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Does flavor change after opening bottle

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Does flavor change after opening bottle

Postby Patdf » Mon Apr 16, 2007 3:47 pm

Hello all,
I'm curious about the flavor expectancy of a bottle after opening it. Since I'm still in my experimenting stages of tasting different types of scotch, I've been purchasing numerous bottles and opening them and having a different type every oppurtunity. How long does a bottle last after opening it, especially consistant taste. Is it better just to open one or two bottles at a time. Any input would be great.
Thanks again,
Pat
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Apr 16, 2007 3:59 pm

An oft-revisited topic, one of perpetual interest. If you go here and scroll down to "Lifetime of opened bottles / Whisky & storage", you'll find a lot of discussion on this. Long story short, yes, whisky will change over time after opening, sometimes to its benefit, somes to its detriment. How many to have open at a time is matter of personal choice, to some extent--some here have only a few open at a time, others have dozens. Bottles that are getting low bear watching, and it's widely agreed that when you get down to the last few drams, it's best not to leave the bottle sitting for any length of time. Many have reported saving that last dram of Glen Googly Special Edition for a special occasion, only to be disappointed by a flat and lifeless drink. Resist the urge to save it, or maybe pour the last 10cl into sample bottles to reduce contact with air. We've had lengthy arguments about whether deterioration is caused by oxidation or evaporation, and I don't want to start that again, but we all agree that deterioration does occur in such circumstances.
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Postby ScotchPalate » Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:27 pm

IMHO, I have found that nearly all whiskies change in character (usually slightly) a few weeks after opening. In fact, I have found that I enjoy some whiskies better if I pour into my glass and let sit for 20 minutes or so. But don't let sit too long, then the flavors have a stale feel.

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Postby shoganai » Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:08 pm

I am going to do a little experiment for my own edification. I don't know if this was suggested by someone here or if I just had a moment of clarity or what but here's what I'm going to do:

1) from a recently opened and almost full bottle, I will pour two drams, neither filling more than 1/4 of a glass. I will then cover one of the glasses with a glass cap.
2) I will go to work, etc.
3) when I return in the evening I will pour a third dram and compare the contents of the three glasses.
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Postby Di Blasi » Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:53 am

Whisky needs air!!! Oh yes it does! But no, not too much, so be careful! I have opened up bottles, been disappointed, only to rediscover it months later, and fall in love with it. Maybe it's the mood, maybe it does "breath" and improve with time. Yes Patdf, taste, experiment and enjoy!
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Postby Muskrat Portage » Tue Apr 17, 2007 2:13 am

shoganai wrote:I am going to do a little experiment for my own edification. I don't know if this was suggested by someone here or if I just had a moment of clarity or what but here's what I'm going to do:
1) from a recently opened and almost full bottle, I will pour two drams, neither filling more than 1/4 of a glass. I will then cover one of the glasses with a glass cap.
2) I will go to work, etc.
3) when I return in the evening I will pour a third dram and compare the contents of the three glasses.

shoganai:
You might want to weigh both glasses as well to see if there is a mass variation from evaporation. If I was to run my experiment again, I'd figure out how to measure the volatility change too.
Here's an alcohol density chart I've discovered: http://www.drinknation.com/bartending/densitychart.php/
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Postby Patdf » Tue Apr 17, 2007 2:51 am

Hello Di Blasi,
You do bring up an interesting point. I have noticed that some of my drinks from start to finish have a slightly different taste. An example is Caol Ili 12 seems in my opionion to have a medicinal, sharp, smokey taste. But at the end of my glass (which can be over an hour long) it's much more flavorfull for my taste. Another great example that I realized yesterday, is that one of my favorite bottles Bowmore 12 has a great chocolate taste to it (which I love) and yesterday having the last dram out of it, I wanted to pour it on some ice cream it tasted sooooo chocolately. That's why I enjoy scotch so much, it's always an expierience.

Thanks again,
Pat
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:29 am

Patdf wrote:An example is Caol Ili 12 seems in my opionion to have a medicinal, sharp, smokey taste. But at the end of my glass (which can be over an hour long) it's much more flavorfull for my taste.


This can be your taste changing over the hour, too. We know that different whiskies will taste different when tasted in different orders, or after different foods; I think it possible that your reaction to different flavors within a single dram will change over time, as well. All of this is why I am largely skeptical about "objective" tasting. Tasting is inherently subjective, and that's the fun of it. You can analyze all you want, but you will never stop being surprised. Go with it, I say...when you pin a butterfly down, you've killed it.
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Postby Di Blasi » Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:35 am

Patdf wrote:Hello Di Blasi,
You do bring up an interesting point. I have noticed that some of my drinks from start to finish have a slightly different taste. An example is Caol Ili 12 seems in my opionion to have a medicinal, sharp, smokey taste. But at the end of my glass (which can be over an hour long) it's much more flavorfull for my taste. Another great example that I realized yesterday, is that one of my favorite bottles Bowmore 12 has a great chocolate taste to it (which I love) and yesterday having the last dram out of it, I wanted to pour it on some ice cream it tasted sooooo chocolately. That's why I enjoy scotch so much, it's always an expierience.

Thanks again,
Pat


Sure thing Pat!
Not only does it change in your glass, as Mr T states, it will change in that bottle. I have been through a bottle over many many months that I didn't enjoy so much, til the end, the last few remaining in the bottle, and wow, so good! If I ever open something that doesn't appeal to me at first, I'll leave it alone for weeks, even a month maybe. The improvement is wonderful! Enjoy the whisky experiences!
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Postby les taylor » Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:53 am

Pat We finished a bottle of Talisker 10 on sunday night. There is a dramatic change in taste from that bottle now. :wink:


:)
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Postby shoganai » Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:30 pm

Muskrat Portage wrote:If I was to run my experiment again, I'd figure out how to measure the volatility change too.


THat's a good suggestion. Maybe I should think this through a little more before I actually do it. Plus, I don't have any whisky open right now that I'm really willing to sacrifice.

Also, I know someone with a phd in material science (also a whisky fan) who might be able to shed some light on this issue.
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Whisky changes

Postby Muskrat Portage » Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:32 pm

Shoganai:
I used to make wine and have a hydrometer and sampling tube to check the abv levels in the batch to decide when to bottle. The hydrometer is quite large, as is the glass beaker for doing a whisky testing, which isn't an issue when you have a full carboy of wine to test. It is an issue when you want to test a finite amount of whisky.

In the Q& A forum, "Settle a Bet" topic, I conducted a similar experiment to that you propose:
http://www.whiskymag.com/forum/viewtopi ... ght=#81645

Perhaps with this as a basis and the assistance of your scientifically minded whisky lover, you could develop a MkII experiment which would deal with more of the variables. (Or, maybe I'll just dig around for the wine equipment and an accurate weigh scale...)
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Postby bjorn » Sun Apr 22, 2007 4:22 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:Tasting is inherently subjective, and that's the fun of it. You can analyze all you want, but you will never stop being surprised. Go with it, I say...when you pin a butterfly down, you've killed it.


Truer words have never been spoken. It's a damned ethereal and subjective thing, whisky. I think it's mutable nature is one of its finer qualities. Like when you don't care much for a whisky on the first dram and love it by mid-bottle and can barely stand to part with the last drop. Forgive me I'm Rambling... :roll:
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Re: Whisky changes

Postby shoganai » Sun Apr 22, 2007 4:48 am

Muskrat Portage wrote:In the Q& A forum, "Settle a Bet" topic, I conducted a similar experiment to that you propose:
http://www.whiskymag.com/forum/viewtopi ... ght=#81645


Your experiment was better than what I had proposed. Well done.

I'll try to get in touch with my friend over the next few weeks. He doesn't currently work in a lab, so he probably won't be able to assist with an experiment per say, but he's got a pretty good theoretical understanding of this kind of stuff (at least as far as i'm concerned. he could be full of sh!t, but he's got me fooled).
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