Glenlivet Master Distiller's Reserve with moldy cork

  • amir11950
    Topic creator
    Joined: 12.12.2014Posts: 1Ratings: 0


    I just bought a bottle of Glenlivet Master Distiller's Reserve from duty free. I opened it and the taste was kind of watery. Then as I was putting the cork back on, I noticed the cork has some sections of blue/brown in it. Is that mold? I don't know quite what to look for.

    I don't see anything floating in the whisky itself. But its mainly blue in color. Some spots as well as a long line on the cork.

    Please let me know if its mold.

    Also, in case it is moldy, is it still safe to drink?

  • horst_s Administrator horst_s Joined: 01.07.2014Posts: 507Ratings: 702

    Thank you for this question. This reminds me of a video I have to record about bad corks. Corks often look awful, but are most often still functional. Corks are a natural product and therefore show wear over time.

    Your bottle is new. So the cork should not be much older than 1 to 2 years. These blue marks in/on the cork have typically a biological origin. Bacteria feed on the alcohol vapors. If the bacteria become wet by the whisky, they shall all die. There should not be any problem regarding this. I am not aware that there are bacteria in nature which are able to survive more than 40% ABV.

    The real problem is the sometimes extremely awful taste of this bacteria residues. The chemical name is TCA (2,4,6-Trichloroanisole) which sometimes makes the savoring of the whisky impossible.

    But we all can be happy, that only one out of two thousand bottles show such bad tastes from the cork.
    So it depends on your sensory sensibility if you are able to consume the content or not.

    Kind regards, Horst Luening, Master Taster,
  • G.Livett Member Joined: 26.07.2019Posts: 1Ratings: 0

    @horst_s I also have a bottle of glenlivet that was sitting unopened on a shelf for several years in a subtropical climate with high humidity and summer temperatures in the high 30s celsius (belonged to father-in-law....). When I opened it there was a small amount of furry blue green mould on the dry top part of the cork but none on the damp bottom part. Needless to say I cleaned it off and drank some anyway, with no ill effects thus far. Can't tell if the flavour is off as I'm not a glenlivet fan, but seems OK. Since then a little bit of mould has grown back so I'm soaking the cork in salt water to hopefully kill it. Is this kind of mould common? Will I die? Etc. Etc.

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