While liquor trends come and go, a classic old-fashioned will never go out of style, and thanks to the popularity of Mad Men, bourbon is more in demand than ever today. Whether you’re an aspiring Don Draper or a casual connoisseur looking to take your dinner parties to the next level, enjoying bourbon is an experience that should be savored to the fullest. But since decanting has different benefits for different drinks, you may have heard that you shouldn’t use a decanter for bourbon. We tastefully disagree, so here are some tips to help you select the best decanter to elevate your home bar experience.
Decanting is recommended for wine because the process of oxidation improves its character and quality in several different ways. Pouring wine into a decanter removes any sediment that may separate over time as a result of settling in wine bottles. The oxidation process also gives the wine a chance to breathe and allows complex flavors to be released in wines that have been bottled for long periods of time. While the ideal oxidation time for wine is debated--in general, at least half an hour is recommended--experts agree that decanting significantly improves the experience of drinking wine. But because bourbon is a stable spirit, meaning it’s already a finished product when it comes out of the barrel, its flavor does not change in the same way with exposure to oxygen. Bourbon may experience changes in texture as a result of exposure to oxygen or temperature differences, but its higher alcohol and lower tannin content don’t allow for the same changes in taste.
So why use a decanter for bourbon, if it won’t improve that already-perfect pour? It’s all about the experience. Historically, decanters for whiskey and bourbon were used for transferring liquor from the barrel, but with the advent of modern bottling technology, liquor decanters have become a symbol of sophistication and class. Just like a well-plated dish is a sign that a restaurant respects its diners, serving bourbon in a decanter signals to your guests that enjoying high-quality bourbon means much more to you than the buzz it provides. In our humble opinion, all Kentucky bourbon is superior, so you can pay your respects to the state’s fine distilling tradition and emphasize the polish, professionalism, and good taste of this classic American spirit by displaying it proudly in a Prestige Decanter. Since some bourbon is sold in dark-colored bottles or with large bottle labels, using a decanter to serve your bourbon also gives your guests a chance to fully appreciate the color and texture of the liquor.
While decanter design won’t affect the taste of your bourbon, there are still a few important considerations to keep in mind, such as selecting a durable decanter with an airtight seal to prevent evaporation of spirits. You can rest assured that all Prestige Decanters are made from lead-free glass, so there are no health concerns associated with decanting for long periods of time. Be sure to choose an appropriately-sized decanter if you plan to pour an entire bottle at once--at least 25 ounces is recommended to accommodate a 750ml bottle. Otherwise, the decanter you use for bourbon should reflect your unique aesthetic. Whether your style skews nostalgic, modern, or DIY, our decanters make a perfect centerpiece for any home bar.