Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

Junior whisky man

Your tastes and our tastes are discussed here, so make sure you share your pleasures with us.

Junior whisky man

Postby Urqhart » Tue Dec 09, 2003 6:11 am

Hello, I've never been much of a whisky man but after a recent encounter with an Adelphi Benriach 13 year old I really got hooked. I do have a question about my recent experiences. I first had the Benriach from the botton portion of a friends bottle. I then managed to track down a bottle of my own and noticed upon first opening a bit harsher take on it than my previous tasting. With a bit of time it seems my bottle is "softening" up a bit. My question is whether I'm commiting whisky heresy by letting my whisky breath a bit (I've left it open on the counter for hours). Is this all in my head? Does a whisky get better/change after opening, is some oxidation going on? I recently picked up an Adelphi Glenlivet 26 y/o, will this react the same way? I know that's a lot of questions, any info would be great.

Kevin
Urqhart
New member
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 5:49 am
Location: NYC

Postby hpulley » Tue Dec 09, 2003 3:36 pm

You aren't imagining things and you aren't committing blasphemy.

Whisky definitely changes upon opening. For this reason, I often find samples had at a tasting where fresh bottles are opened do not always show the true taste of the whisky for the life of the bottle -- it is necessary to allow the sample to air out quite a bit before you get a true nosing. Many become smoother, many open up their flavours. You probably don't want to leave the bottle open too long as you can oxidize it prematurely but leave your samples open before you drink them.

Some have a one minute rule, leaving the samples open for one minute per year of maturation but with old ones this seems excessive once you are waiting 30-40 minutes or more. They do seem to improve up to that point though.

Others add water instead of airing out. I prefer the airing out method.

Harry
hpulley
Triple Gold Member
 
Posts: 2503
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Postby SasquatchMan » Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:33 pm

Is it possible for whiskey to "go bad" in bottle? I have a half-finished bottle of black bush, and it seems to me that it's almost, well, sour, compared to my other whiskeys (including Aberlour, JW Black, Chivas, Laphroaig, Talisker, Tamnavulin, Glendronach, Bunnahabhain, and An Cnoc). Is this just Black Bush (I got it about 5 years ago, and really don't remember what it tasted like then, and have subsequently come into being a steady whiskey man. Now I drink the BB and it rankles.)
SasquatchMan
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:10 pm

Thanks Harry

Postby Urqhart » Wed Dec 10, 2003 12:55 am

I don't think I'll do anymore "bottle" airing, but just give it time in the glass.

Kevin

Sorry, can't help you SasquatchMan, I'm new at this game.
Urqhart
New member
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 5:49 am
Location: NYC

Postby Admiral » Wed Dec 10, 2003 2:24 pm

Sasquatchman,

The rule of thumb that many subscribe to is this: Assuming that you are regularly visiting the one bottle, then once it gets down to about a third full, you have roughly three to six months to finish the bottle before oxidation really starts to cause harsh and unwanted deterioration.

It is at one-third-full that the ratio of air to whisky in the bottle will start to have a detrimental effect. However, this assumes that you are a regularly visiting the bottle. Given that your bottle of Black Bush is half-full and was opened five years ago, I think it's a safe bet that the whisky will definitely have been affected by oxidation for the worse.

Many people make this mistake when they purchase and open a "special" bottle. Because it's special (i.e. rare or expensive), they only drink it very occasionally, and it can then sit for years on a shelf with air in the bottle. The whisky starts to oxidise and deteriorate, and the special stuff inside suddenly doesn't taste very special anymore!!
Admiral
Triple Gold Member
 
Posts: 2717
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2003 2:01 am
Location: Australia

Oxidation

Postby Urqhart » Wed Dec 10, 2003 3:16 pm

Does anyone use those devices for wine that inject nitrogen into the bottle? I assume that would work on whisky as well.

Kevin
Urqhart
New member
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 5:49 am
Location: NYC

Adelphi tasings

Postby Urqhart » Wed Dec 10, 2003 3:22 pm

Since this is a tastings forum I thought I should at least give my impressions of the ones I recently bought. I'm new to whisky tasting notes but in short the Benriach 13 y/o tasted like the ingredients of a good Christmas pudding, moderately sweet nuts and dried fruit, whereas the Glenlivet 26 y/o tasted like the Christmas pudding all put together, a bit sweeter and strong spice.

Kevin
Urqhart
New member
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 5:49 am
Location: NYC

Postby Richard Quilly » Wed Dec 10, 2003 3:53 pm

Kevin

If you leave the bottle open or have a bottle with only a little in it, some of the alcohol will evaporate, making it taste milder and less spicy. I also think that phenols are quite volatile, but the more volatile of these wwould have evaopourated while in the barrel or during vatting.

However, different bottles taste slightly different. You might have tasted a whisky bottled in a different year even. It will also taste different depending on what you have eaten before or if you have had something else to drink prior to tasting...
Richard Quilly
New member
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 9:12 am
Location: Illinois, USA

Postby Shigga » Sat Jan 17, 2004 4:04 pm

That was a real interesting read for a newbie like me. In the future I will take the last third of a bottle and fill it in a smaller one. Before I wondered wether it's just my imagination or my JW Black Label was really deterioating. =)
Shigga
New member
 
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 1:11 pm
Location: near Heidelberg, Germany

Postby Jack.Salyer » Sun Feb 08, 2004 8:30 pm

To all members,
If your interested in a visit to the center of bourbon whiskey production, give me a shout on the ole email, I live in Louisville, KY and am within 1 hour drive time to all Kentucky Distilleries. Also near Horse racing venues and farms, Louisville Slugger museum, awesome outdoor sports(hiking, climbing, land rover off road experience)etc. Let me know if I can assist in your visit to the USA.
jack salyer
Jack.Salyer
New member
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 4:02 pm
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Return to Whisky Tastings

Whisky gift and present finder