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Scientific(ish) whisky storage

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By @Hewie @Hewie on 22nd Mar 2018, show post

Replies: page 2/2

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@RianC, I too once shared quarters with Harry Potter, we parted company. It came to a head one day when when looking for a dusty bottle that I smacked my head on the backside of the staircase. I think it was four years ago, I invested in a pair of shelves, which quickly became three, to harbour my growing harvest. The shelves match the dining room set. I allow the Secretary of War to keep a few bottles of white and rosé on one of the bottom shelves, and she allows me to keep the brown liquid on the main floor.

Creating the mini samples is a lot of fun, especially the pre-sampling portion. Having an ample inventory of minis makes for easy sharing.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt

@paddockjudge, I dig your little relabeled sample bottles. Wow--such agreement! I only wonder whether @rigmarole would agree with us too.

On my side, I've never gotten quite ambitious enough to do the label thing, but I do try to write out a respectable-looking sticker for anything that's going into long-term storage. And I love these (not so) little sample bottles I found on Amazon--they're like regular whisky bottles, but hobbit-sized.

about one year ago 3Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

When I decant or make samples I try to put as much info on the label as possible (though anything purchased the last few years is also in my database (what kind of a geek keeps a database for this stuff?). Name, ABV, batch, date opened, date decanted, date poured, etc...

about one year ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@MadSingleMalt, are those plastic or glass? Not that it matters for short term, but long term (forgotten) storage might be best in glass...that could just be me, but I am partial to glass. Note of interest, clumsily dropping the rectangular-ish glass bottles that I employ almost always results in a broken or cracked cap upon impact, plastic isn't as fragile.

Nice touch on the label, gives it swag. Typed font, while being neat and totally legible, can be too "clinical" (intimidating...white coat fever) in appearance. I applaud those who take the time to create labels, whichever format they employ.

As for Rig, he would likely pen a 2,000 word diatribe on Tolkien and Lewis, their friendship, and eventually tie it to the Isle of Skye....and Talisker.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt

@paddockjudge, my bottles are glass. (The black screw cap are plastic of course, though. I cracked one cap a while back and it effectively made its bottle useless too. Boo.) In case anyone else is interested, I believe they're called Woozy bottles. Reasonably priced on Amazon.

...

Don't forget that he would've included something about Chinese fluoride conspiracies too!

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@cricklewood
cricklewood replied

@paddockjudge and here I though you were mocking up mini versions of the labels using some graphic design software laughing your method sounds like more fun.

@Nozinan as the recipient of a couple of your samples I appreciate the extra info. I've taken example and keep better track of date the bottles were opened.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@cricklewood Maybe that's what @Nozinan means when he says he's got a bunch of charting to catch up on?

about one year ago 3Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@BlueNote, that #&$! and !+&%# @Nozinan has been playing us all this time with the charting angle.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@paddockjudge I kinda suspected that it had nothing to do with his patients.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@BlueNote, I think I'm gonna start charting...and that means opening bottles. wink

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@paddockjudge From what I've seen, Doc Paddockjudge, you have a lot of patients. You'll be up charting all night.

BTW, does MD stand for Malt Doctor?

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@fiddich1980
fiddich1980 replied

A recent follow up to this thread. It has me re-thinking sample bottles and the type of closures for those sample bottles. I just order a bunch of poly cone lids.

whiskyanalysis.com/index.php/2019/…

2 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Hewie
Hewie replied

@fiddich1980 another interesting read - thanks for that. A couple of interesting points made in there e.g. avoiding light. I know this from beer and wine storage, and so I always keep my bottles in the cardboard sleeves in a cool, dark place. The view on gas preserver was of interest too (I don't use it myself). I'm sure many of you may disagree with this?

"Indeed, in the study by by Fan, the most popular neutral gas spray – Private Preserve Wine Preserver (shown above) – consistently induced greater flavour change than any other condition beyond indirect sunlight. While exposure to regular air had noticeable effects when the whisky volume was very low (e.g. 150 mL in a 750 mL bottle), these were almost twice as noticeable when wine preserve spray was used. Simply put, wine preserve was considerably worse than just regular air exposure in a bottle. On the basis of these findings, I strongly recommend you do NOT use neutral gas sprays in your whisky bottles."

2 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@Hewie I wonder how long they left the gassed samples before assessing them.

I have a LOT of bottles open and I like having variety, but without preserving the bottles I would be in big trouble.

I have definitely noticed that gassing affects the liquid. The best way I can describe it is that it takes longer to open up in the glass. But given time, I think it does open, and overall I think the integrity of the spirit is preserved. Certainly, if it's a bottle I'm enjoying, I haven't noticed a decline in quality with gas.

I am also a strong advocate of decanting into small glass bottles.

2 months ago 3Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@Hewie I and several friends use inert gas as a whisky preservative on a frequent basis. I don't know of any one of them who has observed the effect of the gas changing the whisky noticeably. For me, I had precisely one occasion where I felt that the gas might have led to an adverse change in the whisky, out of hundreds of uses of the gas. That was with a bottle of The Laddie Ten.

Where does that leave me? I am more interested in my own experience than I am in the testimony of others from their experience. For me the jury is still out on the total effects, if any, of the gas on the whisky liquid in the bottle. And I still expect to use Private Preserve with some frequency. I won't be using it with The Laddie Ten again, though.

2 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Hewie
Hewie replied

@Victor @Nozinan Thanks for your voices of experience. As I said, I knew some would disagree with those findings - and with good reason. I don't have anywhere near the volume of open bottles as you gents and so I've never used gas preserver myself - and I can't see myself using it any time soon. Good to hear your personal experiences.

2 months ago 3Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@Victor So far I haven't had any issues using it with the Laddie 10 but now you have me concerned so I'll probably need to pour off into some bottles soon or at least check up on it...

@Hewie I would very much like to be in your situation. I have way too many bottles open for my own comfort.

2 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock replied

Far be it from me to tell anyone how to store their whisky. It is yours so keep it how you like. If memory serves our older member, @Abunadhaman, was known to buy a batch of Aberlour A’Bunadh and immediately pour half into a decanter to let it aerate for a month. To each their own.

I have tired the Private Preserve and my “feeling” is that it did have an effect on the whisky . . . in ways I was not fond of.

My preference is to let my whisky bottle naturally oxidize until it gets to the half way mark (be it two weeks, two months, or two years). Then I will decant it into a 375 mL bottle. When it reaches the halfway mark I again pour the liquid into a 200mL bottle. And down to 60mL, 30mL and now 15mL.

My person experience is that decanting a whisky into a small bottle with as little air room as possible is the best way to preserve the vast majority of the integrity of the spirit.

I have done a few experiments over the past 8 years. In one experiment I opened a bottle of Ardbeg Uigeadail. I immediately poured off two small 50mL sample bottles. Then after 6 months I poured off two more sample bottles. At a year mark I had about 3 fingers left in the bottle. So I opened a new bottle (same batch I had bought with the original) and tasted all 4 stages: Fresh bottle, 50mL samples aged one year, 50mL sample aged 6 month and a full year bottle with 3 fingers (it had been that low for at least 4 months).

My experience is that the sample bottle was 97-99% of what the fresh bottle was (I am largely speaking of power and peat).

But my favorite was the 6 month sample bottle. That little exercised really cemented into my mind the idea that I prefer any “sherried” whiskey after about 6 months of oxidization (minimum). And I found that the year old bottle with only 3 fingers for many months had turned bitter. I did that experiment several years ago and I am curious to try it again with a bit more intentionality and longevity in mind.

I am planning another experiment with Macallan 12yo which should take several years. Again, not “science” just for my own experience.

Here is a video doing an experiment with Private Preserve on Macallan 12yo and Laphroaig 10yo at 1/3 bottle with gas vs. not gas.
www.youtube.com/watch

Their experience is similar to my own. But your experience could be different.

2 months ago 3Who liked this?

@fiddich1980
fiddich1980 replied

I was not an easy task to find a supplier of various sized sample bottles and poly cone lined caps in Ontario, Canada. I did manage to located this out fit. Hopefully, it saves others the time and expense of shipping from outside of Canada.

www.saffireblue.ca/shop/

2 months ago 0

@talexander
talexander replied

I just use my liver for whisky storage. Is that wrong?

2 months ago 4Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@fiddich1980 If you order over a certain amount you avoid the "small order fee" they add on. I wait until I'm pretty low (meaning I have given away a lot of samples or have many decanted bottles and few empty bottles left) then I order a lot with a gift master card I receive once in a while.

2 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@talexander The only problem with that is that it's easier to provide a sample in a bottle. I've watched people take liver samples and if that's you're thing, ok...

2 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@talexander that sounds like a pairing of whisky with foie gras.

2 months ago 4Who liked this?

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W@paddockjudge@RianC@Nozinan@MadSingleMalt

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