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Oxidation after opening

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Oxidation after opening

Postby Gate » Mon Sep 23, 2002 10:32 am

There has been much discussion about the effect on whisky of oxidation after the bottle has been opened, but I haven't seen anything about relative rates of change. Presumably the less whisky gone from the bottle the less the effect will be (I guess if you only take a single dram, the extra air will have a minimal effect); but does the strength of the whisky make a difference? Would oxidation affect a cask-strength whisky less? Finally, if you open a bottle and more or less straight away put half of it into a half bottle and seal that securely, will the half bottle then be as immune from the ravages of time as the original full bottle? I'd be very grateful for answers to any of these questions, as I have been a bit profligate in taking a nip or two from a whole range of different whiskies in the last few weeks and I'm starting to get a bit concerned about some of them losing their edge before they get drunk (I have to respect my liver a bit, after all Image )
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Postby Brigid » Tue Sep 24, 2002 8:17 am

Gate,

There will be a related article in the next issue (no.27).

Brigid
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Postby Rudolph Hucker » Tue Sep 24, 2002 10:30 am

Gate

Not sure if this helps - it probably says more about the state of my senses than oxidisation - but I have had, for reasons which escape me now, a bottle of Glengoyne 17 with about an inch of whisky left in it for well over a year.

Last night I compared that with a brand new bottle purchased at the weekend - and I could not tell the difference!


Cheers

Rudolph
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Postby Gate » Tue Sep 24, 2002 6:50 pm

Brigid, Rudolph
I shall wait for the Whiskymag article with bated breath and sealed bottles. This needs some empirical research: I have the last inch of a bottle of Scapa that I shall try head-to-head with a new one. There's nothing like having a good excuse Image
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Postby Rudolph Hucker » Wed Sep 25, 2002 4:34 pm

Gate

I had not thought of that - what a great idea!

When ever bottle of whisky is down to the last inch, you have to buy a replacement to
carry out valuable scientific research. And then you have to replace that one and so on

Cheers

Rudolph
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Sep 25, 2002 4:58 pm

Hi Gate,

I had a bottle once, of 10Y old Macallan, and kept it open for 6 long years, because simply I was enjoying it. The result after 6 years was that the smell and taste changed a little, but not unpleasant or so, or any other spectacular changes. Ofcourse I stored my bottle at a dark and cool place, and kept it away from any heat sources or daylight. But it was quite remarkable.

Slainte,

Erik
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Postby Chris Brousseau » Fri Sep 27, 2002 8:19 pm

Folks:

I have experienced a deterioration in quality over time. It relates to the amount of whisky in the bottle, time, and storage conditions. I too look forward to the article because no one seems to want to touch this topic.

I have changed from collecting bottles (for count) if they are opened to having a selection I like to drink and other ones that I collect (unopened).
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Postby Ian_Hamilton » Sat Sep 28, 2002 9:20 pm

Chris, I also buy bottles, some to drink and some to collect.
I only started doing this 2 months ago, so my collection is pretty boring (1975 Arbeg, 1999 bottling, 21 yr old Springbank, 20yr old Bruichladdich, Springbank Rum Finish and a couple of others).
But I hope it will be trhe beginning of a good colection (which I hope I will drink anyway)!
Anyway back to the point (oxidation), I wonder if this isn't some sort of gimmick by sellers, saying.. ..ah maybe you'll see a change in the whisky after 6 months, so you had better finish it! And when you do you can then buy another!
Just a thought.
Thanks
Ian
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Postby Gate » Sun Sep 29, 2002 9:22 am

Well, I can confirm, having done the head-to-head taste test, that there was no discernible difference between the last inch of my last bottle of Scapa and the first inch (or thereabouts - who's measuring? Image)of the new one. Against that, I had the fag end of a bottle of Bailie Nicol Jarvie, on the go for at least two years and last opened about 9 months ago, which did seem to have lost something. Maybe blends suffer more?
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Postby Gate » Wed Oct 23, 2002 4:04 pm

I have now read the "ageing in bottle" article in the latest Whiskymag, which is very interesting, and apart from reassuring me that my whiskies aren't losing their zip at a fearsome rate and that my cunning plan of decanting the opened "keepers" into well sealed half bottles for longer storage might just work, made me think about whiskies I have had in the past that were way better that they ought to have been. The grandfather of a friend of mine was a bit of a hoarder, and had quite a few old bottles of cheapish blends (the likes of the Claymore, and some supermarket own-brand blends) which he had bought in the 1970's and never opened. On a clear-out in the late 80s, he handed them out to family and friends, and I had a fair few drams from the selection. I remember the Claymore in particular being pretty damn good, and put it down to the 1970's version of the blend being better than the later one - but maybe it had benefited from 15 or more years undisturbed in bottle.
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Postby Jenny » Wed Oct 23, 2002 6:53 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial, Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Gate:
- but maybe it had benefited from 15 or more years undisturbed in bottle.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Whisky doesn't age anymore as soon as it's bottled and left the cask...

Jenny
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Postby Gate » Wed Oct 23, 2002 7:52 pm

Jenny: Try reading Martin Izark's article in the new Whisky Magazine (no. 27). If he's right (along with Gordon & MacPhail, who say the same thing), then whisky does indeed age further in bottle (very slowly).

[This message has been edited by Gate (edited 23 October 2002).]
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Postby Paddy » Sat Nov 02, 2002 4:30 pm

Thanks Gate,thats something i've been courious about for some time now.
I have a cristal decanter i like to put whisky in (every day Malt.I leave the good stuff in the original bottle).
It seems to me that the taste does change over time,due to alcohol evaporating perhaps?
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Postby blackkeno » Sun Nov 03, 2002 6:47 am

I hope it's not lead leaching in from the Chrystal!
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Postby Chris Brousseau » Mon Nov 04, 2002 8:19 pm

Ian - I do not think it is a ploy of the marketers - just the opposite because I cannot get anyone to address the "problem". I stronly belive there is a loss of quality over time in an opened bottle with the loss related to the amount of space in the bottle and the length of time.
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Postby marr » Tue Nov 05, 2002 8:08 pm

Chemically, it would change. I do not know how long it would take to taste different, however.

Not only would there be some kind of reaction with the air, but particles, such as dust, would settle in the liquid.

Furthermore, the air could affect the cork, which could affect the liquid.

Again, I don't know how any of these reactions would affect the taste.
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Postby heer.veer » Thu Nov 07, 2002 10:26 am

I think we should say that the whisky, changes.

It doesn´t neccessarily deteriorate.

A lot of mals get better, even after years of breathing through the cork...or just sitting on a shelf in a dark place.

A lot of islays get better after opening

[This message has been edited by heer.veer (edited 07 November 2002).]
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Postby Iain » Thu Nov 07, 2002 10:52 am

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Gate:
[B]Jenny: Try reading Martin Izark's article in the new Whisky Magazine (no. 27). If he's right (along with Gordon & MacPhail, who say the same thing), then whisky does indeed age further in bottle (very slowly).

Gate, vigorous conversation about MI's opinions on this can be found on Malts-L list, at...
http://mailhost.rz.uni-karlsruhe.de/cgi-bin/wa?A1=ind0211&L=malts-l&D=0&H=0&O=T&T=1
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Postby Gate » Fri Nov 08, 2002 12:41 am

Thanks Iain - that is vigorous stuff indeed (and spot on about the pretentious quotes). I'm back where I started, really - all I know is that that bottle of Claymore was just far better than any other Claymore I have tasted before or since (I've just realised that that statement betrays me as a regular Claymore-drinker - but I was only a student and couldn't afford better - honest!).
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Postby marr » Fri Nov 08, 2002 5:45 pm

I may be getting a little boring, but I should add that the fact that you can smell whisky means that its composition is changing when exposed to air.

.......again, the relative change in taste is a different matter.
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