Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Spirits & Corks


Boilerfood
 Share

Recommended Posts

I was enjoying a Buffalo Trace Manhattan last night when my SO realized that it had a cork top. That made me realize that I have never had a bad experience with any spirit that is topped with a cork. Is there something to this, or is it just indicative of the care taken during the crafting process?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the re-usable cork topped bottles, but haven't necessarily noticed whether they are in and of themselves any type of mark of excellence. Certainly they are used on some excellent bottles (BT's Antique Collection, for example) but I have to believe there are exceptions to the rule. However, while we're on the subject I'll voice my displeasure of wine corks in spirit bottles. They aren't that prevalent, but St. George and Jade Edouard absinthes come to mind. What's the motivation there? There's no way the entire bottle is going to be consumed in a sitting.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the re-usable cork topped bottles, but haven't necessarily noticed whether they are in and of themselves any type of mark of excellence. Certainly they are used on some excellent bottles (BT's Antique Collection, for example) but I have to believe there are exceptions to the rule. However, while we're on the subject I'll voice my displeasure of wine corks in spirit bottles. They aren't that prevalent, but St. George and Jade Edouard absinthes come to mind. What's the motivation there? There's no way the entire bottle is going to be consumed in a sitting.

I've read before that Absinthe, unlike almost all other spirits, can benefit from bottle aging. This is perhaps related to the type of closure used on some of the bottles.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recently had the opportunity to sample some Bacardi white from the early 1950s. One bottle was in pristine condition and was an absolute revelation. The other two bottles had damaged corks, and definitely had some "corked" aspect to the spirit (although I should hasten to point out that even the corked 1951 Bacardi white blew the doors off of any Cuban-style white rum on the market today).

--

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While Absinthe and some other Herbal Liqueurs may benefit, or at least evolve, with time in the bottle, the cork, if kept in long contact with the spirit, will deteriorate relatively rapidly.

Unlike wine, spirits should be stored standing up.

And, yes, cork contamination is absolutely possible with spirits as well as wines.

Not only that, but I've had older spirits that I swear have taken flavor from their plastic enclosures or pour spouts.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure the last bottle of Carpano Antica I got was corked. It was definitely off somehow, and that would be the first thing to come to mind.

It was really dry tasting, and bit oxidized. I need to get another to double check, but I think, by now, I know what Antica tastes like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Generally I like cork stoppers, but I've had a couple bad experiences with them.

The only bottle of Rhum Clement Creole Shrubb I ever had had a cork stopper that was extremely dry and started to disintegrate very quickly to the point where bits of cork were falling into the bottle--not very pleasant.

When I bought a bottle of Quintessential gin which had a cork stopper, as soon as I opened it, the plastic cap pulled off of the cork (the cork split just under the cap) requiring me to draw the cork out with a corkscrew. I then had to find something else to cap the bottle with.

Damrak Amsterdam gin has one of those flip-down hoop clasps of the type found on old flasks. It has a porcelain stopper with a rubber gasket. Someone should tell them that alcohol and rubber don't mix because the gasket gets stuck to the lip of the bottle and when pulled off, leaves small bits of rubber stuck to the rim of the opening which can easily fall into the gin. Quaint package design, but not well thought out.

Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

A related problem that I've experienced is bottles of liqueurs with screw caps which get stuck or are very difficult to get off. In particular, I have a not-so-old (e.g. 1 year) bottle of Benedictine where the cap got stuck, and then the plastic part separated from the underlying foil screw cap, ultimately requiring pliers to get off. I've taken to using a vacuvin, but does anyone have thoughts/experience re using vacuvin for long-term spirit and cordial storage?

Roddy Rickhouse

Drinks Writer for Frontier Psychiatrist

http://frontpsych.com/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had odd experiences with corks at least three times.

Most recently, a Baker's bottle was strangely spicy and harsh. We compared it to a fresh bottle and there was a noticeable difference; the first bottle tasted weirdly vinegary.

There are well-documented (in other threads on this site) flaws in certain bottles of Bluecoat, which also uses corks.

Long ago, I tried a Jameson 18 (cork stopper, no?) and it had a strange cat-pissy quality to it. Embarrassingly, I got through almost half the glass before I decided to ask the bartender if it was really supposed to taste this way. (It was the first time I had a spirit go bad on me - didn't know it could happen at the time.)

I can't remember ever having this experience with screw-capped bottles. I'm not saying the cork caused it, but it is strange.

Pip Hanson | Marvel Bar

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...