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  1. #11
    Nitrogen is common in just about anything commercially packaged from potato chips to candy. Good find, I might order some for a few favorite bottles that I know I'm not going to finish anytime soon.

  2. #12
    Moderator and Bourbonian Of The Year 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff
    I have at least 10 bottles that have been open for more than 4 years that I sample every-so-often and I have experienced no ill-effects from oxidation or aging. I recommend you store you bottles in a relatively cool area out of direct sunlight and you'll be good to go.
    Similar experience here too Jeff - I think my longest opened bottle has been open for just on 3 years, maybe 4 (I can't remember which of 2 overseas trips I picked it up on)
    I certainly can't pick any degraded taste.
    One thing I have noticed though - and I found this in my bottle of Old Rip Van Winkle 10yo thats been open since Aug 2004 - the cork is starting to go quite dry and brittle and can drop tiny flaking pieces into the bottle if I'm not careful. Periodically tipping my bottles on their side for a few minutes seems to minimise this.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evangelos
    The vacuum crap doesnt work. I tested it with wine and it's crap, so I can only imagine what it does to spirits.
    I've had good luck with VacuVin. With it, you can remove a large percentage of the air (and oxygen) in the headspace. Obviously, the larger the headspace, the more oxygen is still left in the bottle.

    Here is a little discussion of it.

    If you refrigerate the partially full bottle of wine, it will further slow the oxidation. Of course, with red wine, you'll want to let it warm up before serving. I know it sounds blasphemous, but I find that a microwave works well.

    As the above reviewer writes, this will hold a wine for a few days up to a week. I doesn't make sense to do it with a fine wine.

    Jeff
    "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe_Blowe
    I've read some postings at alt.drinks.scotch-whisky that the nitrogen-based preservers may add a "carbonation effect" to the contents (wine, whiskey, etc.) of the bottle. Any reports on this?
    Sounds like bad science to me. Air is 80% nitrogen, so even if you could manage to complete exlude all gases other than the nitrogen from the spray, it would only increase the portion of nitrogen above the liquid by 25%.

    Dalton's law of partial pressures says that this will increase the amount of nitrogen going into solution by 25%.

    Nitrogen is very insoluble in water (and presumably alcohol as well), so 25% more dissolved is still going to be insignificant. And as Timothy wrote, to get any "fizziness," you would have to have reduced the pressure to get any dissolved gas to come out - like removing the cork from champagne.

    Jeff
    "One never knows, do one?" Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943

  5. #15
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    Wink Another Holiday, Perhaps? Three-Day Weekend?

    Here is another account of the practice of periodic tipping, or tippling, as the case may be

    Back when John made his post, I recall thinking that it might be a good idea to designate a certain day is "Bourbon Tipping Day", to serve as a reminder for those of us who keep open bottles around a long time.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

  6. #16
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    I'm a big believer in Wine Preserver spray. I feel that a half full bottle goes stale within a month or 2. I've been using the spray in Bourbon and Scotch for years now and it keeps them perfect. Even with the spray though, as a bottle gets close to empty you better have friends over to kill it or it will get a bit weird.

    Last night I had a bizarre experience. I had almost finished off a bottle of WTRR-101 and there was one pour left in the bottle. I didn't bother spraying the bottle since I knew I would finish it off the next day. Big mistake. That last pour was absolutely undrinkable. It was extremely bitter.

    Get some Nitrogen/Argon in a can, it is your friend.

    Mike

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeK
    I'm a big believer in Wine Preserver spray. I feel that a half full bottle goes stale within a month or 2. I've been using the spray in Bourbon and Scotch for years now and it keeps them perfect. Even with the spray though, as a bottle gets close to empty you better have friends over to kill it or it will get a bit weird.

    Last night I had a bizarre experience. I had almost finished off a bottle of WTRR-101 and there was one pour left in the bottle. I didn't bother spraying the bottle since I knew I would finish it off the next day. Big mistake. That last pour was absolutely undrinkable. It was extremely bitter.

    Get some Nitrogen/Argon in a can, it is your friend.

    Mike
    Mike,

    Are you suggesting that that last pour went bad overnight? I have never had anything like that happen to me, even with a bottle open 3+ years. Are you sure you weren't feeling a little under the weather or just ate some bad indian food or something I'm not trying to discredit what you're saying, I'm just trying to understand it. Can you describe what it tasted like?
    Simplicity is the essence of universality - MK Ghandi

  8. #18
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    conclusions

    O.k. seems like th eno-brainer part is tipping the bottles once a week or so to keep the cork moist - makes sense for scotch and bourbon. Nobody keeps wine that long so it doesn't matter with wine.

    Two of you report that 2-4 year periods don't degrade bourbon. Others say it does with one person thinking there's a change even after a month or two.

    We know from science that it's the oxygen. So removing some of air, nitrogen, storage in cool place or refrigeration would each seem to help.

    If you do the vaccumm extraction, unfortunately, you have these rubber tops on all your nice bottles. Also, I'm not sure how long those vacuums hold - after all they are only designed to give you a few extra days on a wine bottle. And some brands work poorly to begin with.

    I agree with the quotes about fizz and nitrogen. Can't hurt the bourbon unless applied under pressure. Of course, a tiny bit of oxygen will be left in the bottle.

    Refrigeration seems sacreligious, but intellectually it makes sense. Living in Texas, I like to drink my whiskey cool anyway. And it would take no time at all after a pour into a room temperature glass to have it warm halfway to room temperature. Whatever is going on with the oxygen in an opened bottle would happen much more slowly if the bottle is kept at a refrigerated temperature.

    Of course, you could spritz the bottle with nitrogen, suck out all the nitrogen out, and refrigerate. However, there is nothing in my life that I'm that anal about, so I can't imagine ever keeping that up.


    So my conclusion is that I'm going to ignore all this for the bottles I know I will be through in six months. For the others, I'm going to try the nitrogen and tip once a week. I may think about refrigeration -- a specialty wine cooler with a glass front in the liquor closet would be very nice. I can't see piling up all my precious bottles on the bottom rack of the garage refrigerator, but who knows.


    Quote Originally Posted by AJ123
    What should we do with opened bottles? Someone told me that the taste starts to go after 6-12 months. That doesn't bother me with my regulars, but I'm now accumulating and tasting more and more and even have a bottle of Distiller's Masterpiece and a few WT Tributes that I just found and don't want to open them if I need to "run" through them in six months.

    Would a good idea be to use those wine stoppers where you suck out the air and create a partial vacuum? They definitely enable bottled wine to last longer.

    Would a good idea be to refrigerate, e.g. in wine cooler?

    I'm not sure it's scientific, but I do think my whiskey changes a little with breathing.

  9. #19
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    Other changes besides Oxidation

    The flavor components of whiskey are volatile. If they weren't, they couldn't be distilled. Some are more volatile than others. Everytime the airspace above the liquid in a bottle disperses, some of those components are released. Some are in very small concentrations. Over time, this could impact the flavor profile. I doubt that I would call that spoiled or oxidized, but definitely modified. Freshly opened whiskey almost always has qualities on the nose that disappear quickly. I've read about people allowing bourbon to breath or open. This allows some volatiles to dissipate. The only way to test would be to have two identical bottles purchased simultaneously that are several years old. One opened the whole time, one sealed.
    In the name of science, I will test this with my Open 2002 Stagg that is just about empty against a brand new one. I think all y'all are wasting your time with Nitrogen, Argon, Vacuums etc.
    Last edited by pepcycle; 03-17-2006 at 13:43.
    Colonel Ed
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  10. #20
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    It makes sense that the changes might not be bad! It makes even more sense to try an experiment like you suggest! I'm going to it on one or two bourbons and just see. Hmmm - I guess that means I need to run to the store and pick up two at a time


    Quote Originally Posted by pepcycle
    The flavor components of whiskey are volatile. If they weren't, they couldn't be distilled. Some are more volatile than others. Everytime the airspace above the liquid in a bottle disperses, some of those components are released. Some are in very small concentrations. Over time, this could impact the flavor profile. I doubt that I would call that spoiled or oxidized, but definitely modified. Freshly opened whiskey almost always has qualities on the nose that disappear quickly. I've read about people allowing bourbon to breath or open. This allows some volatiles to dissipate. The only way to test would be to have two identical bottles purchased simultaneously that are several years old. One opened the whole time, one sealed.
    In the name of science, I will test this with my Open 2002 Stagg that is just about empty against a brand new one. I think all y'all are wasting your time with Nitrogen, Argon, Vacuums etc.
    Better a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy

 

 

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