Does It Go Bad?

Information about storage and shelf life of various products

Does Whiskey Go Bad?

Whiskey is one of the most popular liquors and, similarly to vodka, has an almost indefinite shelf life – when stored properly, whiskey does not go bad. You should also know, that whiskey is one of the alcohols that only age while they are stored in casks. That means, that it doesn’t age in the bottle. If you’ve bought a bottle of whiskey in 70′s and store it properly it should taste almost the same in 2000 and 2030. I’ve used the word “almost”, because even a perfectly sealed bottle, after numerous years, will let some air inside. You can find more information about the consequences of letting air into the bottle later in the article.

How To Store Whiskey

Storing whiskey is similar to storing any other liquor. The first thing you should keep in mind is that it has to be sealed tightly in a dark place, possibly a pantry or a liquor cabinet. It’s extremely important to keep it out of the sunlight. If you can’t find that kind of place in your apartment, you should put it in a some kind of box, that will protect it from the light.

The second thing you have to bear in mind is the temperature in the place where the whiskey is stored. The most important thing (as in the case of vodka) is to avoid exposing the liquor to extremes of temperatures and sudden changes of it. The temperature should be lower than room temperature, the best possible is between 60 – 67 degrees Fahrenheit, or 15.5-19.4 Celsius. If you don’t have the possibility to store it in that temperature, that’s fine. Just do your best to achieve similar conditions.

You should provide mentioned conditions for the bottle in order to maintain its original taste. If it’ll be exposed to light or extreme temperatures, the taste of the liquor can be slightly altered.

Does Whiskey go bad?
(credit:eviloars)

There is another thing about storing whiskey that you have to remember  – if it’s capped with a cork, you should definitely keep it in an upright position. If the bottle will stay in a position in which the liquor will maintain contact with the cork for an extended period of time, it can influence the taste of the whiskey, in a bad way.

Even though the whiskey will be stored properly, there are some issues that you should be aware off..

How To Deal With An Opened Bottle Of Whiskey

As long as the whiskey stays unopened and is stored properly, it’s won’t go bad for long years. Once it’s opened, it’s exposed to oxygen, which also causes some changes in taste. While the bottle has a high level of whiskey, the oxygen isn’t an issue. It probably won’t change the taste in years. When the level of the liquid gets lower, the pace at which the taste alters rises. There are, however, some ways to avoid the oxidation problem. The easiest way is to pour the alcohol in smaller bottles, so there isn’t much room for air in the bottle. Another way is to utilize marbles – you can push up the volume of the alcohol using them.

Shelf Life Of Whiskey

As you’ve read in the beginning of the article, when the whiskey is stored properly, it has an almost infinite shelf life. If it isn’t stored properly, there are some unpleasant situations that can occur. Firstly, the taste of the alcohol can change (it isn’t always a bad thing) or it can even go bad (if the conditions are really bad). The change in taste is also caused by evaporation – alcohol evaporates faster than water, so the whiskey will taste milder than usually.

How To Tell If Whiskey Is Bad

Determining whether whiskey has gone off is quite simple. You can check its looks, smell and taste. While examining its looks you should look for any signs of mold, debris on the bottom of the bottle, or any unusual discolorations. The next thing you should do is to smell it. If it has an odd odor, or smells differently than usual, it’s almost definitely spoiled and you should discard the whiskey. If the liquor both smells and looks fine, you should taste it. If it has an odd taste, it’s probably spoiled. Please keep in mind, that if whiskey is stored improperly, it can taste a lot milder than usual, and that doesn’t mean it’s gone bad.

Summary
As you should know by now, whiskey is an alcohol with an almost infinite shelf life, when it’s stored properly. Storing whiskey in bad conditions can influence it in a bad way – its taste can deteriorate, become milder or it might even spoil. The storage is the most important issue when it comes to whiskey – if it’s done properly you will enjoy your whiskey for years!

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