One look at my liquor cabinet, and it’s easy to see that I hate to say goodbye. Every fifth or sixth bottle is perilously low, holding just a few ounces. I know that exposure to oxygen means the dregs lose flavor over time, but there’s just something horrible about finishing a bottle, particularly a special one.
If you have the same problem, an infinity bottle might be your solution. A longstanding institution among whiskey nerds, an infinity bottle is kind of like a graveyard, in two senses. It’s a place where the last drops of your bottles are laid to rest, and it’s the whiskey equivalent of that graveyard soda you used to make at the pizza parlor, that bizarre mingling of root beer and orange Slice and cherry cola.
If you’re unfamiliar with the infinity bottle concept, it goes like this: First, find yourself an empty bottle you’ll be happy to have around for a long time. It could be a fancy crystal-cut decanter, that empty bottle of William Larue Weller you finished long ago, or an old bottle of Jack Daniels, for stealth. This is your infinity bottle. Then, as you start to drink down bottles in your collection, pour the last ounce or two into your infinity bottle.
Some keep different infinity bottles for each style of whiskey—one for bourbon, one for Irish, and so forth—while others go wild and add everything (even, gasp, the odd rum or brandy) into one bottle. The only agreed-upon rule is to take it very, very easy with the peated Scotch. Even a little bit can overwhelm a blend, so if you love peat, consider designating a separate peated infinity bottle.
Now, all that remains is to enjoy your special house blend into perpetuity. As the level drops, keep topping it up with new remainders. As the name suggests, there’s no end to the infinity bottle, and some distilleries in Scotland have infinity bottles or barrels they’ve been maintaining for generations. Could yours become a family heirloom?
One of the best parts of an infinity bottle is that it’s always changing, and many report keeping an infinity bottle has given them a healthy additional dose of respect for the blender’s art. Plus, it’s truly one-of-a-kind. While it might not always be the best whiskey you’ve ever tasted, it’s definitely the rarest. Happy blending!
Margarett Waterbury is the author of Scotch: A Complete Introduction to Scotland's Whiskies and a full-time freelance writer and editor. Her work has appeared in Whisky Advocate, Food and Wine, Spirited Magazine, Artisan Spirit, Edible Seattle, Sip Northwest, Civil Eats, Travel Oregon, Artisan Spirit, and many other publications. She is...