Awhile ago I found two old Jim Beam decanters in a local liquor store...definitely dusty shelf material as they were literally covered with dust. The decanters has tax stamps on them (green) and the labels read "Bonded Beam, 100 Proof, 4/5 quart". Stamped on the side of the decanter was "Creation of James B Beam Distilling Company, KY-DRB-230, Genuine Regal China, 1975, C. Miller". Now I didn't really care about the decanter as a collectible, but bottle in bond Beam from 31 years ago...WOW! The question was...was it still good? When I shook the decanter, it didn't sound quite full, and the tax stamp was broken (due to age, no doubt), but of course I couldn't see inside to see how the bourbon looked. Being it was only $16.99, I took a chance and bought it.
Alas, when I brought it home and poured it into a jar, it was cloudy. Damn! But then I had an idea. I work in a chemistry lab, so I brought home some filter paper, and poured the Jim Beam through it. The result: not as cloudy as before, but still cloudy. So, the following day I brought home a 0.2 micron filter. This is used to sterilize solutions in the laboratory, since the pores of the filter are so small that not even bacteria can pass through. I filtered the BIB Beam through this, and the result: no longer cloudy! A beautiful and inviting dark brown color! Woohoo! So, I poured a shot glass and put it to my lips, and YUCK! My efforts at salvaging this gem were misguided. The bourbon had lost all sweetness, and tasted a tiny bit like nail polish or terpentine or some other industrial solvent. It tasted "sterile"...the life had gone out of it. So obviously, whetever turned the bourbon cloudy also took out a big chunk of of the flavor. Too bad. At least I now have a nice decanter.