Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

Does whiskey get 'old'?

All your whisky related questions answered here.

Does whiskey get 'old'?

Postby ben_on_the_net » Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:58 am

Hey guys, just wanted a bit of input from expert drinkers like yourselfs.

I have some bottles of scotch where I've only had one or two drams from, and hope to enjoy some of that type of whiskey for a long time. But I was wondering if there's a limit you should leave whiskey at?

Will it be fine 20 years down the road, so long as the cork is in it, or does it deterorate the quality?

Thanks for the input;

~Ben
ben_on_the_net
New member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:54 am

Postby hpulley » Wed Oct 26, 2005 1:12 am

Once opened, it does deteriorate. It seems to be proportional to the air left so if you just have a dram or two OUT it will last quite a while but if there is just a dram or two LEFT you should finish it quickly.

Some people pour off quantities into smaller bottles to save it for longer. Myself, I just drink the stuff in a few months and damn the torpedoes!

Harry
hpulley
Triple Gold Member
 
Posts: 2503
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Postby Lawrence » Wed Oct 26, 2005 2:21 am

I'm with Harry, it was made for drinking and once the seal is broken it's a slow slide to ruin. Drink them.
Lawrence
Matured cask
 
Posts: 5019
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 1:01 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Oct 26, 2005 3:43 am

Some unopened bottles lose volume to evaporation after twenty years, although I think that's rare with modern corks. If you really want to keep those one-dram-down bottles for a long time, you may want to take some measures to be sure of the seal--corks dry out after a while, speeding evaporation. Don't lay the bottles down, though--high alcohol content will eat the cork and spoil the whisky. Just find a better seal. Don't ask me what! And resist the temptation to pop it open every now and then for a sniff.

Most of us here are agreed--once it's open, best to drink it in a reasonable amount of time. Six months to be really safe, two or three years tops, and then only if you are careful.

Closure topics and spoilage have been discussed much here--use the Forum Search function (top of page) to look for "cork" or "spoil" or "deteriorate".
Deactivated Member
 

Postby SpiritofShetland » Wed Oct 26, 2005 6:20 am

I was at a tasting with one of Norway's most qualityorientated spirits importer a few days ago, and this question was asked.

His view was that a half-full (or half-emtpy, depending on your point of view) bottle should be emptied within the next 24 months.
SpiritofShetland
Silver Member
 
Posts: 258
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 3:32 pm
Location: Trondheim, Norway

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Oct 26, 2005 11:53 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:Most of us here are agreed--once it's open, best to drink it in a reasonable amount of time. Six months to be really safe, two or three years tops, and then only if you are careful.


To be honest, though, I think it is more down to luck than taking care when it comes to which whiskies will last well.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Oct 26, 2005 2:43 pm

It is indeed; a bottle may in fact rest for many years without deterioration. But why push your luck, especially with such good stuff? The longer you leave it, the worse your chances are.

Another thought.... Isn't "luck", often enough, just a term we apply to factors we don't understand?
Deactivated Member
 

Postby ben_on_the_net » Thu Oct 27, 2005 2:25 am

Thanks guys, helps me out a bit. Looks like I'm going to have to start drinking more scotch, can't let it spoil...

:D

Really... really thanks guys!

~Ben
ben_on_the_net
New member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:54 am

Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Oct 27, 2005 2:58 am

Gosh, we feel really bad for forcing you to enjoy your whisky more often!
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Admiral » Thu Oct 27, 2005 4:34 am

I've learnt from bitter experience.....

When I first started buying malts, I got a "special" malt for "special" occasions. Because it came out so rarely, the bottle spent a long time on the shelf with increasing amounts of oxygen being introduced each time I opened the bottle.

I returned to it one night after a long absence and poured it, only to find that it was most unpleasant.

It's happened to me with a few other bottles too, although this was more due to neglect...I made the mistake of having too many bottles open at one time. After some hard and determined work, I've managed to get the number of open bottles down to a more manageable 15 or so.

Cheers,
Admiral
Admiral
Triple Gold Member
 
Posts: 2719
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2003 2:01 am
Location: Australia

Postby Lawrence » Thu Oct 27, 2005 5:42 am

I hate it when my bottles become unmanageable, it's very annoying and I have to have a stern talk with them.

But to be serious for a moment, Admiral, is as usual, correct and around 15 bottles is the right amount to have open at any one time when you are factoring in spoilage. If you have more than that open at some point you're simply going to have friends over to help you out.
Lawrence
Matured cask
 
Posts: 5019
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 1:01 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Return to Questions & Answers

Whisky gift and present finder