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

Decanters and Containers

All your whisky related questions answered here.

Decanters and Containers

Postby Hayek89 » Tue Jul 19, 2005 9:36 pm

I wondered if some of you with more expertise might be able to offer some comments on decanters and storing whisky in bottles other than the original it is bought in?

Do decanters serve a purpose beyond the purely aesthetic? If so, what should I be looking for in buying them? It would seem that a narrow neck decanter might slow the oxidation process after the bottle was opened, preserving the whisky (quite the opposite of wine, where a wide body decanter is desired to facilitate contact with air). Is that the case? Are their other considerations that I should consider in buying decanters? If so, what are they?

I drink primarily single malt Scotch whisky, but I usually have a Kentucky or Tennessee bourbon whiskey and a cognac on hand. I would assume the considerations would be the same for all three.

Thanks,
Hayek89
Hayek89
New member
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 9:20 pm
Location: United States

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jul 19, 2005 10:53 pm

It seems to me that the primary consideration would be a tight seal. Which reminds of the one about the walrus...but never mind.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:22 am

I would be more concerned with contaminates in the decanter or funnel or spillage even. Never have decanted anything but young homemade wine to avoid any solids in the casks or bottles. It seems rather a lost cause, but then bottles of whisky in my house aren't around long enough to be fooled with. :wink:
Lord_Pfaffin
Silver Member
 
Posts: 498
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 10:54 pm
Location: Toronto

Postby DaveM » Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:59 am

Keep your decanters for red wine. IMHO they have no place in the world of whisk(e)y other than cheesy old american movies :lol:
DaveM
New member
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 8:00 pm
Location: Victoria Canada, Whistler, Maui

Re: Decanters and Containers

Postby mbanu » Wed Jul 20, 2005 1:51 am

Hayek89 wrote:Do decanters serve a purpose beyond the purely aesthetic? If so, what should I be looking for in buying them? It would seem that a narrow neck decanter might slow the oxidation process after the bottle was opened, preserving the whisky (quite the opposite of wine, where a wide body decanter is desired to facilitate contact with air). Is that the case? Are their other considerations that I should consider in buying decanters? If so, what are they?


Decanters are a throwback to when whiskey only came in barrels. You'd go to your local grocer or whatever with your gallon jug, and have it filled up. :) Decanters were for easier handling, display, and if the barrel had been charred, to decant off the charred bits that would otherwise still be floating in your whiskey. ;)

The only modern uses decanters have for whiskey are aesthetics and possibly to disguise the brand if you prefer to leave private how much (or how little) you actually spend on your spirits. :)

And of course the warm fuzzies one gets from following hundred year old customs despite the fact they no longer serve any good purpose. :) After all, not letting things like practicality or utility get in the way of tradition is one of the signs of good breeding. :P
mbanu
New member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:41 am
Location: Columbia, South Carolina

Postby Lawrence » Wed Jul 20, 2005 5:02 am

Thumbs down to decanters, I use all of mine for door stops. They are incapable of forming the sealed needed to protect the whisky from the outside air. Besides all the information about the whisky is on the bottle so why would you seperate the whisky and the info???
Lawrence
Matured cask
 
Posts: 5019
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 1:01 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Postby kallaskander » Wed Jul 20, 2005 7:58 am

Hi there,

not that I would feel the urge or the need to comment on every post made in this forum, but...

Decanting whisky does the same things as decanting wine does, that is obvious. I should think that decanting a malt would speed up the aging of the whisky that occurs slowly in every bottle as the whisky gets less and the volume of air above it increases. I find that the first sip out of a fresh bottle always tastes different form all drams afterwards. Most of the time I open a bottle try the whisky and try again after a week. What you do with decanting a malt is to bring almost all of its volume in contact with air and thereby you further oxiygenation i.e. an artificial aging of the malt. That would mean that it reaches the point of the natural "second aging in the bottle" earlier and more complete and intense.
That could mean the the decanter should be emptied sooner than the original bottle. That makes a lot of difference.

Greetings
kallaskander
kallaskander
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1119
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 12:47 pm
Location: Heddesheim, Germany

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jul 20, 2005 4:13 pm

Whisky's not supposed to age in the bottle; actually, we generally call that "deterioration". But you are dead right about the first dram out of the bottle--my recently-opened Bruichladdich Links Augusta was as soapy as a bar of Dial on first taste, and improved significantly in short order. And I've had more than one bottle taste far better in its final drams than it had throughout the bottle. WhiskyMag, how about some research into this phenomenon?

Some folks here have discussed rebottling in smaller vessels for long term storage, as a way of minimizing oxidation.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby kallaskander » Wed Jul 20, 2005 4:53 pm

Hi there,

believe it or not but you can actually buy marbles to put into the bottles in order to fill up the volume of fluid you lose when pouring. Interesting and sound approach to that problem but be careful when you take your next dram, don´t be to greedy. It could be hard to swallow this time.

Greetings
kallaskander
kallaskander
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1119
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 12:47 pm
Location: Heddesheim, Germany

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jul 20, 2005 8:49 pm

Yes, those have been suggested here not too long ago. I would think you'd want to go to some lengths to be sure that the marbles are squeaky clean when you drop them in. The alcohol will surely kill anything nasty, but you wouldn't stick your fingers in your whisky bottle, would you?
Deactivated Member
 

Postby kallaskander » Fri Jul 22, 2005 7:57 am

Hi there,

not my fingers nor any other body parts. I firmly believe that the only way of preventing overmuch deterioration of a whisky in the bottle is drinking it in time.

Cheers.

Greetings
kallaskander
kallaskander
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1119
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 12:47 pm
Location: Heddesheim, Germany

Postby Lawrence » Fri Jul 22, 2005 4:47 pm

I firmly believe that the only way of preventing overmuch deterioration of a whisky in the bottle is drinking it in time.


Quite, well said, nothing lasts forever, enjoy it while you can and then move on.
Lawrence
Matured cask
 
Posts: 5019
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 1:01 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Postby WestVanDave » Sat Jul 23, 2005 8:29 pm

I had often thought marbles (glass or stainless steel) would work for displacement (air reduction) in the bottle - but had the fear of jamming marbles in the neck of the bottle - or dropping them into a fragile glass during a hefty pour - or of losing a marble or two in a bottle of Loch Dhu - and then having to explain that X-ray to my Doctor...

...can't quite work in a joke the way Mr. T can (seal... walrus, indeed) but would think that having anyone witness my Whisky collection - and numerous bottles "preserving" marbles I would be asking for anything that came my way...

Cheers, Dave.
WestVanDave
Silver Member
 
Posts: 494
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2003 2:01 am
Location: West Vancouver, BC, Canada

Postby kallaskander » Mon Jul 25, 2005 8:58 am

Hi there,

sure, losing ones marbles is always a serious thing. That is why I would not put them in a bottle. Thereby I avoid destroying a good glas - and a good dram by a cruel accident.

Greetings
kallaskander
kallaskander
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1119
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 12:47 pm
Location: Heddesheim, Germany

Return to Questions & Answers

Whisky gift and present finder