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(MSNBC)   Want to taste some 128-year-old Scotch? Then grab some tumblers and a 2-liter of Mountain Dew and head to Antarctica   ( msnbc.msn.com) divider line
    More: Cool, Antarctica, Sir Ernest Shackleton, South Pole, grabs, taste, Cape Royds  
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4841 clicks; posted to Geek » on 20 Jan 2013 at 5:00 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-01-20 11:52:47 AM  
1 vote:

Cretony38: I had drank much of a bottle of Johnny Walker Black label that was sitting in a friends parents basement since 1967 and it was VERY VERY different than today's black label. I don't care what anybody says about it not being able to change in the bottle it was very different!

That's not the scotch changing in the bottle. That's Johnny Walker changing the taste profile of their whiskey to appeal to changing tastes and/or a different demographic. Happens a lot more often than you think- cutting costs is often a big reason, too. Brands get bought and sold, and shifted in quality and price point to target various market segments. You might also get flavor changes when a new master blender comes in with a different idea of how the product should taste.

Despite what those commercials told you a few years back, Jack Daniels' "old number 7" isn't mysterious. It used to be aged for 7 years. Now it's a 4 year old Whiskey. They also cut the proof. Plenty more examples where that came from- if you look at the bottom shelf bourbons around today, most of those used to be respectable but lower performing brands. Than bigger names bought them out and repositioned them, since they had name recognition and followings already, which allows them to charge more money for the same bottom shelf whiskey then they could with a more generic brand.

Some brands make it a big point to remain consistent- Courvoisier maintains a library of brandies going back to Napoleonic times for the blenders to sniff or even sip tiny amounts of so they can ensure the current product stays in line with historical standards. Sometimes brands try to go back and replicate what they would have tasted like way back when- Laphroaig does that with their Quarter Cask. No whiskey survives from when the distillery was founded, so they took a guess, using smaller quarter casks and aging them in their oldest warehouse, right by the sea. It's an outstanding whiskey, but it is different from their standard 10y expression, which is also an outstanding dram.

I'm not surprised that the Johnny Walker was different. They strike me as a brand that wouldn't be too afraid of changing with the trends to remain fashionable. Which is fine, it's a mass market scotch blended to appeal to a wide range of people.
2013-01-20 09:23:21 AM  
1 vote:

WhyteRaven74: Metastatic Capricorn: No. No it doesn't. It's not wine.

The character of a scotch sitting in a bottle for 100 years will be quite difference from a scotch that was bottled a month ago.

Nope. Hard liquor, unlike wine, is stable in the bottle. The reason some people love to dig up old whiskeys and try them is not because they change flavor, it's because they stay exactly the same, and it's cool to taste something exactly as your grandfather might have tasted.

I've never had anything 100 years old, but I've had stuff that was sitting in a bottle for nearly as long as I've been alive (grandparent's stock that got stashed somewhere when my grandfather died and grandmother moved to a retirement home). Tastes pretty much the same as stuff bottled today, with a few minor changes in a spirit or two due to recipe or proof changes.

There's a reason scotch people were tripping over themselves to sample this stuff when they first dug it up. It's because they knew it would be a perfectly preserved example of how scotches were styled back then, which is something we apparently have very little information on. And of course, they'll now sell you a more or less perfect replica if you'd like.
2013-01-20 08:03:41 AM  
1 vote:

WhyteRaven74: gingerjet: Oh wait - no where.

sitting in a bottle counts as aging, it's bottle aging as opposed to barrel/cask aging, but it still counts.

No. No it doesn't. It's not wine.
2013-01-20 01:52:12 AM  
1 vote:
What is the Mountain Dew for? Antartica has everything you need (if desired) for your scotch: ice.
2013-01-20 01:33:52 AM  
1 vote:
Might as well mix it with Mountain Dew, it was bottled 128 years ago, not aged 128 years.
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