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Can one save an "off" bottle?

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Can one save an "off" bottle?

Postby Ardbeg311 » Thu Apr 26, 2007 5:17 pm

Greetings All,

I recently purchased an Ardbeg Uigeadail (L4 349 13:49 4ML) that is clearly an "off" bottle. Instead of the perfect marriage of sherry, peat, and power I got a whisky that takes like I am drinking bitter, moldy mulch. The bottle looks fine, the cork looks fine, I have even rubbed around the mouth of the bottle for any unseen residue that could be altering the taste. The nose is the same as my other bottles as well. The problem is only in the taste. It is so different then the Uigeadail's I am used to (including a bottle I had earlier this year) that something seems to have gone terribly wrong with this particular bottle. Even two days after the initial taste, and sampled at three separate times, it is still as bad as when I first opened it.

Taking it back to the store is not an option for me nor do I think Ardbeg would be willing to send me another bottle (would they?) since I didn't buy it directly from them.

So basically I think my options are hoping even more time will somehow make it magically better or pour it down the drain (60 euros!). Before I choose the later, however, I would be interested in knowing what the members here have done or other options they might recommend regarding this or other off/bad bottles.

Thanks
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Postby Matt2 » Thu Apr 26, 2007 5:24 pm

I've heard people saying transfer it to 2 clean bottles, half in each, (discard the bottle and cork) and allow it breath for a week or two in these sealed bottles.

:yuk: However, experimenting with a mouldy cork glenlivet I've found that mouldy / musky note will just not go away.

I would at least send Ardbeg an email and see what they think, I'm sure they don't want dodgy bottles around and may well replace it (after you have sent it to them).

Or just keep it as an example of a corked whisky... :dead:
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Re: Can one save an "off" bottle?

Postby parvus » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:20 am

Can you not take it back to the store due to where you are located, or do you just think that the store wont replace it or do anything for you.

I would think that any retailer worth their salt would offer you a replacement for a faulty product. Or at least a sympathetic pat on the back and a dram or two of something nice.
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Postby wieslaw » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:38 am

recently opened a Peat Monster & a Talisker (w/ a broken cork) & both tasted off. turned out to be my seasonal allergies which affected their taste since a few days later they were both fine.
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Postby Lawrence » Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:38 am

I've heard of this before, a friend opened a bottle of Ardbeg U and was so put off by the musty smell he sold it to me! It seems I'm not affected by it as much. Could it be this is the case and it's just batch variation? I only suggest this since I can't actually smell your bottle.

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Postby kljostad » Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:15 am

The problem might have been that the shop hasn't stored the bottle like it should be. I haven't experienced this with whisky, but I have had both wine and beer that has been ruined by exposiure to flourecent light.
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Re: Can one save an "off" bottle?

Postby RufusA » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:11 am

Ardbeg311 wrote:Taking it back to the store is not an option for me nor do I think Ardbeg would be willing to send me another bottle (would they?) since I didn't buy it directly from them.


Wouldn't do you any harm to write to Ardbeg - would recommend sending a letter rather than email.

I've written to UDV about a bottle of Lagavulin which had a crumbly cork which had gone in to the whisky. They kindly replaced it with two bottles - sent by courier, purely on the strength of my word, but asked me to return the bottle or cork for investigation if it wasn't too much trouble.

Ardbeg have worked hard to develop a relationship with its customers so IMHO a polite letter may work wonders. Better than pouring down the sink at least.

HTH - Rufus.
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Postby Aidan » Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:36 pm

They will give you your money or a replacement bottle. The distillers or the shop will, I think.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:41 pm

I opened a ceramic Bowmore 22 and discovered the bottle was half empty. I contacted Bowmore, who sent me packaging to return the bottle to them. They sent it bacfk to me with a letter saying that they had tested the whisky and it was OK, but that I ought to store whisky upright (which I always do). They said they had "topped up" the bottle to add the missing whisky and resealed the bottle. I confess I was rather bemused and hae no intention of reopening the bottle.
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Postby hpulley » Sun Apr 29, 2007 12:50 pm

I think it is just me but after enjoying five bottles of Uigeadail over the last few years the latest one I opened is not very good. Not quite to rib sauce ingredient level yet but we'll see... that is not to say I don't love sherried Islay ribs, I do! It is BBQ season but it seems like blaspheme to do to such a thing to an Ardbeg.

Harry
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Postby Di Blasi » Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:42 pm

I recently surprisingly found a corked Mackmyra bottling, which the importer immediately exchanged with me. Great service! I'm sure he'll send it back over for credit and to let Mackmyra know about it. So I'd recommend letting the shop and Ardbeg know, as Matt suggests.
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Saving an off bottle

Postby Muskrat Portage » Mon Apr 30, 2007 2:43 am

Matt:
So, if I decanted my Edradour 10 yo into two bottles and after letting them breathe for two weeks or so, the soapy flavour may dissapate? If anyone has tried it before and think it's worth a try, let me know. I"ve two bottles of the stuff and would rather not do the drain thing if I don't have to. :dead:

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Re: Saving an off bottle

Postby Matt2 » Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:56 am

Muskrat Portage wrote:if I decanted my Edradour 10 yo into two bottles and after letting them breathe for two weeks or so, the soapy flavour may dissapate


Not sure about that one, I don't think anything can get rid of the Edradour Soap. The breathing thing only seems to work with lightly tainted whisky from the cork. It won't help whiskies suffering from production problems. But hey, give it a go and see what happens.

At least it will keep your drains clean, also works very well for cleaning the windows :thumbsup:
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Postby Di Blasi » Tue May 01, 2007 1:31 pm

Something to keep in mind here for next time, thanks Matt and Muskrat Portage!!
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Postby pere » Thu May 03, 2007 3:28 pm

I've also got an "off" Uigeadail, it's even from the same day than Ardbeg311's one, bottling code: L4 349 13:31 4ML. Especially the aftertaste is quite dusty and bitter, similar to corked wine.

I thought that the cork would have somehow caused it, even though there is no visible damage (or anything abnormal) in the cork, but maybe there has been something wrong with the whole vatting or so...

Anyone else with faulty (or normal) Uigedails from the same day?
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Balvenie bottles

Postby Muskrat Portage » Thu May 03, 2007 11:24 pm

Matt:
I think that I'll decant the one open bottle into two Balvenie bottles I've just drained this past weekend. I may cheat and not rinse them either. I'll post my results in about a week as I have to make a trip this weekend.
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Postby Di Blasi » Fri May 04, 2007 12:49 am

pere wrote:I've also got an "off" Uigeadail, it's even from the same day than Ardbeg311's one, bottling code: L4 349 13:31 4ML. Especially the aftertaste is quite dusty and bitter, similar to corked wine.

I thought that the cork would have somehow caused it, even though there is no visible damage (or anything abnormal) in the cork, but maybe there has been something wrong with the whole vatting or so...

Anyone else with faulty (or normal) Uigedails from the same day?


Is that with the flip-top box, the last bottling they presented that way?? Damn, I'd better check my lot number then. Thanks for the info!
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Postby pere » Fri May 04, 2007 12:53 pm

Di Blasi wrote:Is that with the flip-top box, the last bottling they presented that way??


Yes, it's with the flip-top box. Or at least mine is :)
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Postby Di Blasi » Sat May 05, 2007 2:27 am

pere wrote:I've also got an "off" Uigeadail, it's even from the same day than Ardbeg311's one, bottling code: L4 349 13:31 4ML. Especially the aftertaste is quite dusty and bitter, similar to corked wine.

I thought that the cork would have somehow caused it, even though there is no visible damage (or anything abnormal) in the cork, but maybe there has been something wrong with the whole vatting or so...

Anyone else with faulty (or normal) Uigedails from the same day?


I'm happy to report that I've checked my Uigeadail, and it's a different lot then the above. I wonder if others have found that lot # also off? Or if perhaps others have found my lot # off, or right on, as would be expected for this whisky: L4 315 11:53 4ML??
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Re: Balvenie bottles

Postby Muskrat Portage » Mon May 07, 2007 1:12 am

Muskrat Portage wrote:Matt:
I think that I'll decant the one open bottle into two Balvenie bottles ... I may cheat and not rinse them either. I'll post my results in about a week as I have to make a trip this weekend.
Muskrat

They've been decanted and have been sitting all weekend... I think I'll wait another week. Muskrat
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Postby Ardbeg311 » Tue May 08, 2007 5:50 pm

My sickly Uigeadail bottle is now sitting in two clean Ardbeg 10's. I quick taste after only a week and a half revealed almost no improvement. I think I will wait another couple of months. I still need to write to Ardbeg and let them know.

Thanks for all your suggestions and comments.
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Re: Balvenie bottles

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sat May 12, 2007 3:42 am

Muskrat Portage wrote:
Muskrat Portage wrote:Matt:
I think that I'll decant the one open bottle into two Balvenie bottles ... I may cheat and not rinse them either. I'll post my results in about a week as I have to make a trip this weekend.
Muskrat

They've been decanted and have been sitting all weekend... I think I'll wait another week. Muskrat
Okay, it's been a week, here goes with a "Live tasting"... Edradour 10 yo
Nose: Toffee, hint of maple syrup, grassy undertones, damn... it noses lovely.
Colour: Still deep red gold looks very sherried
Palate: 9:28 pm Friday... sherry, honeyed, if you hold it and swirl it too long, the soap slowly overpowers the palate.
Finish: Still has some soap in the finish but not as overwhelming as it had been, spicy warming finish with a definitive tongue tingle, would be a lovely dram if not for the soap undertones.

Regretfully you don't seem to be able to "save" this bottle by decanting it. This remains a bottle to be drunk for effect. Sorry, I tried.
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Opinions now sought...

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sat May 12, 2007 5:31 pm

Muskrat Portage wrote:Regretfully you don't seem to be able to "save" this bottle by decanting it. This remains a bottle to be drunk for effect. Sorry, I tried.
Muskrat

...or should I have ended without the punctuation as in "Sorry I tried"?
So my query for the forum is what should I vat this offending SM with to reduce the soapy impact - no FWP recommendations please. I'm thinking along the lines on a heavier sherry cask finish or a more powerful Islay to experiment with.
I have 1 3/4 bottles to play with so any opinion short of doing the drain thing is welcome. I may save the sealed one for posterity as vegeance on my descendants, though.
Muskrat
Edit: Based on one of the other threads, I'm willing to sacrifice more Edradour for the good of the forum. I'll put a mini in the freezer, do some work in the yard and see if it helps the soap. Musky (getting desperate)
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Can you save an off bottle? Nope

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sun May 13, 2007 2:58 am

Muskrat Portage wrote:Based on one of the other threads, I'm willing to sacrifice more Edradour (10 yo) for the good of the forum. I'll put a mini in the freezer, do some work in the yard and see if it helps the soap. Musky (getting desperate)

No to freezing - still has soap. Vatting with Bowmore 12 yo 50/50 seems to have done the trick. What a waste of a decent Bowmore, however.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun May 13, 2007 4:46 am

I recall one of my soapy bottles becoming less offensive as it got lower. It never entirely went away, though. As for vatting, it strikes me as simply ruining a decent dram with a bad one, unless by chance you can find two bad drams that cancel each other out somehow. I'd think your best chance is to kill it with peat. The Signatory 5yo Islay would be the best candidate in my mind, especially if you could get the cs. AVY would be another candidate, but...see previous point.

Musky, have you tried pouring a dram and leaving it out for half an hour or an hour before driniking it?
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I'll try that

Postby Muskrat Portage » Tue May 15, 2007 4:11 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:...Musky, have you tried pouring a dram and leaving it out for half an hour or an hour before drinking it?
Bruce:
Thanks, I'll try that.
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