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

floaters/specks in old whisky?

All your whisky related questions answered here.

floaters/specks in old whisky?

Postby IanRWilliams » Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:38 am

In preparation for a tasting we had over New Year's Eve, I got my hands on a bottle of Clynelish 1976 from the Murray McDavid Mission series. Which is obviously quite an old bottle of scotch, but upon inspection, I noticed a lot of "floaters" and specks that looked like... well, hard to describe, but maybe tiny flecks of sawdust and even a few (very small) black bits.

I tried to take some pictures:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/152/3432 ... 5d4e_b.jpg
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/127/3432 ... f94c_b.jpg
...but they don't quite do it justice. They weren't air bubbles or imperfections on the bottle, they floated around. Inspection of the cork revealed no "corking" or anything untoward.

Anyone else seen this sort of thing? I looked at my older whiskies and while colored, they are certainly clean. In any event, we drank a few drams any it was simply incredible. I'll post about the tasting later.
IanRWilliams
New member
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 8:16 am
Location: NYC/LA

Postby Drrich1965 » Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:49 am

I had the same bottle last month (good stuff, a bit too much oak, but nice, I will post tasting noted later).

Mine had no specks...
Drrich1965
Gold Member
 
Posts: 881
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:34 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jan 03, 2007 5:04 am

Chill-filtering is the rage for precisely this reason. Whiskey under 100 proof (50% abv) will 'haze', or show particulate matter when below a certain temperature. Chill-filtering eliminates this haze.
Most likely, if the whiskey was not entirely cloudy, these particles did no harm to the whiskey. They are, in fact, residue of flavoring elements -- esters and congeners, if you will. Eliminating them, if fact, reduces the taste of the product, though it makes it more 'presentable'.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:03 am

Hey, Blackadder charges you extra for that stuff.

If I understand the gentleman, TN, you are off base. He's talking about solid particles that would normally be removed by gross barrier filters. No?
Deactivated Member
 

MrTattieHeid speaks truth

Postby IanRWilliams » Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:17 am

Yeah, it was less of a haze, more actual particulates. I'd never seen it in a whisky before, though I admit I'd never been looking. The color of the Clynelish 1976 is rather pale, which made them easy to spot.

Hell, I thought the whisky was so good they might be flavor crystals. But it did give me pause, and I was wondering if anyone else had seen such a thing.
IanRWilliams
New member
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 8:16 am
Location: NYC/LA

Postby dram_time » Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:59 am

IanRWilliams,

I bought a case of Bruichladdich 10 a while back and all 6 bottles had these solid deposits in the bottle. There was quite a bit of it in there, sitting on the bottle bottom until you moved or swirled to bottle about, then the particles would float about, almost unseen when mixed up, only to settle down on the bottle base again after a few minutes. Definatley not a haze. I emailed Mark at Bruichladdich, just to check that it wasn’t the cork stopper that was coming apart (as I thought that was what it might be..) this is the response I received from Mark Reynier..

“ it is a natural deposit as seen in fine wines – we do not chill-filter or colour the whisky. It is bottled naturally and so depending on storage temperatures will sometimes through a deposit.”

I have had a bottle of the 10 y/o with this deposit, and one without. Both were pretty much the same. And I am still alive so no need to worry about it as it seem normal. I have some other bottles with this sediment in, but not in such quantities as the Laddie 10.

Hope some of that helps.

Dt.
dram_time
Silver Member
 
Posts: 266
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:56 pm
Location: north west scotland

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:16 pm

Then it was I who was off base. Sorry, TN!
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Drrich1965 » Wed Jan 03, 2007 4:48 pm

Tasting narrative for said malt...

Score 82 (reccomendable range, 80-85) Clynlelish 28yo 1976 (46%, Murray McDavid Misson, Bottle 588/600) August 6, 2006, Preliminary score is an 85. Since this is my 2006 B-day bottle, I will have much more time with it to give it a proper tasting. The nose and mouth are fairly similar, the wood dominates at first, with spicy notes developing. Not as complex as some of the best Clynelish, but on first tasting big and elegant. My initial sense is that this is one that would have been better several years ago, before the wood became as prominent. Still, enjoyable and a good malt to have on my 41st B day weekend, and for sharing with some house guests we will have over the next week. On second tasting, I think I will keep the same score. The nose is wonderful, satisfying. The mouth is nice, but somehow it does not seem as well integrated as I would like. That is, the flavors seem separate; first wood, than pepper, than....but not together. A very good dram, but a tad disappointing (high expectations). A subsequent tasting a few weeks later, the same impressions, save for the big sherry influence on the nose and the end of the mouth, right before the finish. This does add some complexity, but the flavors are not as integrated as they are in other old Clynelish, where you get a sense of the whole band as well as the instruments. Here, the group is not great, only good players, sort of like a 1970s super group Yeah, you like it, and maybe a bit more than you want to admit, but there is something not quiet right. Score still 83, although that might even be high. Oh, the nose still is fantastic. After the tasting I did last night, I am marking this down to and 80. And that is the straight score, certainly not bang for your buck. In truth, the malt is just too dominated by wood to be considered very strong. I think this is one that I want to enjoy more than I really do. November 8, 2006. Maybe about a quarter of the bottle left; time to finish it off or send to friends. It still seems about the same; the nose really is wonderful, but it really is very complex, with a lot going on, but as I said before, not well integrated or balanced. It a single malt scotch where the word malt would not be mentioned, and I realize that is an issue for me.
Drrich1965
Gold Member
 
Posts: 881
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:34 pm
Location: Tacoma, WA

Return to Questions & Answers

Whisky gift and present finder