Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 16 of 16
  1. #11
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,616
    If whiskey does change in the bottle, which has become the focus of much of this thread, it doesn't change very much, unlike wine which can change a lot or even, if aged too long or under bad conditions, spoil.

    The most significant difference between the two beverages that accounts for this difference is alcohol concentration. Wine is typically 12% alcohol, which is pretty good at stopping some microorganisms, but can't, for example, stop the Acetobacter bacteria from turning the alcohol into acid and thus converting the wine into vinegar. Whiskey in the bottle is at least 40% alcohol and often more. That's enough to kill all the little beasties.

    That all wine ages in the bottle is another myth. Only a few wines improve in the bottle, while most change little or at all, except in bad ways.

  2. #12
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    681
    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery
    If whiskey does change in the bottle, which has become the focus of much of this thread, it doesn't change very much, unlike wine which can change a lot or even, if aged too long or under bad conditions, spoil.

    The most significant difference between the two beverages that accounts for this difference is alcohol concentration. Wine is typically 12% alcohol, which is pretty good at stopping some microorganisms, but can't, for example, stop the Acetobacter bacteria from turning the alcohol into acid and thus converting the wine into vinegar. Whiskey in the bottle is at least 40% alcohol and often more. That's enough to kill all the little beasties.

    That all wine ages in the bottle is another myth. Only a few wines improve in the bottle, while most change little or at all, except in bad ways.

    Chuck, do you think long ago bottled bourbons get better in taste and flavor with the addition of oxygen?
    "That rug really tied the room together" -- Jeffery Lebowski

  3. #13
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Northwest Indiana
    Posts
    693
    Quote Originally Posted by NorCalBoozer
    Chuck, do you think long ago bottled bourbons get better in taste and flavor with the addition of oxygen?
    i think that is the wrong question. i believe that i would change it to, HOW does adding oxygen change the taste and flavor in long ago bottled bourbons?

  4. #14
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,616
    I can say that just about the only bad thing that can happen to whiskey in the bottle is too much oxidation.

  5. #15
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,120
    And for most people that just isn't an issue, i.e., unless they keep small amounts in the bottle over a long period. The question of improvement or degradation is to my mind really a theoretical one. Even full bottles kept, say 10 years will in my view taste exactly like they did when issued and probably if kept longer (unless bad odours got in from say a stuffy basement). Liquor of 40% ABV or more is very robust and for all practical purposes stable. But I believe the technical answer to the original question is, one should not assume whisky will not change in the bottle. Oxidation will proceed very slowly over time. Nothing stays the same in nature, in other words. But unlike with wines, some wines, this has little or no impact on drinking culture. The only effect it has is that letting the drink breathe as NorCal suggested decompresses it or opens it up. This is also what is likely happening with the half-full bottle of Old Charter I had for two years. This effect is noteworthy but it is not really a bottle maturation in the sense people normally would use that term.

    About wine, in one of Parker's newer books he has some interesting things to say about bottle maturation. He claims it often makes little difference to California wines and some others. As I recall, he said wines are so well made today that they don't evolve in the bottle as much as in former times, they are too "clean" in other words. Maybe too because wines are stronger today (13-15% ABV vs. 12% and under of 20 and 30 years ago) the extra alcohol assists them to stay the same longer. I find his arguments persuasive although I've had little experience sampling older wines.

    The good news for tipplers of Napa and other fine vintages is, they may not get a whole lot better - enjoy them now.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 06-13-2006 at 13:04.

  6. #16
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Moscow Mills, MO
    Posts
    2,507
    I got the same advice from the store manager at a local winery's outlet. Of course if I open it and drink it I have to replace it.....CHA CHING!
    Dane
    I don't drink to excess. But I'll drink to most anything else.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Bottle of Ancient Age
    By JamesJLHS in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-03-2006, 22:57
  2. Do Spirits Age in the Bottle? - Yes!
    By Gillman in forum Non-Whiskey Alcohol
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-10-2005, 19:29
  3. Latest Applications to Protect Whiskey Bottle Trade Dress
    By Barrel_Proof in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 07-14-2004, 21:21
  4. Old bottle of Four Roses whiskey
    By **DONOTDELETE** in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-18-2001, 15:30

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top