It wasn’t but a few months back that I put together a small gathering of bourbon loving friends for a tasting party in my garage bar. If you’ve never hosted such an event, I cannot recommend it enough – I also recommend that you take the time to put together some great Foods That Pair with Bourbon. You can have the experience, or you can have THE experience, completely your choice. As I sat there however contemplating the lineup for the evening, a bit perplexed in the difficulty of selecting four or five bottles to share amongst friends from the imposing wall of whiskey in front of me, I decided it was time to break out something special I’d been working on for a few years to include in the lineup, my infinity bottle.
The tasting that night was completely blinded, with nobody outside of myself knowing what was in the vials of magical brownwater that sat in front of each seat. I’d pieced together a veritable lineup with some big hitting names in the mix…I always find it quite interesting to see how things shake out when you remove the bias of knowing you’re drinking a top shelf bourbon. It’s an opportunity to at times help folks find the ability to see past the label. As we rounded home base on the evenings event, each person sat with their tasting sheets in hand, and I tallied up the scores, weighing the nuances of each dram amidst the discerning critique of my now semi-inebriated buddies. Attempting my absolute best to do basic math from behind the bar, I tallied up the scores and revealed the results, with my infinity bottle receiving a higher rating than any of the other coveted bottles, and it wasn’t just by a small margin either…it was at the head of the pack, handily.
An infinity bottle is a container in which various whiskies can be incorporated over time as a unique blend. This blend continually changes as new whiskey is added and hopefully, as whiskey is being drank. Typically, this bottle is the resting place of the last smidge of liquor in any particular bottle before being tossed out.
The concept of a living bottle of sorts, or what’s now referred to as an infinity bottle appears to have originated centuries ago when wine blenders would mix new with old vintages to make more consistent, better tasting batches. It’s more recent uptick in history, circa 2012 was as the “solera bottle.” A popular whiskey influencer had a YouTube video which asked how you could make something that is uniquely your own and embodies your drinking history…something that could become a family heirloom? I don’t know if it becoming an heirloom really is a thing, but it has some specialness to me personally, I however don’t see a future fight between my children over who gets dads dusty bottle of randomly blended booze...but maybe?
The rules of an infinity bottle are unwritten, and uniquely your own. Some believe that they should only include the same style of whiskey, others believe blending whiskey types is what makes these bottles interesting. I am a bit of a purist so it’s only bourbon that finds its way into my infinity bottle. I also have omitted certain bottles that I found to be relatively undesirable…I drank them…didn’t love them, and therefore decided to forgo their inclusion in the infinity stash.
I'd recommend this decanter to start your own infinity bottle (the image links to the actual bottle for purchase).
I’d like to think that my infinity bottle is artfully curated, and its placement as the top-rated bourbon in the whiskey tasting in the garage bar is a testament to how it’s come along over these last number of years. I for some time kept a running log of what went in…but as some went in and some went out here and there, I began to wonder what the point was of keeping track as it’s not like I’m going to be able to ever replicate it. For some though this becomes a fun hobby and it’s a great reminder of great bottles shared among friends…and a lot of yelling “man down!”
As I'm often reminded by a saying from my kids' daycare, "sharing is caring." Offering a taste of your personal stash from your infinity barrel is a gesture that to me rates right up there with pouring a finger of Pappy. I'm hoping I might find more when the BTAC drop happens this year...but I have some comfort knowing I have probably created something just as good if not better than Pappy in my collection of bottle bottoms in my infinity bottle. If you liked this article, find more like it on our blog. Join us on Instagram, Facebook, and yes, even TikTok for garage bar resources, giveaways, laughs, and more. Cheers!