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  1. #1
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Seattle Area
    Posts
    526

    When do you decide a bottle needs to be finished off?

    Ok, this question may not apply to many here, but for me I tend to have a lot of whiskeys open at any given time and I go through them very slowly. My typical week will involve pouring myself a dram 3-4 times in total but each of those tend to be 1oz or less. This, combined with my cravings to try things all over the spectrum, means that it takes me a long time to polish off a bottle unless I import some help (AKA poker night). I was checking my bar tonight and I have several bottles that are at or below the 25% mark, including a 2012 Stagg. Now, I hit all my nicer bottles with a few squirts of private preserve to try and stem the oxidation but still, I know these have to go.

    So, all that being said, I'm curious how people are here treat their nearly empties and when they decide it's time to put the final nail in. Does it occur naturally as you move through bottles or do you chose to drain one on purpose?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Marietta, GA
    Posts
    2,345

    Re: When do you decide a bottle needs to be finished off?

    I'm a lot like you in having a ton open at a time, and probably only dispensing with 3-5 oz a week on average (and from 3-5 different bottles typically!) I've got over 50 bottles (750s or bigger) open, but only a handful down to 1/3 or less fill. I don't have one rule to go by necessarily, but some things I consider include:

    1. Is it something easily replaceable retail? If so, I'm not in a big rush to kill it off

    2. If not easily replaceable, do I have at least one in the bunker? If so, I may target it when it gets down below 1/3 depending how long it has been open. I have a THH from 2011 that is down to the last 2 oz, and when it got down to the last 5 a month ago, I put it in the rotation more frequently (and I have one waiting behind it).

    3. If not easily replaceable AND none in the bunker, I'll decant into something smaller and nurse it until I can replace it. I like having a lot of variety.

    Of course, if it is something I don't intend to replace (something I tried but wasn't crazy about), I'll probably target it for cocktails to make room for something I prefer.

    Then again, I'm a geek (spreadsheet of my inventory that I updated regularly, etc). I certainly don't think there is a wrong way to do it or a right way. This is just how I do it.
    Gary
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    "Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough." - Mark Twain
    "Because Whiskey Matters!" - David Perkins

  3. #3
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Dunwoody, GA
    Posts
    745

    Re: When do you decide a bottle needs to be finished off?

    I'm finding at this point, there is a lot of good and great whisky out there these days, so I wouldn't say I target bottles, but I become less and less worried about nursing the life out of the bottles. If you love it, drink it, when it's gone, move onto the next one. I have also cut back on the amount of bottles I have open at a given time. I find myself focusing more on a couple bottles at a time instead of a little here and a little there.

    I think the good news is, as long as you're drinking it, there is no wrong way to do it.

  4. #4
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Decatur, GA
    Posts
    171

    Re: When do you decide a bottle needs to be finished off?

    I have a small area to keep my open bottles in so I find myself "killing off" bottles to make room for new bottles that I want to open. I agree with petrel800 - as long as you are drinking it - there is no wrong way.

  5. #5
    Disciple
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    NWGA
    Posts
    1,790

    Re: When do you decide a bottle needs to be finished off?

    1. If it's something new and it's not a bottle I would buy again.

    2. If there isn't shelf space on the bar on in the bunker.

  6. #6
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Markham, ONT
    Posts
    490

    Re: When do you decide a bottle needs to be finished off?

    These are the two factors closest to my decision making, except that on point 2, the bunker always has more space!

  7. #7
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    1,232

    Re: When do you decide a bottle needs to be finished off?

    Quote Originally Posted by TunnelTiger View Post
    1. If it's something new and it's not a bottle I would buy again.

    2. If there isn't shelf space on the bar on in the bunker.
    I pretty much go by this except I add in:

    The more I like it the faster it goes

    The less I like it the longer it hangs around

    All open bottles have a huge target on them
    "On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero"
    T. Durden

  8. #8
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    252

    Re: When do you decide a bottle needs to be finished off?

    My drinking patterns are similar to you, Mtndw. Takes a while to finish off a bottle and so even the ones that are low fill don't go quickly. I just keep drinking them as I would otherwise, when I'm in the mood for that pour. I don't like to "try" to finish off a bottle just for the sake of clearing space... that just makes me feel like I'm drinking for the sake of drinking, and that just seems like a waste to me. If it's low fill and you're worried about the flavor turning for the worse just move it into a smaller bottle. Keep a few spare 200 ml bottles around along with some 2 - 4 oz sample bottles and then you don't have to worry about that any longer.
    Ryan

  9. #9
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    213

    Re: When do you decide a bottle needs to be finished off?

    I currently have 26 bottles open. 14 of those are in my bunker and 12 are in my upstairs liquor cabinet and part of my current rotation. I am lucky to get in 2-3 drams a week right now so it is taking me a while. Most are replaceable except for an Ardbeg scotch that's off the market. My goal is to have less than 10 open bottles at a time so it will take me some time before I open anything new.


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  10. #10
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    338

    Re: When do you decide a bottle needs to be finished off?

    Still relatively new to bourbon "collecting" (used to have 3-4 bottles at any one time, now I'm up around 30), and I used to open every bottle as soon as I got it. Now I have a number of unopened ones, many of which I haven't tried before. Trying to just open new ones as an old one is finished off. Not usually in any big hurry, but once a bottle gets down to its last 20-25% or so, I start to target it. Won't drink it exclusively just for the sake of polishing it off, but it gets in the regular rotation.

    Scarcity/rarity of the bottle doesn't have much to do with it. If I like it, I drink it. It's not like I'm sitting around with one bottle of Pappy 23 and 30 bottles of Kessler's, figuring out how to nurse that one before I resume drinking the crap. It's all good.

 

 

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