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Blind test of a Red Wine Aerator and Bourbon


sailor22
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This test came about because some Wild Turkey 8yr 101 from a 70's era ceramic decanter showed marked improvement in taste after it was poured through a wine aerator. I was curious if the aerator would help all the old Bourbons from ceramic decanters that so often seem old and heavy to open up and show more of their flavors. Also I wondered if a more recently bottled old Bourbon that I loved would show any improvement.

So I recently hosted a blind test that compared 4 Bourbons neat and the same Bourbons poured through the aerator.

The Bourbons were;

Old Crow from '68 chess set ceramic decanters

Jim Beam 176 month from a 70's era ceramic decanter

Old Grand Dad BiB from an '81 glass handle

and Black Maple Hill 21yr barrel 2

I asked everyone to rank by order of preference and to note flavors because I wanted to see if the aerated juice scored consistently higher than the non aerated pour or if it showed more flavors.

Everyone thought 4 pours stood out with three people agreeing on the 4 and one person had his preferences nearly the reverse of everyone else's. In all 4 cases the top four were much preferred over the bottom 4 and in all 4 cases they the top 4 had 2 aerated pours. It is interesting to note that while some similarities were noticed absolutely no one in the test picked up that there were only 4 Bourbons and that all were duplicates except for the aeration.

So what we got out of the test is that the aerator CAN improve some old Bourbons significantly and probably speeds opening up - but isn't necessarily an improvement for all of them. I would use it for Bourbons that just weren't working for me but if I like what's in my glass the aerator probably won't make me like it more.

After telling a friend about this test he said "oh yeah, if I have old juice that won't open up I shake up the bottle real hard, works real good." Duh That probably accomplishes the same thing and just saved me the cost of an aerator.

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  • 3 months later...
urotsukidoji

Being also a big wine fan, I found this interesting. Would love to do this little test myself....

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CorvallisCracker

Is it just me or are the screen names getting weirder and weirder?

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matthew0715
Is it just me or are the screen names getting weirder and weirder?

Actually, that screen name is the title of an animated Japanese film that was one of the first to feature explicit sex and graphic violence AND develop a huge following in the US. Most versions of the film are edited and run anywhere from 90 minutes to 4 hours. I saw it in the mid 1990s when I worked at a video store, but I can't say I remember much of it. Of course I was in a bit of an altered state at time of my viewing.:bigeyes: It certainly provided interesting eye candy!

Matt

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ErichPryde
Actually, that screen name is the title of an animated Japanese film that was one of the first to feature explicit sex and graphic violence AND develop a huge following in the US. Most versions of the film are edited and run anywhere from 90 minutes to 4 hours. I saw it in the mid 1990s when I worked at a video store, but I can't say I remember much of it. Of course I was in a bit of an altered state at time of my viewing.:bigeyes: It certainly provided interesting eye candy!

Matt

...which make's Scott's statement even MORE true!!! :cool:

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Dramiel McHinson

Nice post Sailor.

That reminded me of a trip to Napa valley to edumacate myself on wine. I got a wonderful education. One sommelier told me if I couldn't wait for a newly opened bottle to rest peacefully to open up or if swirling the wine in the glass till my wrist hurt wasn't enough to soften the tannins then open the bottle, pour off a few ounces to nose, put the cork back in a little ways and then shake the hell out of the bottle.

I tried it and it most definitely works. Napa wines can have some real strong tannins and the bottle shake makes a world of difference.

I hadn't thought to try this with bourbon. I'm off to experiment.......and thanx for the tip.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Doggerlander
Nice post Sailor.

...

I tried it and it most definitely works. Napa wines can have some real strong tannins and the bottle shake makes a world of difference.

I hadn't thought to try this with bourbon. I'm off to experiment.......and thanx for the tip.

This is a neat idea, but I'm not sure I'd want to try this technique with whiskey. I usually go through a bottle of wine the same day I open it. I normally wouldn't want to aerate a whole bottle of whiskey because I might want it to last a little longer. The effect of oxygen on whiskey long term may not be good (although I'm just guessing). On the other hand, this might work for a party or an occasion where the bottle is going to be emptied.

Does anyone use decanters for whiskey? What is the long term effect on the whiskey?

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