By Ardith Stephanson
There’s nothing more satisfying than sipping a glass of your favourite whisky after a hard week of work.
Or relaxing after a big meal with a nip of whiskey.
But if you’re a whisky aficionado, you’ve probably wondered about the merits of keeping your whiskey in its original bottle. Or you’ve been told at some point that you should use a decanter.
Which probably led you to ask, “Why should I use a whisky decanter?”
To enjoy your whiskey at its finest, that’s one big reason.
To help you understand, let’s look at 6 reasons why you should use a whiskey decanter.
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Preserve the Life of Your Whisky
Most of us are familiar with the use of decanters for wine. A wine decanter allows the wine to breathe, and can remove any sediment that may have collected at the bottom of the bottle.
But wine decanters don’t have lids, and aren’t really intended for storage.
Whiskey decanters, on the other hand, are ideal for storage.
While it’s true that your whiskey won’t last forever in a decanter, that decanter can help preserve the life and quality of the whisky contained within.
That’s because an open bottle of whiskey will allow oxygen to get in, which creates oxidation and eventually reduces the quality of the whisky. Oxidation occurs more quickly when there is more air or “head space” within the bottle.
So a decanter that’s kept topped up will extend the life of the whiskey it’s holding because it will minimise the air that’s interacting with your whisky.
That’s also why the best decanters hold 750ml and have quality stoppers, like on every Van Daemon decanter.
Whisky Doesn’t Age in its Bottle
Don’t let anyone claim that you have to keep your whiskey in its original bottle so that it can continue ageing.
And don’t let your whisky lounge unopened on a shelf, hoping to extend the ageing process.
Another reason to store your whiskey in a decanter is that unlike wine, whisky doesn’t mature in its original bottle.
That’s because whiskey has very few tannins, which change flavour over time. So whisky holds its flavour even after it has been removed from the barrel. As well, whiskey’s high alcohol content of a minimum of 40% also makes it resistant to flavour changes.
So a 12-year-old whisky will always be a 12-year-old whiskey, however long you keep it.
And if your decanter has an airtight seal, your whisky will last just as long as it would in its unopened, original bottle.
Just be sure you opt for lead-free crystal, as you don’t want the chance that lead will leach into your whiskey.
Choosing the best lead-free crystal whisky glasses and decanters in Australia is easy with the selection provided by Van Daemon.
You Can Create Your Own Whiskey Blend
Sounds like sacrilege, correct?
For those of you who would never blend your own whisky, please skip to point #4.
For those who like to be a bit more daring, consider that you can splash different types of whiskey together to create your own blend.
That may mean you need several decanters, in different styles, but it also means you can have some variety in your whisky sipping.
You Can Keep Your Guests Guessing
By serving your whiskey in a decanter - which doesn’t include a label - you can serve your guests any type and age of whisky you like.
You can have taste tests, by purchasing several decanters and using them to store different types or blends of whiskey.
And you can keep your personal whisky tastes to yourself, if you like.
You Can Limit Intake
This reason is somewhat selfish. But if you purchase a 750-ml decanter for your whiskey, and have it on display, you can ensure your friends don’t spend the night by claiming to have a finite supply.
Whisky is meant to be sipped, not chugged!
It Just Looks Good!
In terms of practical uses, this reason may be the most decadent. But really, who doesn’t love the look of a decanter or two in their bar or on display on shelving?
Having a beautiful set that includes a twisted decanter and some heavy crystal whiskey glasses simply gives you the perfect occasion to share a drink with friends.
We’ve had a bit of fun with a couple of reasons why you should use a whisky decanter. Perhaps you don’t really want to blend your own whiskey, or limit the intake of your guests.
But using a whisky decanter can help preserve the age of your whiskey. And it isn’t true that whisky ages in its original bottle, so a decanter is ideal for whiskey storage, presentation and serving. And more decanters means even more selection of whiskies!
Having a beautiful, high quality set of lead-free crystal glasses with a decanter is the perfect way to enjoy your favourite whiskey.
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Ardith Stephanson is a freelance writer and communications professional who has some fun with her blog www.theardizan.com