Credit: One Fast Buffalo
Credit: One Fast Buffalo

Don’t put a cork in it: Whiskey makers keep living in the past

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

Cockfighting, human sacrifice, dinner at Applebee’s—just because something is a tradition doesn’t make it right. Take whiskey corks—please—fumes Daily Beast’s Lew Bryson. “It’s 2019, why are we still using this Renaissance-era bottle closure?” Bryson asks.

As he explains, unlike a tiny subset of wines, whiskey doesn’t benefit from exposure to oxygen once it’s bottled. Besides being a poor seal, a cork can break or—oh no!—crumble into your precious drink. For backup, Bryson turns to Jack Daniel’s master distiller Jeff Arnett, who doesn’t put on airs. “The cork is for look, feel, image, a historical feel,” Arnett says. “With modern liners, screw caps give you a better assurance of a seal than a cork.”

Oh, and watch out for lead

In the same spirit, VinePair’s Emily Saladino weighs how to store whiskey. Five factors come into play, she notes: light, oxygen, temperature, position and time. On the first, keep those bottles somewhere shady. On the second, see above—and if you want to cut down on oxygen exposure by transferring your whiskey to a smaller vessel, beware of commercial decanters, many of which contain lead.

If all else fails, there’s another solution. “Drink it all immediately and with great relish,” Saladino says. We like where this is going.

Subscribe to Neat Stuff

Get the latest news from the world of whisk(e)y delivered to you each week on a silver platter. Neat Stuff makes your life easier by distilling what you need to know down to a weekly newsletter. 

Close Menu

Subscribe to Neat Stuff

Get the latest news from the world of whisk(e)y delivered to you each week on a silver platter. Have a look at our past issues. Neat Stuff Subscribers get exclusive content and early access to the latest news in the fast moving world of whisk(e)y.

Know someone who would appreciate this site? Please share it with them.
Our privacy promise: We hate spam as much as you do. We will never send you spam. Your email address is secure with us.