Love is in the Air
The more I deal with whisky, the more I see that it is a living product. I just had another experience concerning the improvement of a whisky just by being open a day and being able to breathe some air.
Aeration (shaking) or preopening bottles before the actual tasting can really make a difference, especially with ex-sherry or wine drams. That is why I usually open the bottles for a tasting two weeks in advance.
What a Difference a Day Makes …
Yesterday, I rated the Tobermory MMD for Flickenschild at 88 points. Today, I retasted it for fun’s sake and it was really more integrated, coherent and round. Amazing for one day, isn’t it. I should try this more often because I have noticed this effect several times before. But be warned: I also was a witness to a fragile 1966 Bladnoch by Signatory that fell apart after six weeks. So make sure the dram you decant/aerate is not too delicate.
Time is on my Side (or: The Phenomenon of Bottle Aging)
This also happens with unopened bottles over years: They usually improve. Many experienced whisky connoisseurs in the field of antique whiskies can tell you stories about this phenomenon. Bottlers, who really know their drams, also subscribe to this theory. Silvano Samaroli is one of them. He once mentioned how different, and mostly better, his whiskies had become. As I bottle whisky myself (the Regensburg annual releases), which I try excessively before they go into the bottle, I have noticed positive changes in the closed bottles over time as well (e.g. a rounding effect on powerful peaty drams, better integration of all elements, etc.). So it might very well be that today’s good drams are becoming legends in the future. That is why I put away some Laphroaigs and Lagavulins for an aging experiment. This effect also works with other spirits.
If you want to read more about this, check out the Malt Maniacs E-Pistles. I will also write more about this aging effect -may it be short or long term – soon.