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    Username Post: Letting your scotch breathe?        (Topic#758954)
    mercenary848
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    01-15-06 21:47.19 - Post#840269    



    Well i am reading through this forum and wondering how many feel thier scotch is better after it breathes for a short time over freshly opend bottle?In my personal taste I enjoy a bottle that has been opened up and had a chance to breathe a bit.I feel that after a lot of the alcohol evaporates more of the true flavor is present. I enjoy it with a cube of ice to chill and bring out the true aroma. I use crystal ice for more pure of a taste.
    If all else fails beat it with a hammer.If that doesn't work get a bigger hammer.


     


    steveH
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    01-16-06 10:51.59 - Post#840618    


        In response to mercenary848

    I've never let mine breathe, but if you are going to do it, then you ought to get a decanter that allows a greater surface area so the alcohol evaporates better. There are some extremely nice decanters around nowadays.

    I'll give this a try, but I'm somewhat dubious that enough alcohol would evaporate to affect the taste and/or experience. But I *will* give it a try, just to make sure. Thanks for the tip...
    ************************* *


     
    Big John aka Mod 12
    Master Member KnifeNut!
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    01-16-06 13:21.49 - Post#840770    


        In response to steveH

    I like a little splash of Fiji water with my malt, but that me. I don't even let my wine breathe, that much.
    ΜOΛΩN ΛΑΒΕ

    Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction.

    – Ronald Reagan


     
    steveH
    Master Member KnifeNut!
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    01-16-06 16:30.10 - Post#840943    


        In response to Big John aka Mod 12

    I'll let an older Cabernet or Pinot Noir breathe some, but that's just habit, really. I've never been able to tell a difference in taste. I guess it all boils down to preferences and perceptions.

    BTW, that Fiji water is some expensive stuff, when I can find it around here.
    ************************* *


     
    Big John aka Mod 12
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    01-16-06 16:47.40 - Post#840959    


        In response to steveH

    I get the Fiji at Trader Joe's and use it for special occasions.

    I have some older Bordeaux's that I decanter and let breathe, but they are a different animal. I have some cabs from the early 70's I'm afraid to open in fear of being disappointed.
    ΜOΛΩN ΛΑΒΕ

    Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction.

    – Ronald Reagan


     
    steveH
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    01-16-06 18:36.44 - Post#841006    


        In response to Big John aka Mod 12

    Know what you mean. You know, this is a separate subject, but I think the new fandangled screw-tops are great. You never have to worry about a bottle being corked, and it's easy enough to check the lid every once in a while.

    BTW, the Wall Street Journal had a great article on single malts a week or two ago...if you have access to the paper or online. I read about some varieties that I had never heard of.
    ************************* *


     
    HighlandPark
    Master Member KnifeNut!
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    03-23-06 05:09.20 - Post#889541    


        In response to mercenary848

    @ mercenary848: as far as i've heard single malt does not need to breathe, that only goes for wine. but temperature is a point since all the flavours need to develop and they cannot do this once the malt is too cold. room temperature is fine. as for the ice, this always is a matter of belief. i do not like it too much, because the tasting-buds on your tongue don't work so well when in touch with something cold.
    in a way what you do is counter-productive: you let the malt breathe but with ice your sense of taste is less receptive.
    no offence meant, just my 2 c.
     
    Gollnick
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    03-23-06 17:44.30 - Post#890013    


        In response to HighlandPark

    I haven't noticed that Scotch benefits from decanting.

    Red wine just about always does. The younger the wine, the more it will benefit.

    Some whites too can benefit from a few minutes pause before drinking.

    Decanting (or simply allowing to breath in a glass) takes away the bitterness and harshness by allowing the chemicals that cause this to oxidize. It's a very inaccurate analogy, but you can think of it this way: the chemicals that cause those sharp flavors taste sharp because they have the chemical equivilent of sharp edges. Allowing oxygen from the air to bond onto them is like putting a molding on a sharp edge; it covers up the edge and makes it round and nice.

    Decanting, by the way, serves a secondary purpose. It allows you to pour the wine off of any sediments.

    And, there's a third purpose too: It gives you a chance to show off your beautiful crystal decanter.

    Most red wines are provided in dark glass bottles. Decanters are often crystal clear and allow the wine's beautiful red color to be exhibited to your guests.
    Chuck It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing. http://www.balisongcollector.com


     
    Gollnick
    Master Member KnifeNut!
    *
    03-23-06 17:55.03 - Post#890016    


        In response to mercenary848

    Ice is a matter of taste, as Mr. HighlandPark (great name) points out, a matter of personal taste. But, if you do use it, then please make sure your ice is perfectly pure and clean. Water is also a matter of personal taste. When whiskey is made, it comes out of the barrel at 190ish proof (200 proof is pure alcohol). If you taste this, you will taste nothing but alcohol. The flavor and smell of the alcohol will be so strong that it will overwhelm everything else. So, the distiller will add water to it to bring it down to typically somewhere around 80-100 proof (40-50% alcohol). This seems to be where most people find they get the best experience. If you dilute it to much, the other flavors become to weak. But if your taste buds are particularly sensitive, you may need to add a bit more water to get that alcohol flavor out of the way. Just be sure to use really good water. We are talking here about adding very small amounts of water, maybe a half-teaspoon to a tablespoon or so. So, spare no expensive in getting the cleanest water you can. Just keep it in the fridge in glass and you can keep it for a long time.

    At a bar, never order Scotch and Water. The bartender will typically drown you scotch in freezing tap water. Instead, ask for room-temperature bottled water on the side and add a few drops yourself.
    Chuck It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing. http://www.balisongcollector.com




    Edited by Gollnick on 03-23-06 17:56.38. Reason for edit: No reason given.
     
    rab-p
    Member
    *
    03-24-06 22:06.27 - Post#890778    


        In response to Gollnick

    As an ex-barman and a Scot, the idea of ice in a single malt is a big no-no. The idea of savouring good whisky (Scots seldom call it Scotch) for Scots is to use all five senses. First you look at the beautiful golden colour (eyes), then chink the glasses together in a Slainte toast (ears), then smell the aroma (nose), feel the slightly oily texture on the tongue (touch) then lastly savour the flavour (taste). All this becomes much harder when you add ice. Ice in a glass can frost up the glass, making the colour harder to see, it ruins the sound of good crystal glasses chinking together as it makes the sound more of a dull thud, the cold from the ice can make it harder to smell the aroma, if the ice touches the tongue it can numb it, making both the touch and taste harder to appreciate (think of the way ice packs dull the pain of injuries) and lastly whisky is meant to be drunk at room temperature not chilled, like red wine as opposed to beer.
    Water is a personal preference though, as some whiskies benefit from a little bit of water and some don't. You can get whisky tasting glasses which are the right shape to concentrate the nose and these also have three level lines for how much water to add for normal and cask strength whiskies. Usually it's around one part water to three or four parts whisky I think, although this can vary according to taste. Unfortunately here in Japan the way they drink whisky is to drown the whisky in water (one part whisky to three parts water) and add lots of ice in a big glass. Ughhh!
    Anyway all this has made me want a nice Ardbeg and i've got a 30 year old in the bar. That's one benefit of living in Japan, whisky here is just under half the cost of whisky in Scotland, even though Japan is the most expensive country in the world for most things. So you can guess I don't get homesick for the UK's 65% tax on my whisky. And on that note it's Ardbeg time.
    Slainte,
    Rab
     


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