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  1. #1
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Victoria Canada, Whistler, Maui
    Posts
    454

    It\'s a sad day on the 2\" bourbon shelf

    Went to the premium shelf today, and what did I find?

    Only an inch and a half left of my ER17. Should I drink it or keep it. I think I'll keep it.
    2" left in my 1990 EWSB.
    Only 2" left in my VW 12yo. and can't get more any time soon.
    The Wathens is almost gone and I KNOW I can't get any more without great expense.
    2" left of my WTRR, 2" left of my WT 8yr.
    I promised I would make my Blanton's last longer but it's so darned good, there's only 2" left.

    The list goes on and on.

    Do you get my point?

    Woe is me. I'm a man undone.

    What's this?... two bottles of ORVW 15yo behind the couch.

    Yippee!

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,605

    Re: It\'s a sad day on the 2\" bourbon shelf

    Like you, I'm always tempted to lay off a bottle when it get two or three inches from the bottom but that practice, which is very instinctive, can be a little dangerous. While the risk is not imminent, if you leave them like that for too long oxidation can start to set in. If you think you are sad now, just imagine how distraught you will be if that happens.

  3. #3
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Victoria Canada, Whistler, Maui
    Posts
    454

    Re: It\'s a sad day on the 2\" bourbon shelf

    Ohhhh pile on the pain. Now you mean I have to drink them before they go bad. I wonder if I can freeze them?

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,605

    Re: It\'s a sad day on the 2\" bourbon shelf

    You can't freeze them. You could transfer them to smaller bottles, but a better solution is just to enjoy them. The good news is it probably will be several years before any degradation from oxidation is noticable.

  5. #5
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    621

    Re: It\'s a sad day on the 2\" bourbon shelf

    Welcome to my world! Actually, I haven't completely uncovered the psychological block I have to taking the plunge and finishing that bottle on the shelf. It isn't even necessarily related to expense or hassle-factor of replacement, because I even do it with ones I keep bunkered. But I have a shelf full of 2" almost-dead 'soldiers' that I won't finish.

    For a few of them it's the fear of having to discard the pretty container (that would definitely apply to Blanton's and Antique Collection), or maybe more simply it's saying goodbye to a valued friend?

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,083

    Re: It\'s a sad day on the 2\" bourbon shelf

    To avoid a forest of mostly empty bottles I hardly have room for and to preclude the oxidation risk I either finish the "heel-taps" or more often, combine a number of them to form a personal "vatting". I don't feel even a good bottle is wasted by vatting it because I have had over 20 ounces of the good stuff straight, so I have "tasted" it. Recently I made my best-ever vatting. It is a combination of the last ounce or two of Hirsch 16 (the recent leaner-tasting one), some Hirsch 20, some McKenna single barrel, some ORVW 10 year old and some Rittenhouse and Woodhouse Reserve (for youth against the older whiskey) and I think also some Baker's. The result is a one-off blend of straight whiskeys. It can't be repeated because I doubt I will ever get more Hirsch (too expensive or hard to find) but the general formula is one I will go back to. It tastes very soft and long, mature yet with a round youthful fullness; it is a cognac-type, sipping bourbon. The Rittenhouse leaves faint tangs that the bourbons don't have on their own. I got the idea to balance old against younger from a Canadian whisky brand called 8&18 which is no longer made. Clearly this was a mingling of 8 and 18 year old whiskies, to get a balance. My vatting combined examples in three age brackets (16-20, 10 years or so, then around 6-8 years). Doing this is a nice way to remember the last ounces of the various whiskeys - they last longer in a sense, and often the mingling is very successful.

    Gary

  7. #7
    Administrator in exile
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    3,904

    Re: It\'s a sad day on the 2\" bourbon shelf

    Dave,
    By acknowledging you have a problem, you have taken the first step on the road to recovery. The solution is simple: You must move to the US, KY in particular, where quality bourbon is but a short trip to the Liquor Barn away. No need to keep your money tied up in bourbon futures that you are afraid to drink, you simple enjoy then go get more

    BTW, I am a recovering 2" bourbon hoarder as well. On day Leslie took a look at about 20 bottles that were almost empty and she gave me that look, I'm sure you know the one. Since then I finish all but the most exceptional bottles before I buy another. Yes dear, whatever you say dear

  8. #8
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Baldwin, Maryland
    Posts
    635

    Re: It\'s a sad day on the 2\" bourbon shelf

    That's why I only have one bottle of bourbon,rye and scotch open at any given time. I can't wait to try a new and different selection.Even if I love my current bottling
    I never let those last two ounces remain.

  9. #9
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    164

    Re: It\'s a sad day on the 2\" bourbon shelf

    Hmm... I know i have in the past opened some bottles of bourbon, had a couple glasses and been less than impressed with them.. A year or so later i uncorked the bottle again and I was very impressed with the bourbon... I know it's an unscientific test and could probably be attributed to changing tastes, but I would like to think that some bourbons are favorably affected by sitting in a half-empty bottle for a bit...

    -Chris

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Baldwin, Maryland
    Posts
    635

    Re: It\'s a sad day on the 2\" bourbon shelf

    Many bourbons open up if a few inches are taken off the top. Leaving a few inches on the bottom for six months or more......well, not recommended. There is too much air in the bottle.

 

 

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