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  1. #41
    Novice
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    Jan 2007
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    15

    Re: Put a Cork in it

    Corks are on spirits products because the consumer has a perception that cork = quality. That is a poor way to judge a product. Corks are archaic 19th century forms of sealing bottles and they are not as effective as more modern methods.

    BT experimented extensively with synthetic corks a couple of years ago and found none back then that they thought were satisfactory. With lower proof wines the synthetics seem to work just fine but not so with higher proof alcohols. The synthetic tends to taint the product as the alcohol breaks down the plastics.

    Natural cork, no matter how good it is, and BT uses the best available from Portugal, will have some level of failure, usually a taint from natural molds in the cork, even though they are treated to get rid of this. Also corks will dry out and stick to the bottle if not kept wet. Eventually a cork will break in the bottle if stored a long while.

    The wine industry would dearly love to get rid of corks because it would reduce considerable losses they experience from cork taint.

    No doubt about it; a screw top is best for your wines and your bourbons in the long run. But every distiller and vintner is afraid of breaking the "expectations" of consumers. Some wineries are getting braver on this but we have a long way to go before corks are gone.

    So, if your bourbon has a cork, drink up before it dries out. Now, that isn't such a bad solution, is it?

    Catahoula

  2. #42
    Novice
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    Jan 2007
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    New Orleans
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    Re: Put a Cork in it

    How many of you store your corked whiskey on the side like wine?

    Catahoula

  3. #43
    Bad Girl and Bourbonian Of The Year 2012
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Greenwood, IN
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    1,094

    Re: Put a Cork in it

    None....several members have reported "re-wetting" the cork occasionally.

    Dawn

  4. #44
    Disciple
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    Mar 2005
    Location
    Sweden
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    1,722

    Re: Put a Cork in it

    Quote Originally Posted by Catahoula View Post
    No doubt about it; a screw top is best for your wines and your bourbons in the long run.

    Catahoula
    I do agree with that statement 100%.

    Leif
    Swedish lover of American whiskey

  5. #45
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Chicago SW 'burbs
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    1,178

    Re: Put a Cork in it

    My now-gone bottle of Old Potrero had a synthetic cork, and I didn't notice any off-notes in the whiskey inside. Also, the Compass Box Asyla bottles I've had also had synthetic corks, and were just fine. The one in the Old Potrero bottle was roughly the color of natural cork, while Compass Box's stopper was black.

    I'd rather have a screw top, though - the Old Potrero was exceptionally difficult to open the first time around. I say this even though there's no substitute for the quiet *pop* of a cork being pulled.
    Oh no! You have walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue!

  6. #46
    Novice
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    Location
    New Orleans
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    Re: Put a Cork in it

    Quote Originally Posted by CrispyCritter View Post
    My now-gone bottle of Old Potrero had a synthetic cork, and I didn't notice any off-notes in the whiskey inside. Also, the Compass Box Asyla bottles I've had also had synthetic corks, and were just fine. The one in the Old Potrero bottle was roughly the color of natural cork, while Compass Box's stopper was black.

    I'd rather have a screw top, though - the Old Potrero was exceptionally difficult to open the first time around. I say this even though there's no substitute for the quiet *pop* of a cork being pulled.
    I don't know all the details but the BT testing program was quite rigorous. They used worse case scenarios that probably would not be considered common storage practices. I do know BT has a very high standards they hold to, and at that time, the available synthetic corks did not meet those standards.

    I was told by a packaging supplier another distiller did similar synthetic cork experiments about the same time and came to the same conclusions.

    Technology is changing all the time, and a viable substitute for natural cork may eventually come along that BT will find acceptable.

    Catahoula

  7. #47
    Novice
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    Jan 2007
    Location
    New Orleans
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    15

    Re: Put a Cork in it

    I get to eat my words. I just found out from a supplier that BT does use a synthetic cork on Rain Vodka and has for about a year. That was the first I heard of it. I am trying to get details and samples sent to me now. When I know a little more I will post.

    I do know Rain was the spirit they were most interested in using a synthetic cork on because of cork "stuff" floating in the product. Cork dust or very fine wax particles from the coating on the cork are there to some degree in all corked products, but the clear area of the Rain bottle really emphasized them - like a magnifying glass! In spite of all kinds of experiments, including dipping each cork in Rain vodka to "wash" it before hand insertion, it remained an annoying problem and a concern. Evidently they found a satisfactory synthetic solution.

    I do not expect, however, you will see synthetic cork on any of the BT bourbons because of the authenticity issue, plus it is not nearly the problem as it was in the Rain package.

    Catahoula

 

 

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