Emperor!
    Mark

 

 

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