Open Bottle Storage: Liquid Displacement


750 ml bottle filled with 325 ml of whisky and enough sanitized glass marbles to remove the headspace.
750 ml bottle filled with 325 ml of whisky. A cup of sanitized glass marbles.

We thought of a new way to store whisky that would allow for very small pours and eliminate headspace at the same time. This method would be through displacement. We took a 750 ml bottle filled with 325 ml of bourbon. Then added enough sanitized glass marbles to displace the air so the bottle would be effectively full. The bottles were then stored upright in a dark temperature controlled environment.

A Year Later

NOTE: When we speak about the differences in taste or score, it is the difference between a specimen and the control, and another specimen and the control. Not the direct difference between the two specimens.

The displacement method we created gave nearly identical results with the best storage method with a difference of only 0.08 points. That is well under the standard deviation of 0.39. We do not suggest this method however, since fluid dynamics mean a bit too much whisky “sticks” to the marbles we used to displace the air. We feel that there is an opportunity here and plan to pursue this line of thought.


The average scores of each set of specimens. (Lower is better.)
Specimen Description Total Average Nose Average Palate Average Finish Average
750ml bottle, 325ml fill, cool dark place, marble displaced 1.58 1.5 1.5 1.75
2 oz decanted bottle, 2 oz fill, cool dark place, vacuum seal 1.5 1 1.75 1.75


Open Bottle Storage Experiment Chapters:

Updated: 2023.07.30