Whiskey bottles organized by how many years they've matured

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/09/29/whiskey-bottles-organized-by-h.html


or how much the teenagers watered them down? Long after my friend moved out of his parents house, his elderly mom who didn’t drink at all offered a drink to a handyman. He said, “how about some of that whisky” in the cabinet, which had been untouched for decades. “Ma’am that’s not whisky”, after she poured him some. Turns out that the parents never discovered the son had been drinking it and watering it down.


A good illustration of how fast (slow?) whiskies age, but also where diminishing returns kick in, and the Angel’s Share — the loss of volume over time through evaporation.

I think you mean “the angels’ share”.

/pedantic jerk-off


This chart is dead on with my experience. Bourbon doesn’t usually get seriously good until about year 7, which is when you see a lot of decent stuff bottled. And after year 12, it’s not going to get all that much better–certainly not compared to the investment in time and space necessary to age it past that point, unless you’ve got the cache of a Van Winkle.


Angles’ share? Hell, I’ve been at them all. I just like the older ones better!

Seems that the 10-12 year range would likely be aged enough to get a good compromise between price and quality. Matches what i see from aged rums, good bottles tend to be in that range as well but i’d love to have a sampling to see how the taste changes from year to year.

“Craig. Aged 30 years at least.”

Just out of curiosity, how does the evaporated portion get past the stopper? Imperfect seal? Hawking radiation…?


Whisky, no e. The picture is of a display in the Glengoyne distillery in Scotland. Here’s the original article.


I think this is only an issue in wooden casks. In the bottles that are displayed here, I wouldn’t expect a ton of evaporation

ETA: apparently diageo is experimenting with wrapping their casks with plastic to avoid the loss of booze, but as of the article I found, it’s unclear how that will affect the finished product



If my kids mooched my booze I’d be fairly understanding, but if I ever catch them adulterating the good stuff we’re going to have a good long talk about the pointless destruction of valuable goods

whisky & water ruins two good drinks


I’ve got a display (ok, well a bin) in my house with beer bottles arranged in the order I drank them in. It’s an interesting glimpse into the past week.


+1 Internet!

Hear hear, but lately now - whisky is supposed to be better with a drop of water in it.


Van Winkle benefits from the addition of wheat which does great things for long-term aging.

Oak is porous. The diurnal changes in temp cause the spirit to penetrate the wood during warm, swelling phases and extract wood components during cool, contracting phases. The wood-extracted acids then combine with fermentation-derived fatty acids to create the esters that create the flavors and aromas of properly aged spirit.


So if the stuff loses volume while it’s sitting around in wooden casks, why can’t they fill the bottle up to the top when they’re getting it ready to sell? Is it sold by weight rather than volume? This is enough to drive me to sobriety…

No, these bottles are mock-ups for the purpose of illustrating evaporation in oak. Evaporation is critical in oak as it introduces atmospheric oxygen into the barrel which is the catalyst for fatty acid esterification (i.e. flavor development in aging).



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Basically, I’m too cheap to buy anything older than 12 years anyway, so it’s pleasing to know the color (and I assume the flavor) doesn’t get much stronger after year 12 anyway.

These are also sherry cask conditioned, so that’s different than virgin oak or bourbon cask. My experience is that sherry cask scotch has a reasonable amount of sherry flavor, but bourbon cask scotch often tastes so much like bourbon you may as well just buy bourbon…