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How long will scotch keep after its been opened?

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How long will scotch keep after its been opened?

Postby DDar » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:30 pm

Hey, I recently bought myself a 1.75 L bottle of Johnnie Walker Gold label and I'm dying to open it to give it a taste.

However, I'm now aware that Scotch oxidizes over time, and since I'm not a heavy or even regular drinker I fear I may not be able to outrun the oxidation process (especially should I ever reach the half-way mark of the bottle).

I've been told clean marbles are a good way to prevent oxidation (though I'm slightly worried the marbles may affect the scotch), but is there anything else I can do to help it last for at least a year or two without the taste lessening or becoming affected?
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Re: How long will scotch keep after its been opened?

Postby Ganga » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:35 pm

It varies upon conditions. If you do a little searching, you will find several discussions on the length of time to keep a bottle open. What you can do is split the larger bottle into smaller bottles. Head space seems to be one of the big things in lengthenging the time of oxidation (not always a bad thing).
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Re: How long will scotch keep after its been opened?

Postby The Third Dram » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:48 pm

You can go the inert gas displacement route or the transferring to smaller bottles route (though some individuals even argue that rapid oxidation can occur pouring the contents from one vessel into another).

Personally, I wouldn't be too concerned - especially if you're planning to drink up the whisky in a year or two.
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Re: How long will scotch keep after its been opened?

Postby dramtastic » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:03 am

I honestly wouldn't worry about having it open over a few years.
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Re: How long will scotch keep after its been opened?

Postby DDar » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:35 pm

Cool, cool.


I have a few more questions though: I know you're not supposed to have the bottle in direct sunlight, but what about dim sunlight? In the place I'm keeping it there's a tiny Window that's covered by a thin curtain. The room is fairly dim, but some sunlight does come through. I'll be mostly keeping it in its case, but do you think this will matter? Do artificial lights have any effect on the contents? (You know like light bulbs and such)

Also, how would you guys recommend drinking it? Room temperature, frozen, or on the rocks?
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Re: How long will scotch keep after its been opened?

Postby Muskrat Portage » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:34 pm

Honestly? You bought it you drink it how you like. Personally, I prefer my whisky at room temperature, and I sip it neat before adding a tiny bit of water to open up the whisky. I use a straw for a pipette and just put in a few drops, so as not to drown the whisky.
Experiment and see how you like it.
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Re: How long will scotch keep after its been opened?

Postby The Third Dram » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:50 pm

Diageo actually recommends drinking the Gold Label chilled, and I can see that this tactic might marginally enhance the more fruit-forward aspects of the whisky while simultaneously increasing the 'refreshment' factor. (Alas, it will likely also downgrade the complexity.)

Me? I like it at room temeprature. :wink:
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Re: How long will scotch keep after its been opened?

Postby LeoDLion » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:36 am

Get a paraffin wax paper to seal it.
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Re: How long will scotch keep after its been opened?

Postby pkt77242 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:51 am

DDar wrote:Cool, cool.


I have a few more questions though: I know you're not supposed to have the bottle in direct sunlight, but what about dim sunlight? In the place I'm keeping it there's a tiny Window that's covered by a thin curtain. The room is fairly dim, but some sunlight does come through. I'll be mostly keeping it in its case, but do you think this will matter? Do artificial lights have any effect on the contents? (You know like light bulbs and such)

Also, how would you guys recommend drinking it? Room temperature, frozen, or on the rocks?


Artificial light isn't an issue.

Drink it however you want, and since you have a large bottle experiment, try it chilled, on the rocks, and at room temp. Also you can add a little water. Then you decide how you like it and drink it that way. There is no right way to drink whisky.
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Re: How long will scotch keep after its been opened?

Postby Malteriet » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:57 pm

I've learned a trick to stop the oxidation. Put glass pearls into the bottle to fill up. They add no taste or anything else to the whisky and can be used again and again. Haven't tried it myself, but it seems to be working and it is cheap.
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Re: How long will scotch keep after its been opened?

Postby whiskgeek » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:36 am

I've heard that whisky will keep indefinitely down to a third to a quarter left in the bottle. When it gets that low, you should probably start drinking it a little faster.

I saw nitrogen canisters in the grocery store tonight, for about nine bucks, in the wine department. That will go a long way to prevent oxidation.
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