mixing cheap whiskeys to combat oxidation

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mixing cheap whiskeys to combat oxidation

Unread postby thanis » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:00 pm

I'm on a cheap whiskey kick (should be over in a few months). Sometimes I end up with half empty bottles of the cheap stuff. Good for cocktails, but if your going to sip something, better options.

Now some would say, with in a year, all is well, and I would agree. However I purchase most of my spirits around the holidays, and those I tend to host once every two years. Other then that, my wife tend to have one other party per year at our home. Over time, say after three years, this somehow results in 2 to 3 open bottle that may sit for over a year.

Now in the past, I've had three options when it comes to whiskey that has been opened to long (stalled at half full).

1) Take an open bottle to a friends party. Nothing really wrong with this if it was something good, but a 1/2 bottle of Jim is sort of like arriving with a 5 pack of beer.

2) Pass a open bottle or two to one of my college (over 21) nephews as a cheap b-day gift. It is a win / win, but they are getting to the point that the cheap stuff is cheap for their tastes.

3) Make a mix bottle. I figure cheap whiskey makes cheep whiskey, and the fuller the bottle, the less the oxidation.

So thoughts, keep two 1/2 bottles of cheap whiskey, or mix them and use for cocktails at the next party?
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Re: mixing cheap whiskeys to combat oxidation

Unread postby gillmang » Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:55 pm

The latter. And you may find the sum is greater than its parts. Different bourbons often combine for an interesting flavor, it was a practice formerly quite common in the industry (e.g., brokers and other dealers would sometimes come up with their own blends, but distillers did it too).

You can't really go wrong because even if the taste doesn't appeal as such, it will make a fine Manhattan or Old-Fashioned or go great with Coke.

It may be (I humbly suggest) wrong to assume that an inexpensive bourbon is lesser quality. In truth, inexpensive bourbons are often first rate. I cite as examples, numerous bourbons from Heaven Hill Distillery (e.g., Evan Williams, or its Fighting Cock brand which is over 100 proof), Old Forester, Virginia Gentleman, and many others.

I would say that the low shelvers of lesser interest are those aged in the barrel less than 4 years: often these have a marked corn taste which some do not like. The bourbons mentioned above all get at least 4 years barrel aging though.

Trying combinations of 2 or 3 bourbons or other whiskeys (blends, straight ryes) is a good way to extend the palate of the drinks out there and you can never go wrong really.

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Re: mixing cheap whiskeys to combat oxidation

Unread postby p_elliott » Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:59 am

There is a another option that is to decant the partial bottle into a smaller bottle. For example http://www.ebottles.com/showbottles.asp?familyid=209
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Re: mixing cheap whiskeys to combat oxidation

Unread postby gillmang » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:38 am

Good point and that will definitely help to prevent/delay oxidation.

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Re: mixing cheap whiskeys to combat oxidation

Unread postby cowdery » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:17 pm

Unless you are very sensitive to the effects of oxidation and have experienced that problem and not just the theoretical threat of it, you probably don't need to do anything. If you want to experiment with gillmanizing, by all means do, but you shouldn't feel that any of these courses is being forced on you by the threat of oxidation. If you think a half-full bottle may remain that way for 10 years or more, then you might need to do something about it, but a year or two, or three, is not really a problem.
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Re: mixing cheap whiskeys to combat oxidation

Unread postby gillmang » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:42 pm

Fully agreed, I was looking at a post-3 year (approximately) window, in my experience the spirits start to fail in relatively small quantities after then, but it is always hit or miss...

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Re: mixing cheap whiskeys to combat oxidation

Unread postby thanis » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:42 pm

p_elliott wrote:There is a another option that is to decant the partial bottle into a smaller bottle. For example http://www.ebottles.com/showbottles.asp?familyid=209


Good point, and I should have mentioned. I don't even think of this, because my wife and I have a way of keeping each other in check. I ask why another purse, she wonders why I'm looking at another pistol, I put a crimp on the shoe collection, she counts the number of spirit bottles, etc.

I'm alowed around 4 to 8 bottles of whiskey. This works out to 6 on hand (something with mass appeal / cocktails, a rye (in theory), whiskey (Irish, Canadian, TN, etc.), scotch, bourbon, single malt). Then get away with two I'm trying out.

It is a fair deal, and has a way of taking ownership of our stuff, preventing the stuff in our lives from owning us.
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Re: mixing cheap whiskeys to combat oxidation

Unread postby bunghole » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:08 am

You bought it, now Drink it, man drink it!
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Re: mixing cheap whiskeys to combat oxidation

Unread postby thanis » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:04 am

bunghole wrote:You bought it, now Drink it, man drink it!


lol....

i did
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