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  1. #1
    Enthusiast
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    Bottle or carafe?

    Do you keep your whiskey in its original bottle or in a whiskey carafe (BTW, I'm not sure if it's called "carafe" for whiskey...any kind of jug else the bottle, I mean).

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Most of us here I believe keep their spirits in the original bottles. First, there is the aesthetics (often quite pleasing) of the container; second, the authenticity which means too the spirits can be easily identified. When, as many here, you have 10 or 20 bottles or more in your bunker, one can lose track of them unless maintained in the original bottle.

    There was a British and probably genteel American tradition to have a drinks tray and the drinks often were served from elegant glass decanters. These had metal tags hung from them simply reading "Whisk(e)y", "Gin" and so forth. This worked in a time when, first, whisky was regarded more as a bulk or stock item than today, and second, glass decanters, often expensive Waterford or other such produce, were intended as a system of display. By the way it is recorded that some decanter tags in England read "Nig", being a euphemism for gin (gin spelled backwards of course). This may well have been a (rather outlandish) example of Victorian prudery and guile - or it may be apocryphal. I incline to the latter theory but will not argue the point.

    I have one decanter in my abode, Waterford glass (not intended as display) which holds a vatting of some 50 malt and grain whiskies.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 03-05-2006 at 17:06.

  3. #3
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    Exclamation

    Most of the serious decanters I have seen are lead crystal. As such, they are considered unsafe for the long-term storage of spirits, maybe even for wine. I have heard, but do not know for a fact, that the lead is leeched into the liquid where it will slowly poison you.

    I was also told that it is okay to serve spirits from a lead crystal decanter if you "re-cant" them to the original bottle or other safe container very soon after.

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  4. #4
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    Exclamation

    I have six "house bourbons", all of which are in non-leaded decanters and which are on the bar all the time. When someone comes, they have a choice of 6 to choose from. I get the other stuff out for special occasions.
    Joe
    Colonel Joseph B. "Bourbon Joe" Koch

    "Bourbon.....It's cheaper than therapy!!"

  5. #5
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    My concern in using a decanter would be the amount of oxidization that would take place pouring it out. I drink bottles very slowly, and I don't want the taste going "flat".

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frodo
    My concern in using a decanter would be the amount of oxidization that would take place pouring it out. I drink bottles very slowly, and I don't want the taste going "flat".
    I would think that pouring from a bottle or pouring from a decanter would be just about the same, in terms of oxidation. However, the stuff in my decanters (thanks to my good friends) never has the chance to go "flat".
    Joe
    Colonel Joseph B. "Bourbon Joe" Koch

    "Bourbon.....It's cheaper than therapy!!"

  7. #7
    Administrator in exile
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    I keep my bourbons almost exclusively in their original bottles. That said, I do have a couple in crystal decanters that I decanted from porcelain containers that were either leaky or slightly musty in an attempt to preserve them a bit longer.
    Simplicity is the essence of universality - MK Ghandi

  8. #8
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    Original bottles only for me. Although my collection isn't as vast as some, I like being able to identify each one immediately. I also like the distinctive character of many brands - WT Kentucky Spirit, Blantons, Eagle Rare, etc.
    Mad Mac
    "If you want to sing out, sing out!"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman
    There was a British and probably genteel American tradition to have a drinks tray and the drinks often were served from elegant glass decanters.
    I have accumulated quite a collection of mostly American, post-prohibition (1930's-40's) glass decanters that were intended, I think, for just such genteel homes. I have limited myself to those with embossed or etched names of the spirit. I have sets from the glass makers Cambridge, Fostoria, Paden City and some unidentified ones.

    I went a bit overboard, and now have a bookshelf full of them - all empty except for one set on the side board.

    Most common are sets of scotch and rye - attesting to the fact that, in "geneel" households of the first half of the 20th century, these were the most common spirits. Through diligent searching, I also have gin in many of the patterns I have, and bourbon in a couple (I think).

    Later, in the 50's and 60's, these kinds of deanters disappeared to be replaced by cheaper, often tacky (to my taste) decanters with other spirits's names, including vodka.

    Some of these are quite elegant examples of the art deco period - others are somewhat less elegant but still nice. I especially like the Spring Orchard pattern from Paden City and the Fostoria Sunray.

    On my sideboard, I have a set of what I think are a Cambridge pattern, with my house pours - Jim Beam rye, Grant's scotch (will be replaced with Teacher's when/if I ever get it empty - I prefer that now), Old Forester bonded bourbon, and Seagram's gin (for summer G&T's).

    All my other spirits I keep in the original bottles for the reasons mentioned.

    I think I'll take a photo of those four decanters, and later will post some of my other, nicer ones. (I have the feeling I may have posted a similar photo before - Oh, well.)

    Jeff
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by JeffRenner; 03-07-2006 at 09:24.
    "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943

  10. #10
    Bourbonian of the Year 2004 and Guru
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    Very nice Jeff

    I have a set of decanters. My mother-in-law gave them to me. She called them "captain's bottles" She did say they were lead crystal and told me the name of the maker but I can't remember now.

    I don't use them, except for decorative purposes. They sit proudly with my entire collection of bourbon

    Bettye Jo
    Last edited by boone; 03-07-2006 at 09:43.
    Colonel Bettye Jo Boone
    Industrial Maintenance
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    Heaven Hill Distilleries
    Bardstown, Kentucky

 

 

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