We get the occasional inquiry from people who have purchased a bottle of our whiskey (and other barrel aged spirits) and have found a hazy cloud floating or sunk in the bottom of the bottle (see video below). Don’t panic, what you’re seeing is flavor!
During the fermentation, distilling and oak maturation processes various phenols and esters are produced. These components make up a lot of the flavors we enjoy in whiskey. The large volume producers use chill filtering to remove the visible components. Why? because it makes the product look pretty, it is strictly for cosmetic reasons that they do this although it also takes away some flavor and mouth-feel from the product. Chill filtering in whiskey production has been a common practice for most of the last century although the big producers still occasionally release smaller batch products without chill filtering.
While we do filter out wood particles from the barrels, we do not employ chill filtering at Great Lakes Distillery. We want to provide our product to consumers with the maximum flavor of the whiskey as it came from the barrel. Don’t like how it looks in the bottle? Simply shake the bottle twice and these flavor components will be dispersed.

11 Responses

  1. Coming to Milwaukee from Kansas City for Thanksgiving. Can’t wait to purchase a bottle of your new Kinnickinnic Whiskey. Hope you will still have some bottles available for sale this upcoming weekend.

  2. Do you sell absinthe in the small bottle with the eye dropper similar to the ones at Company Brewery?

  3. So, what happens if when you shake it, it turns into floating chunks, and then if you shake it more it disburses, but doesn’t dissappear, rather turns the entire bottle cloudy?

    1. David, If it’s been sitting a very long time it may take a bit more effort to disperse. I haven’t seen this with our whiskies although I have some really old bottles of various brands that have done this. Perhaps pour it through a coffee filter?

  4. My bottle doesn’t have a white cloud. It has actual solid pieces in it. Could this be some of the orange peel?

    1. Robert, what product is this? If it’s orange liqueur it’s possible that it has some of the oil from the orange that solidified. A good shaking should disperse it.

  5. Hi! My husband recently bought an old bottle from an auction. He just received the bottle today and noticed there was small, thin plastic pieces in the bottle. Have you ever seen anything like that before? He’s worried that it might not be a genuine bottling.

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