Since 1956, La Maison du Whisky has specialized in importing and distributing spirits from across the globe. Although it was possible in the 1990s to seek out whiskies that were rare but still available, the treasure hunt really began in the early 2000s, when various exceptional spirits became increasingly difficult to find. Guided by their passion, numerous enthusiasts began to take an interest in these collectible bottles, notably with a view to building their own collection, because, unlike wine - which generally requires special storage conditions - spirits are easy to keep at home, although some precautions do need to be taken.
Before even tasting a collectible rum or whisky, it is important to take care to open the bottle in such a way as to avoid affecting the product’s aromatic qualities. This means exercising extreme caution, especially when opening an old bottling. First, it is highly recommended that the foil seal be removed to get an idea of the condition of the stopper. If the stopper seems to be in an acceptable condition, gently tip the bottle to dampen it slightly. Then slowly turn it, without pulling upwards, to check how solid it is. If it seems solid enough, you can gradually pull it upwards, in line with the bottleneck and without turning to avoid causing damage.
Stoppers play an important role in storing spirits. If after opening your bottle you notice that the stopper is worn, it might be worth replacing it with another. It is vital to monitor the condition of your stoppers, as a cork stopper which has dried out or a screw cap that has become loose can lead to unnecessarily fast evaporation or oxidation of the liquid contained within. Although screw caps last longer, they are more sensitive to vibration, which can have a significant impact on their watertightness. Cork stoppers might seem the best choice to many or even a gauge of quality. But it really depends on how well they are made. Poor quality cork can quickly deteriorate and have a significant impact on the development of the spirit’s aromatic profile. This is why it is vital to store spirits upright, avoiding any sudden movements. With an ABV generally over 40%, there is a high risk of the alcohol eroding the cork.