Letting bourbon "breathe"
I've been wondering whether it makes any sense to let a newly-opened bottle of bourbon "breathe" for awhile before the first pour (as is recommended for some wines)...as compared to having it settle in the glass (with or without adding water), which I understand to be fairly common practice. Chime in, experts!!
I'm no expert but my experience (and that of others I know)
shows that Bourbon can absolutely benefit from exposure to
air. It may not "need" to breathe to be enjoyed but allowing
it to do so can make for an improved tasting.
Revisiting an opened (but capped/corked) bottle days or weeks
later can also result in sometimes significant taste differences.
I've found that wheated Bourbons (Maker's Mark, Weller, Old
Fitzgerald, Van Winkles) seem to especially benefit from having
some air time.
Letting your whisky breathe...
True, it could be said for some Scotch also....I had a 1950's Black & White
that seemed to be losing a little too much of an angel's share for my taste,
so I popped it open and had a shot or two.
Wasn't too horribly impressed, and went on to something more to my taste.
A few days later, I offerd to share a whicky tasting experiance with a friend
interested in learning about whisky...so I shared a few with him to get an idea
of the variances, and included the Balck & White I had opened, In trying it for
the second time myself, I'd have to say that it had lost some of the unpleasent
'sharpness' it had when I had first opened it.
Personally, I'm going to open a few bottles, and see how they differ in taste
after a series of time periods.
Walter C Hurst
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