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Corked Wiskey

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by ShaneB, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. ShaneB

    ShaneB Senior member

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    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...
     
  2. ShaneB

    ShaneB Senior member

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    I've solved my problem -

    Decant the whiskey then do this little trick:



    Then job done!
     
  3. KJT

    KJT Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    Corked doesn't mean that there is literally a cork in the booze.
     
  4. ShaneB

    ShaneB Senior member

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    What does it mean then?
     
  5. KJT

    KJT Senior member

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    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.
     
  6. ShaneB

    ShaneB Senior member

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    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).
     
  7. KJT

    KJT Senior member

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    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.
     
  8. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Senior member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011
  9. ama

    ama Senior member

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

    kwilkinson Senior member

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

    ama Senior member

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    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
     
  12. ShaneB

    ShaneB Senior member

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    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.
     
  13. KJT

    KJT Senior member

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    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:

     
  14. juniper

    juniper Senior member

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    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.
     
  15. ShaneB

    ShaneB Senior member

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

    ama Senior member

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    True, and alcohol will dissolve the cork.
     
  17. juniper

    juniper Senior member

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    Do you have a reference for this? The article above lists

    under 'Dissenting opinions', but google doesn't throw anything else up (other than this thread!)

    I'm happy to believe the TCA, of course.
     
  18. ama

    ama Senior member

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    I can show you any one of fifteen bottles I have with partially dissolved corks. Its not extreme, like 95% of the cork is still there, but some is clearly missing. There are also many threads about this on various forums: Google Link
     

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