I much prefer to see a screw cap on a bottle I'm thinking of buying. If it's cork, I figure they've decided to favor marketing on that point, I'm paying extra that marketing detail, and what else are they trying to pull? OK, that's maybe too harsh, but I've found many wonderful middle-price pours, and enough high priced ones I don't really care for. I really try to divorce my taste experience from the marketers' desired impact on me, and I end up thinking of cork as just useless fluff. Plus, the more cork that goes into bottles, the less there is for fly rod grips, where it really matters.
I prefer screw caps. Perhaps I have had bad luck with corks; about half of the corked bottles which I have purchased have been problematic for me.
Recently, the cork on my 1/4 full bottle of Bufallo Trace failed, so I emptied the contents into a 1/5 full bottle of WL Weller Special Reserve. I did not like the mix. To prevent oxidation, I latter emptied this into an almost empty 200 mL bottle of Old Fitzgerald.
Last week, the cork on my El Tesero platinum broke. There were about 200 mL left, so I emptied the 200 mL bottle of mixed bourbon into a bottle of Knob Creek, which had about 200 mL left, and transfered the tequila into the 200 mL bottle (after cleaning it).
I am happy now; I like the Knob Creek/Weller/Buffalo Trace/Old Fitzgerald blend better than the earlier two blends.
For bourbon, during which periods was the use of corks ubuiquitous?
Many wine aficionados find synthetic corks offensive in the extreme, but wine is supposed to come in contact with the stopper when it's cellared; whiskey ain't. Of course I'm not too familiar with the physical properties of synthetic corking material. I don't think it is as susceptible to degradation by drying as real cork however.
I don't think I would have a problem with synthetic corks if it was assured that they did not affect the whiskey. Thinking about it, I would probably prefer them over real cork.
Colonel Joseph B. "Bourbon Joe" Koch
"Bourbon.....It's cheaper than therapy!!"
Great perspective. I would say that I'm more against the appearance of a threaded bottle top and plastic screw cap than the material that a cork (plug) is made of especially if it were superior in keeping the bourbon intact. I can't recall the brand but I just saw an attractive bottle of bourbon with a glass stopper like a decanter. After reviewing a similar thread at SB from 2004 I can see that very little has changed in the boubon bottle plugging industry and that similar positions were taken, traditional cork vs deterioration problems. I'm going to side with Chuck that you should drink your bourbon before it starts to spoil and definetly before the cork disintegrates. What would you think of an exagerated tapped interior bottle neck and a large threaded oak stopper made from over the hill casks? All rights reserved.
"Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."
It's an interesting technological question. I haven't found a cork substitute that has the resilience and closing qualities of cork. In that new XR Crown Royal, they use a synthetic cork and mine at any rate does not fit the bottle well. Every time I open the bottle it seems a struggle to take out the cork and sometimes droplets of whisky fly out. The theory is good (no deterioration, minimal if any adverse contact with the whisky) but it may take time for technology to achieve the results.
As between a threaded closure and cork I have no preference, well, the corks (some of them) have a pleasing aesthetic look and feel. I like the ones that fit Buffalo Trace (that brand) and WT 80 and 101 bottles. Big corks seem a little clumsy and more liable to cracking and breaking. Still, I don't store most bottles for long, so...
Last edited by Gillman; 01-18-2007 at 17:27.
I would be fine with a synthetic cork. The thing I like about a cork is the "pop". As long as I have that, I am a happy camper.
I like the cork tops better also. But I am not giving up Old Rip Van Winkle, Weller Antique, or OC 12, just because they screw on....although the screw caps seem kind of chinsy or 80's to me...