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Decanters and mixing last pours


VolForLife
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VolForLife

Mods, please move this thread if it's in the wrong place. I've read a lot of posts regarding decanters and why people do or don't use them. Yes, I am aware that there's no "need" to decant bourbon.

However, because the only spot in my home that remotely resembles an actual bar is my wife's "wine bar"....

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I normally choose to pour my choice of the week (or month) into a decanter for both aesthetics and personal convenience due to my set up. My open bottle bourbon stash is on the left underneath....

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My question is....I see folks mentioning that they often "dump" their last ounce or two from a bottle into a decanter as more or less a personal "blend". Is there an art to, and/or set of guidelines for doing this? What, when, how to you utilize this personal blend when the decanter is full?

Thanks!

Edited by VolForLife
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Harry in WashDC

I keep my cocktail "mixer" bourbon in a decanter on the butler's table in the dining room. BUT, the only other bourbon decanting I do is: handles into old 750s/375s for space conservation. The vatting threads have some helpful hints on how to decide what to mix what with what in case you get no constructive help here (like, from me haha). My guideline for blending/vatting usually involves dregs I don't care for so if I mess up, I don't feel bad - I just set it aside with a "for cooking" label on it. I'll mix woody bourbons with young bourbons a 1/2 ounce at a time and taste and smell it until I get something drinkable; keeping notes is important as, after about a half hour I sometimes forget what I'm doing or what proportions I liked better than the current mix.

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I don't currently have a "living blend", although I took a similar approach to grabbing some low fill bottles when I was experimenting with a 5 liter barrel. The "bourye" that resulted was better than I expected, so I'm going to enjoy it and share it with friends, although my expectation is that it would be only OK - and would be used for steeping raisins for cookies, or soaking crushed walnuts for bourbon balls. With both applications, I've tried different types of bourbon, and by the time you get to the end result - there is virtually no impact. I would also use it for whiskey sours. For me, the "living blend" is a bit of a crapshoot, as some things when mixed together just don't taste as good as the components, but I completely understand the space constraints. I keep 200 mL and 375 mL bottles around to decant into if I have a low-fill bottle that I just don't fancy killing off right away, but also need to make room.

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Richnimrod

The only thing I'd say to you, Vol is that one need not await the filling of any 'living blend' to sample, adjust or change it. If it seems fine and you wish to preserve it 'as is'; then decant it into an appropriate size vessel. If it seems to need more 'stuff' added; do so. The only caution I'd add is don't keep filling it, if the fluid overruns the decanter. That can be hard on the furniture surfaces. HA! :slappin:

It can be fun and interesting to do a living blend, and taste it periodically to see what the alchemy has wrought. Don't expect miracles. Be pleased if it seems interesting... or even tasty. :lol:

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TunnelTiger

I do it all the time and really enjoy it but I never taste it until the decanter is full. By then it's so good I generally don't have a pour of anything else until it's empty.

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Harry in WashDC
I do it all the time and really enjoy it but I never taste it until the decanter is full. By then it's so good I generally don't have a pour of anything else until it's empty.

Ah, gee, TT, now I'm going to lose ANOTHER spot on my bar. Going to have to try this.

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steeltownbbq

I've vatting the last ounce or two from each bottle for years. I like to think tha tthe decanter contains a homeopathic amount of every bottle of bourbon that I''ve enjoyed in the past.

I rarely use the vatted bourbon for a nightly pour, but will use it to fill my travel flask for trips and band gigs.

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Here is the vatting thread if you want to read it. For mixing things suggested in the vatting thread, or things I want to try vatting myself, or for making a bottle I don't care for easier to drink I use empty pints or fifths that I washed out and kept on hand for such things.

I am trying the last pours thing in my only cheap/modern decanter (<$15 from amazon) I currently have but I have been planning to hit a few antique shops looking for some nice older decanters.

My last pours decanter currently contains:

<2oz of Michter's Small Batch US1

<2oz of Bulleit Rye

<2oz of RR1792

<2oz of EC12

~2oz's of a vatting I made: OGD114/EC12/NHBBB (New Holland Beer Barrel Bourbon (this was awful by itself))

~4oz's of another vatting OGD114/BT/EC12 (I rather enjoyed this mix but wanted more room on my on deck shelf to open some new bottles)

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I am part of Bourbon Joe's group that periodically meets and tastes bourbon. Joe reports the tasting results. When we are done tasting and are ready to start drinking, we often combine what is left in the tasting glasses. It is amazing that the blend often tastes better than the individual bourbons.

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You sound like an apt student for the principles and history of vatting whiskey.

Numerous threads in SB history address this topic including one referred to below in this thread.

Gary

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Here's a picture of my barrel pour station. I have four decanters that I like. The ODG Bicentennial houses my wheater of the moment, The Four Roses decanter ... my rye-bourbon. The tall pre-pro "S.S. Brumbaugh" houses the current rye and the short pre-pro "Elk Hill" I use for experiments.

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I usually start off with a themed flight from the "bourbon wall" as my wife calls it and then go to my whiskies of the moment for the rest of the evening. No more than a liter per night.

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P.S. I'm just kidding about the liter. I don't limit myself. ;)

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TunnelTiger

I do like your style. What a great set up and isn't it nice to have an understanding wife.

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Here's a picture of my barrel pour station. I have four decanters that I like. The ODG Bicentennial houses my wheater of the moment, The Four Roses decanter ... my rye-bourbon. The tall pre-pro "S.S. Brumbaugh" houses the current rye and the short pre-pro "Elk Hill" I use for experiments.

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I usually start off with a themed flight from the "bourbon wall" as my wife calls it and then go to my whiskies of the moment for the rest of the evening. No more than a liter per night.

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P.S. I'm just kidding about the liter. I don't limit myself. ;)

I'd like to get into the Elk Hill molassas juice!:grin: Seriously, well done!

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I do like your style. What a great set up and isn't it nice to have an understanding wife.

She is really special...and when compared to my first wife, I feel like I died and went to Heaven.

.....except I get to drink Bourbon

Edited by Enoch
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I'd like to get into the Elk Hill molassas juice!:grin: Seriously, well done!

I had several bottles that were OK so I vatted and let them age again in a gallon jar with a bunch of toasted oak spirals. It is different but much better that the original stuff.

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TunnelTiger
She is really special...and when compared to my first wife, I feel like I died and went to Heaven.

We have that in common as well. Cheers to great wives. :toast:

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  • 3 months later...

My first decanter I got from Amazon is currently full of last pours (which I need to taste again) and I am getting a bit sick of having so many old pints/fifths on the shelf with blue painters tape and sharpie marker that I decided to hit a local antique store for a new decanter to use for my favorite/better vattings. I am not sure if my SB blend will go in this or my recently mixed BT:OGD114 that I fell in love with. Decent looking and only $30 so I had to grab it:

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Edited by fozzy71
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