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Corked Wiskey

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I just opened a £50 bottle of bourbon - Noah's Mills - only to find the thing has corked... needless to say I'm not best pleased. I had a taste and it seems to be okay; I'm reluctant to throw away a whole £50 bottle of whiskey - are there any issues with storing or the longevity of a corked whiskey? It begs the question of why distillers still use corks...
post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 
I've solved my problem -

Decant the whiskey then do this little trick:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL1ovAYtKuQ

Then job done!
post #3 of 18
357

Corked doesn't mean that there is literally a cork in the booze.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
What does it mean then?
post #5 of 18
Well first, I'm not sure it can happen to alcohols other than wine, so I don't think the term can even apply to bourbon. Someone else might know the answer to that. When a wine is corked, it has had a chemical introduced at some point in the bottling process (usually by the cork, hence the term) that causes it to smell like mildew or a wet dog. It's ruined wine.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Okay, but that's equally applicable to whiskey - the same chemical that coats a cork in wine bottles is used for corks in whiskey, the only difference, I think, is that because whiskey has such a high alcohol content the chemical is neutered and doesn't really have too much of an effect - the only danger is that the high alcohol content dissolves the cork, which may in the long run have a pretty bad effect on the whiskey (hence my question).

That's why you always store whiskey up straight rather than on the side because the whiskey itself just burns to hell the cork (over a long period of time).
post #7 of 18
Really not interested in arguing this. Sure, whiskey can get "corked" too I guess, but again, it's not a piece of cork falling into the bottle that is causing the bad smell. It's a contamination. So your problem, having a piece of cork inside the bottle, will not cause the bourbon to become "corked".

This is just a semantics thing. Your bottle is not corked because the piece of cork fell inside.
post #8 of 18
The term "corked" refers most often to cork taint, or trichloroanisole (TCA). It is a fault in the wine, not always from the cork, but more often than not, which is why it's called "corked" and not "tainted." I've never heard of it happening with whiskey, but since some whiskey bottles are enclosed with a cork, I guess I don't see why it wouldn't be possible. It gives off the odor of a wet dog or wet cardboard, and even in wine it is very, very rare, occurring in less than 3% of all cork-enclosed bottles.

Anyway, like KJT said, what happened to you is not that your whiskey got corked because the cork fell in it. If the whiskey was corked, it would taste corked whether the cork itself fell into the liquid or not. You just had a shitty cork that fell into the bottle. I don't know of any other phrase that applies to that phenomenon.
post #9 of 18
The term for what happened to you is "cork failure" not "corked."
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ama View Post

The term for what happened to you is "cork failure" not "corked."

You're a big whiskey dude. Ever had a bottle or heard of a bottle with cork taint?
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post

You're a big whiskey dude. Ever had a bottle or heard of a bottle with cork taint?

Yes, but its very rare. I've never bought a bottle that was corked, however, a friend of mine did and brought it over for us to try. It was kind of interesting, not super off-putting like with wine. Cork failures don't lead to corked whisky though. I've had plenty of cork failures in my day.

Here is an article that my be of interest: http://inebrio.com/thescotchblog/?p=100
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
You're probably right - I tasted the whiskey with the cork in it and it didn't taste any different at all; however, that being said, the high alcohol content in whiskey can dissolve the cork and the thought of a dissolved cork in and amongst my drink doesn't sound very appealing; I'd imagine that would have some sort of effect on the taste.
post #13 of 18
Can't imagine it would dissolve the cork all that quickly. Alcohol is casutic, but it's not hydrochloric acid.

edit: just read the article linked above. Think this quote says it all:
Quote:
Did you know that from the seventeenth century until the mid 1970s all maturing casks had cork bungs – it was only when racked warehouses were introduced that oak bungs were used to seal the casks.

So, if cork was a problem surely, over the course of 300 years, someone would have spotted the problem. Or could it simply be that the distillers and blenders of yester-year were not nearly as clever as today’s “experts”?

The reason cork was used was to enable the cask to breath – which helped to stop the build-up of pressure within the cask. Such a build-up could cause leakage where a weak spot may have been in the cask.

Corked whisky is now the latest blog baby . How did we ever make it this far without such experts? Whats next? Plastic bottles ?

Sorry, I could go on but I need a strong dram from a bottle with a cork.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaneB View Post

You're probably right - I tasted the whiskey with the cork in it and it didn't taste any different at all; however, that being said, the high alcohol content in whiskey can dissolve the cork and the thought of a dissolved cork in and amongst my drink doesn't sound very appealing; I'd imagine that would have some sort of effect on the taste.

The cork's been touching the liquid anyway, if the bottle's been on its side. If alcohol "dissolved" cork, we wouldn't use it to close bottles.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by juniper View Post

The cork's been touching the liquid anyway, if the bottle's been on its side. If alcohol "dissolved" cork, we wouldn't use it to close bottles.

You're not supposed to store whiskey on its side because it ruins the cork.
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