Picture this: A seemingly important man in suit, one of your Don Draper type, stands on the 23rd floor of his NYC office building, staring out of the glass window, looking at the busy city and contemplating a business deal. Then he pours himself a glass of that fine Scotch from a crystal decanter.
As he does that the light refracts through that golden glistening whisky in the Scotch decanter. You stare right at this noticeably posh accessory and wonder, what a vision of opulence this whole scene seems to be!
Agreed that the whisky-sipping Dons of this world are quite the aesthetic snobs, but do they have more reason to store their whiskies in a decanter? Before you turn to this arrangement and trade your labelled bottles for a crystal one, let’s first find out more about it.
Decoding the origins of the decanter
Long before the crystal decanters were used to display whiskies, the Romans utilised them for storing wine. There was a specific reason why they did it. The decanter lets the wine breathe, which in turn allows the flavours and notes to open up after being stuck in a bottle. Apart from that, wine ends up having a lot of sediments left behind at the bottom of a bottle over time. When you pour it in another container, the decanter, you leave behind the sediments, giving you clear wine.
In case, you de-cant understand where the whisky craze began?
Eventually, decanters became more of an artistic accessory that looked like a classy piece to store in your home bar. Then in the 18th century, someone created the crystal stopper which acted as a seal for the liquid inside. This allowed the decanters to keep the alcohol fresher for long.
The whisky connoisseurs got in on this trend as it’s aesthetic appeal just happened to go quite well with those lowball crystal glasses used to serve Scotch.
Whisky is not particularly affected the same way by the same environmental exposures as wine. It’s safe to say that pouring it in another container has no great added benefits. As long as you follow certain rules to take care of your whiskies, they should be just fine in the labelled bottles or a Scotch decanter.
To decanter or not to decanter
It all comes down to aesthetics. If you want to look like a badass boss as you pour gently the whisky from that crystal decanter into your glass, then this might be the accessory for you. Apart from that you can also serve your Scotch without revealing its name to your guest. This could get a few conversations started. Now wouldn’t that be an interesting night out with your Johnnie Walker sipping friends.
Things to keep in mind when buying a decanter
· A standard Scotch bottle is a 750ml one, so consider a decanter slightly larger than that to accommodate the whole drink. In case you want to serve it in smaller quantities, you can pick a small whisky decanter and pour it in batches whenever needed.
· Look for an airtight seal so that the outside air does not contaminate the flavours of the drink.
· Opt for a lead-free crystal decanter. You can’t store whisky for long in a decanter that contains lead. There is a chance the lead leaching into the whisky can affect the drink.
Do you have crystal coated dreams to someday own your own Scotch decanter? Well, it does not better your precious tipple in any big way but do it for the charm anyway.