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When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Take part in our whisky polls and votes. You can also post your own polls in this forum.

At what point after opening a bottle does it's content's taste best?

Immediately after opening.
9
22%
After 2 or 3 drams.
10
24%
A quarter empty.
19
46%
Half empty.
2
5%
Three-quarters empty.
0
No votes
A couple of drams left.
1
2%
 
Total votes : 41

When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby badgerbrown » Sun Nov 11, 2007 5:45 pm

There has been lots of discussion in previous threads about the effects of oxygen on an opened bottle of whisky, and to me a lot of whiskies improve at a certain point after opening, so assuming that a bottle is drunk from constantly until finished, when do you think that a whisky it's best?
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby pkt77242 » Sun Nov 11, 2007 8:37 pm

I voted a quarter empty as well but occasionally it is when first opened. I still remember the first time I tried Talisker 10 and Lagavulin 16, they absolutely blew me away.

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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby Ganga » Sun Nov 11, 2007 10:54 pm

I refuse to vote. One can get to half a bottle in one evening and this isn't the same as taking a dram here and there to get it down to this level. I believe that the time is as much a factor as to the fill level.

I likely enjoy the entire bottle top to bottom so long as the changes in the whisky are not to emphasize a negative aspect (negative for me which may be positive to you).
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby K-Mile » Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:08 am

I'd rather say the bottle is three quarters full ;)

I did not vote, since a lost depends on the dram, and how my appreciation of the dram develops over time. I was inclined to say at around a quarter empty, but this isn't because the bottle is at its best, but because I've had three or four nights trying that dram and getting accustomed to its flavor.

Technically, I think my personal taste is influenced much more over time than the taste of the whisky, so I can't tell when it's best.
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby lexvo » Tue Nov 13, 2007 7:56 pm

I'd say it depends on the whisky, both brand and year. And some brands don't seem to change whereas others do.

For example:

1) I have had 2 bottles of Laphroaig 15 now that tasted better after 1 or 2 drams, that is: I opened the bottle, had 1-2 drams and then had a third dram after a short time (few days, a week). From the third dram on, Laphroaig 15 is great (it was good with the first 2 drams, but not great).

2) Glenmorangie 10 doesn't change in my expierence, even a year after opening the bottle.

3) I felt my first bottle of Lagavulin 16 changed a lot after emptying by 1/3; it had less smoke. However, this might have been my mood, because the two bottles I had after that didn't change much, if at all.

4) It seemed for me that Macallan Fine Oak 12 improved after I had emptied it by 1/3.

5) And so on.... :)
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby wieslaw » Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:33 pm

halfway is such a perfect point
with all that loss to come
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby Paul A Jellis » Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:12 am

For me it's immediatly. Nothing (or nearly nothing) beats the pleasure of breaking the seal on a bottle and pouring the first dram.
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Nov 16, 2007 11:22 am

This question is impossible to answer as it differs between bottles.

I have known some which are (for my taste) better immediately after opening, whereas the slight changes which occur when a bottle has been opened, can make other ones better.

Some examples:
I find Milford 10 to have astoundingly good flavours immediately upon opening, but after a couple of weeks it does change and some of those flavours reduce, although it is still good.

The changes which occur to Glenfarclas QC after opening are also quite noticeable and although I like it directly upon opening, it does mellow into a slightly more round dram after just a few days.
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby CCRoy » Wed Nov 21, 2007 6:19 am

I agree it's different for different whiskies. The biggest difference I find is between blended and single malts. With blended, they're best immediately after opening. Easily. After that, they seem to lose some punch.

With single malts - yeah I admit, when you first open a bottle and get that first whiff and everything is so strong and intense, yeah, gotta love that. But I think most single malts improve overall by a quarter through. They need to breathe a little, mellow a little to allow more subtle flavors to come through. Also, if a whisky isn't to my liking at first, and it's still not to my liking at a quarter in, I pretty much know it's not going to get much better after that.

BTW - someone else mentioned Talisker 10. I just bought a bottle of this today. Never had it before. I only got it because the store was out of what I wanted (Crag) and so I decided to get one of the several recommendations I haven't gotten around to yet and decided on this. When I first opened it - WOW. It's very different from the more heathery Aberfeldy 12 I just finished off this weekend. This Talisker is very peaty and smoky. I'm quite liking this first dram (which I'm having right at the moment) - I can't wait to see what it's like a quarter in.
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby jazz lover » Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:32 pm

I find a bottle better a few days later.
And is at it's best up to a quarter empty.
On my high end scotch I pour these bottles
into 4oz. amber bottles,date and label
to enjoy at my leisure.I get about 6
4oz. bottles on a 750 ML bottle. 8)
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby Di Blasi » Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:50 pm

I voted a quarter empty because if I don't like a whisky immediately when I open it, it may take til it's a quarter empty before I truly appreciate it. But then again it could be me that takes some time to fully appreciate it and enjoy it. For some reason the Benriach Curiositas took me til the last few drams before I truly liked it!! I also think it takes a bit of air, a few missing drams, for the whisky to truly come into itself.
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby Willie JJ » Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:07 am

I say immediately after opening.

This is because we can't predict the effects of oxidisation on a bottle. All kinds of factors come into play such as temperature, humidity, frequency of opening, exposure to sunlight, etc.

So there can be no hard and fast rule about when a bottle is at its best because every bottle has a different history.

What we can say is that as soon as a bottle is opened; that is when it has the maximum number of drams left in it. Therefore, that is when it is best :thumbsup: .
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby MrIntrepid » Tue Dec 11, 2007 3:11 pm

Interesting topic. I agree with the above posts that it depends on time and on the specific whisky. I now tend to make my tasting notes for a particular whisky after about a quarter of the bottle has been drunk, when I use to make my notes on opening the bottle I found the change in the whisky required me to change my notes over time, this isn't the case now that I wait.
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby mikeymad » Tue Dec 11, 2007 4:10 pm

No answer.

Some are better when opened, some are better half full. I have never found one that is best when there is just a dram or two left.

"When is an opened bottle at it's best?" - when it's in my belly.....


Cheers,
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby Ganga » Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:48 pm

"Get in my belly!" ~ Fat B.
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby Di Blasi » Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:59 pm

Ganga wrote:"Get in my belly!" ~ Fat B.


Ha ha, yea, just get in there!!!
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:46 pm

I voted after 2 or 3 drams. Usually any of the whiskies that I've liked I liked imediately after opening for the very first time. However when I revisit a second or subsequent bottle I find that it is at it's best when I come back to it after the first 2 drams a week or so later but it is not a hard and fastened rule.
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby DramMeister » Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:39 pm

I remember this being a talking point some time ago particularly in respect to HP 18 (previous bottling).
Which is my favourite dram in the world when the bottle in first opened, but seems to lose its intensity quite soon thereafter.

So with that in mind, I voted ...
immediately after opening
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby pmullin » Sat Jan 05, 2008 7:09 pm

I agree that this seems to vary based upon the whisky at hand.

However, I have noticed that younger whiskies with too sharp of an edge - ie. the alcohol comes in very strong in the nose and overpowers the other notes - almost always benefit from a bit of breathing.
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby Toronto_Andrew73 » Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:27 pm

Great question...I tend to agree (on romantic and ritualistic grounds) that the first dram is the best dram!

But many of my whiskies have mellowed and changed over time. I suspect that alcohol slowly evaporates taking the edge off a bit.
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby Ganga » Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:10 pm

I recently retried a beverage that was not so positive for myself when the bottle was first opened. The Bruichladich First Born (K&L exclusive) was overpowering with the wine notes (Zinfandel, I think). Well, the bottles has been open for some 3 months now and boy was it different. Very peaty and smokey; a completely different beverage.
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby Di Blasi » Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:34 pm

Great to hear about the Bruichladdich First Born Ganga! Is the balance better now between the wine and the whisky then??
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby Ganga » Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:57 pm

Wine? Oh yeah, I think there was still a little influence left to it. :D I was so shocked by the change that I forgot about the wine. Will have to try this again.
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Re: When is an opened bottle at it's best?

Postby Reggaeblues » Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:24 pm

DramMeister wrote:I remember this being a talking point some time ago particularly in respect to HP 18 (previous bottling).
Which is my favourite dram in the world when the bottle in first opened, but seems to lose its intensity quite soon thereafter.

So with that in mind, I voted ...
immediately after opening



funny - I can remember taking almost a WHOLE BOTTLE of HP 18 to appreciate it. Almost the reverse! maybe it mellowed to the point where I could appreciate it...whereas to you it lost "intensity".

the mysteries of SMS, eh?!?

PS. the next HP18 i bought was a mini... I drank it in one sitting and loved every drop!

I know feel i "know" HP 18...but it took a while.
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