Taking your time with finer offerings

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Taking your time with finer offerings

Unread postby Mark » Sun Nov 28, 2004 7:35 pm

After reading The Whiskey Vikings review of Pappy 20 in the database it made me want to ask several more people this question; Does anyone else tend to let their bourbon sit out a bit before doing a tasting or at anytime for that matter? And do people notice that there is a considerable difference/improvement when this is done?

I for one do notice that many pours really open up quite a bit when they are poured and left to sit a bit. This really makes a difference with Very Very Old Fitzgerald 12yo (which is an older bottling not made anymore) and Weller 12yo. There are others but these are 2 examples where I detect a major improvement.

Unfortunately I am not as patient as Thomas and tend to do my tasting w/o letting the bourbon stand a bit longer but in the future I think I will really try and do it like he did since a product can change dramatically/open up after as little as 15-20 minutes. Great job on the notes too Thomas, glad you liked that bottle! :cheers:
-=_Mark_=-
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Unread postby TNbourbon » Sun Nov 28, 2004 8:08 pm

In fact, just last night, I enjoyed my deepest-ever single pour of Stagg ('04 version) for just that reason -- to note any change that occurred over the time I sipped it. I started with about 4 ounces in a 10-oz. snifter as I sat reading a book. After about 30 minutes -- and heightening as time went on -- I noted an aroma reminiscent of overripe bananas that I'd never gotten from Stagg before. The taste also sweetened and mellowed (of course, by that time, I'd drunk half of it, too, so that may have had something to do with the mellowing). Anyway, it was a pleasant additional sensation that I'd not found before.
Whether or not you'd tab this 'new' experience an improvement, I don't know -- hard to improve on Stagg, period. But, the additional time in the glass definitely opened up some new dimension I'd not noted during briefer samplings.
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Unread postby Chris » Sun Nov 28, 2004 10:58 pm

Mark can attest to this... I drink very very slowly... I notice changes (mostly for the better) in most bourbons as time goes on... I guess the real test is to use a timer and pour a glass every 5 minutes, then taste them all at once... this way you can be sure that it's the bourbon that's changing, not your sobriety :partyman:

I did take a bottle of weller 12 and stick half in a decanter and leave half in the original bottle... I think that it has gotten even more agreeable after a few months like that... Of course it could all be in my head, but at least i THINK it tastes better...:roll:
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Unread postby The Whiskey Viking » Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:01 am

Thanks for the compliments. :wink:
IMHO the better the whiskey the more it will “gain” when you allow it to breathe for just a little while.
I have experienced that allowing the whiskey to breath albeit nosing it will really bring out the best in most.
If you take my Pappy notes you can see that right after pouring the bourbon I noticed what reminded me of cellulose lacquer. I think most will agree that they can do without. After 20 minutes that “unpleasant” odour had vanished. I think in part that's because some of the alcohol has evapourated (just a guess)
To sum up my point:
That Pappy had spent 20 years in a barrel, maybe a few in the bottle – what’s another 20 minutes.
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Re: Taking your time with finer offerings

Unread postby TrueBarrel » Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:32 pm

Mark wrote:After reading The Whiskey Vikings review of Pappy 20 in the database it made me want to ask several more people this question; Does anyone else tend to let their bourbon sit out a bit before doing a tasting or at anytime for that matter? And do people notice that there is a considerable difference/improvement when this is done?


Not only do I let it breathe in the glass for a while, I hold the glass in the palm of my hand and swirl the bourbon around to warm it up a bit. I find all bourbons taste better this way, with the effect being most noticeable with higher-proof bourbons.
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Unread postby bunghole » Tue Nov 30, 2004 3:29 pm

Now that I've cut back on my drinking, I find that a bottle of Bourbon will last me the better part of a day. It helps if you do take your time.

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Unread postby White Lightning » Tue Dec 07, 2004 7:37 am

Definitely believe that whiskey benefits for the most part by breathing.

A famous single malt distiller once told me that a generic guideline was to let a whiskey sit for one minute per year of age. That stuck with me and I've tried subconsciously carrying it over to bourbon.

Funny that the VW 20 comes up with regards to setting aside some time. Something that I did notice was that the nose on the VW 20 was HUGE... In fact the initial taste I had was nothing compared to the initial nosing. Quite some time into the first shot (maybe 30 minutes) I found that the taste was finally catching up with the rich aroma and boquet. When I first cracked the bottle I was anxious (mainly because the nose was so enticing) and took a sip seconds after nosing.

The Van Winkle 20 is one in particular that I think is a little tight until some air loosens and releases all the nuances.
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