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.