Cognac Questions

Random, odd question- but should I avoid drinking a cognac that has some sort of floaters in it?

I've tried cognac before and not preferred it. My father picked one up for me a few weeks ago- nothing fancy (Chabanneau v.s.o.p) but I really like the taste. I noticed last night there are some things floating in the bottle. I'm not sure if that means that it's gone bad, or if it's something to expect in cognac from time to time (esp not the fancy stuff). Last night I just filtered with a paper towel and it tasted fine- but figured I'd come to the place where experts (drinkers) congregate.

Thanks.

Cognac is made from grapes, and like wine it can have dregs.

I'm guessing that the paper towel with which you filtered the cognac added more harmful chemicals than the dregs that were present. Drink and enjoy.

I've had some very old cognac that wasn't properly stored. The "floaters" in that case were from the cork beginning to disintegrate.

I'd use a coffee filter instead of a paper towel if you felt the need to strain it.

Otherwise, let the dregs sink to the bottom and pour more cognac on top of it.

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ringsnort wrote:

I've had some very old cognac that wasn't properly stored. The "floaters" in that case were from the cork beginning to disintegrate.

I've had that happen with some bottles of wine; very disappointing. Doesn't stop me from drinking it, but still...

Try the coffee filter trick out. It works.

Nicholaas wrote:
ringsnort wrote:

I've had some very old cognac that wasn't properly stored. The "floaters" in that case were from the cork beginning to disintegrate.

I've had that happen with some bottles of wine; very disappointing. Doesn't stop me from drinking it, but still...

Try the coffee filter trick out. It works. :)

Fortunately, when corks begin to go bad, distilled spirits like cognac aren't quite as susceptible to oxidation as wine (including fortified wines like sherry and port). The only real downside is that the angles tend to get more than their fair share.

I also recommend the coffee filter trick. It works exceptionally well. If you happen to collect kitchen gadgets, a small fine wire mesh strainer works pretty well, too.

I'll Nth the coffee filter idea, and add that this is why cognac is often decanted.

Squee9 wrote:

I'd use a coffee filter instead of a paper towel if you felt the need to strain it.

Worth the few pennies it costs.

garion333 wrote:
Squee9 wrote:

I'd use a coffee filter instead of a paper towel if you felt the need to strain it.

Worth the few pennies it costs.

Oh heck yes! There's actually quite a bit of effort that goes into making coffee filter paper "taste" neutral. What's good for coffee is good for quality booze, too!

momgamer wrote:

I'll Nth the coffee filter idea, and add that this is why cognac is often decanted.

Yeah, that is what I was going to say. I figure it was often decanted, as with many wines, because sediment, yeast, etc. may accumulate.

KingGorilla wrote:
momgamer wrote:

I'll Nth the coffee filter idea, and add that this is why cognac is often decanted.

Yeah, that is what I was going to say. I figure it was often decanted, as with many wines, because sediment, yeast, etc. may accumulate.

It gives you an excuse to liberally use the word "decant," and also own a sweet looking decanter. That's a good enough reason on its own.

The cognac is probably fine. I've even had that happen with an ancient Ferrand, and the vintner at Château de Bonbonnet (where it is bottled) said not to worry, that it was like good wines; cognacs can develop sediment. (That said; they sent someone out to look at the bottle and bring me another one, so they could take mine back to France be tested to see if the corks from that era were starting to fail, which was nice.)

I wouldn't use a paper filter, just because it will absorb too much of the amber goodness. If using paper, get it wet first. Alternately, use a gold filter. They sell them in the same shelf area as the paper ones. They're reusable, and have no flavor delivery or impediment. Anything small enough to get through the mesh is just texture, it's fine.

duckideva wrote:

*SNIP* Alternately, use a gold filter. They sell them in the same shelf area as the paper ones. They're reusable, and have no flavor delivery or impediment. Anything small enough to get through the mesh is just texture, it's fine.

That's an excellent suggestion.

Don't drink it. Give it to me.

I felt silly asking- thanks for validating my question by providing such awesome answers.

Also

wordsmythe wrote:

Don't drink it. Give it to me.

I'm a sharer. If you show up on my doorstep I'll give you a sip or two.

Squee9 wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:
momgamer wrote:

I'll Nth the coffee filter idea, and add that this is why cognac is often decanted.

Yeah, that is what I was going to say. I figure it was often decanted, as with many wines, because sediment, yeast, etc. may accumulate.

It gives you an excuse to liberally use the word "decant," and also own a sweet looking decanter. That's a good enough reason on its own.

These posts were a great reminder that I have a decanter I both A) like and B) haven't used in a decade or so. I talked to a co-worker and it led to a conversation that merits casting to the wider knowledge of the GWJ crew. He warned me against using a lead crystal decanter if it was going to sit for an extended time- the concern being the lead leaching into the liquor if it set for weeks on end. What's the science on this? Do I need to worry about pouring the liquor into a lead crystal decanter to sit for a month or two?

demonbox wrote:
Squee9 wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:
momgamer wrote:

I'll Nth the coffee filter idea, and add that this is why cognac is often decanted.

Yeah, that is what I was going to say. I figure it was often decanted, as with many wines, because sediment, yeast, etc. may accumulate.

It gives you an excuse to liberally use the word "decant," and also own a sweet looking decanter. That's a good enough reason on its own.

These posts were a great reminder that I have a decanter I both A) like and B) haven't used in a decade or so. I talked to a co-worker and it led to a conversation that merits casting to the wider knowledge of the GWJ crew. He warned me against using a lead crystal decanter if it was going to sit for an extended time- the concern being the lead leaching into the liquor if it set for weeks on end. What's the science on this? Do I need to worry about pouring the liquor into a lead crystal decanter to sit for a month or two?

A) is it actually "lead crystal"? There's a lot of stuff called crystal out there that doesn't have lead in it. Glass is fine - it's only the stuff with lead in it you have to worry about.
B) if so, he's dead right. Even a couple days is too much.

I have a really awesome glass decanter, and it's just Libby glass so I can assure you there's nothing fancy about it. If and when I ever decide to replace it, I might just totally geek out and get a Pyrex Erlenmeyer flask. Good luck leeching anything out of that!

momgamer wrote:
demonbox wrote:
Squee9 wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:
momgamer wrote:

I'll Nth the coffee filter idea, and add that this is why cognac is often decanted.

Yeah, that is what I was going to say. I figure it was often decanted, as with many wines, because sediment, yeast, etc. may accumulate.

It gives you an excuse to liberally use the word "decant," and also own a sweet looking decanter. That's a good enough reason on its own.

These posts were a great reminder that I have a decanter I both A) like and B) haven't used in a decade or so. I talked to a co-worker and it led to a conversation that merits casting to the wider knowledge of the GWJ crew. He warned me against using a lead crystal decanter if it was going to sit for an extended time- the concern being the lead leaching into the liquor if it set for weeks on end. What's the science on this? Do I need to worry about pouring the liquor into a lead crystal decanter to sit for a month or two?

A) is it actually "lead crystal"? There's a lot of stuff called crystal out there that doesn't have lead in it. Glass is fine - it's only the stuff with lead in it you have to worry about.
B) if so, he's dead right. Even a couple days is too much.

I have a really awesome glass decanter, and it's just Libby glass so I can assure you there's nothing fancy about it. If and when I ever decide to replace it, I might just totally geek out and get a Pyrex Erlenmeyer flask. Good luck leeching anything out of that!

Yeah, for whatever reason I still left the sticker on it from when I got it (It's small- still odd to leave it on I guess) and it states that it is 24% lead crystal. Okay, so- weird. I would not have believed that I would have to worry about lead poisoning from my decanter. There are a number of things I don't understand- one of which is how being made of lead is supposed to be a good thing.

So, it seems I really enjoy Cognac. Any specific recommendations I should try?