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When does whiskey go bad?

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When does whiskey go bad?

Postby Bruere » Tue Apr 25, 2006 1:26 pm

Hi, i just aquired a unopened bottle of 1971 Seagrams VO. Im not entirely sure if or when whiskey is no longer good enough to drink, so if someone could answer me this i would be greately appreciative.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Tue Apr 25, 2006 1:58 pm

Funnily enough I got a 1972 Segrams VO bottle in a Job lot of whiskey over a year ago so not much of a difference in age. however it is not going to be worth much so if you like seagrams feel free to drink it. However I personally though it was not a very nice whiskey. The whiskey is fine to drink but just not to my taste. As a lover of Irish whiskey I though I'd like it as a lot of people say Canadian whiskey is light also but i found it more like a light bourbon.

Whiskey does lose something after a few years if the bottle has been opened but with a sealed bottle the contents should be intact.

A whiskey can theoretically can last forever in a sealed bottle.

Go on give it a go :wink:
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Postby Di Blasi » Wed Apr 26, 2006 2:39 am

So how long does a whisky last after opening it?? I know it depends on how much is in the bottle, the conditions it's kept in, (heat, sun, etc), what cask it was aged in, alchohol content probably plays a factor, age of the whisky and other things. Any help is appreciated! Any experiences of a whisky going bad that you've had open for awhile, how long, etc? I use Parafilm for bottles I open and taste and don't plan to drink for some months. Anyone else this special stuff?? Any other tricks to keep whisky from "expiring??"
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Apr 26, 2006 2:53 am

I also use Parafilm occasionally. For the most part, though, nothing I open is going to last so long that it'll 'turn' -- even though I often have two dozen bottles open. (That's not to say I drink voluminously, but that whiskey goes bad very slowly.)
I know someone who drops (carefully sterilized) glass marbles into bottles as they fall below half-full in order to raise the level to near the top.
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Postby Jan » Wed Apr 26, 2006 5:26 am

Di Blasi wrote:So how long does a whisky last after opening it?? I know it depends on how much is in the bottle, the conditions it's kept in, (heat, sun, etc), what cask it was aged in, alchohol content probably plays a factor, age of the whisky and other things. Any help is appreciated! Any experiences of a whisky going bad that you've had open for awhile, how long, etc? I use Parafilm for bottles I open and taste and don't plan to drink for some months. Anyone else this special stuff?? Any other tricks to keep whisky from "expiring??"


Hi Di Blasi

It depends on how you define bad. And it depends on the whisky. Some, especially younger, whiskies quite quickly lose some of their edge/freshness/whatever. But there are no hard rules, recently I experienced a Balvenie 21 port, that changed rather dramatically appr. 4 months after opening. :shock: Generally the lower the level of content in the bottle, the sooner you should finish it - when it gets below a third, the process accelerates due to more air/oxygen in the bottle.

This has been discussed, a lot, in the past. Have a look at the FAQ, where you will find links to at least ten threads with info & advice on this.

Cheers
Jan
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Postby Scotchio » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:36 am

When does whisky go bad?

When it starts mixing with the wrong sort!
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Postby Di Blasi » Wed Apr 26, 2006 12:17 pm

Thanks for the good info, and the marble trick, interesting one!
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Postby Elliot » Fri Apr 28, 2006 4:50 am

Funny you should ask, as I recently helped my father finish a bottle of Canadian Club he had open since 1972. It was certainly drinkable (and maybe a bit better than the CC of today), though it smelled a bit like the inside of an old piece of furniture (very woody). I'm sure that your unopened bottle is fine since it was never opened at all.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Apr 29, 2006 7:17 am

If you want to drop marbles in your whisky (being careful not to lose them, of course), it makes sense to be sure they're clean. But sterilizing them strikes me as over the top. You're dropping them into a minimum 40% alcohol solution, after all.
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Postby Bruere » Sun Apr 30, 2006 2:23 am

Thanks alot. I dont know to much about whisky, but im glad to hear it hasnt changed much from its original taste. Ill give my 1971 bottle a try before a party tonight, or maybe even at the party.. get things rollin i say.

Thanks again guys.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon May 01, 2006 3:20 pm

I'm not convinced by the marble trick - sounds like a dubious story I heard on a Management ( :roll: ) course about life/work balance.

Here goes:-
Rock = major parts of your life -health family work
Pebble = important things - holidays friends etc
sand = not so important things but they have to be done anyway - car maintainance bills roof repairs etc.
Pint glass = your life

The story goes that if you put all your rocks in first, the glass is full.
No. There is still space to cram the pebbles in around the rocks. Life full?
Still no. Feed the sand around the rocks and pebbles and then your life is full.

Rubbish - you can still pour some whisky into the glass without it overflowing :D

Morale of the story: no matter how full your life is, there is always room for a whisky. :lol:

Cheers all!
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Re: When does whiskey go bad?

Postby hchildress0123 » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:00 pm

I found an opened bottle of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey of my grandfather's - I am not sure how old it is - but judging by the bottle - at least 40 years. It was aged 8 years when he bought it - and it has a cork stopper - and it is 86 proof. Any advice?
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Re: When does whiskey go bad?

Postby ITTRAY » Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:58 pm

Hello All,
I have a 1996 Bottle of Whiskey. Makers Mark. Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. It has what looks like a special edition blue label. I dont know much about Whiskey. Whats it worth? Anybody know? It also says "old style sour mash" and has 45% Alc/Vol. Any help would be great. Thanks.

Ray
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Re: When does whiskey go bad?

Postby Kernow » Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:01 pm

ITTRAY wrote:Hello All,
I have a 1996 Bottle of Whiskey. Makers Mark. Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. It has what looks like a special edition blue label. I dont know much about Whiskey. Whats it worth? Anybody know? It also says "old style sour mash" and has 45% Alc/Vol. Any help would be great. Thanks.

Ray


are you worried about it going bad????
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Re: When does whiskey go bad?

Postby LagaDrinker » Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:24 pm

I didn't think it ever went bad. I just thought that the longer it is open some of the flavour and % go as more water gets in and spirit gets out. If not opened though I would have thought you should be fine. Its not like port.
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Re: When does whiskey go bad?

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:14 am

Bruere wrote:Hi, i just aquired a unopened bottle of 1971 Seagrams VO. Im not entirely sure if or when whiskey is no longer good enough to drink, so if someone could answer me this i would be greately appreciative.
Bruere:
As long as it's sealed, as others have stated, it will still taste very much like it originally did. It will go off, in a manner of speaking, if you leave it out opened and allow all the volatiles to evaporate.

This query had come up before so I had suffered some of my Connemara the indignity of being left out over night in a glass. There was still a bit of flavour to the watery residue left but the alcohol was gone. I had also finished the dregs from a bottle of Singleton of Auchroisk this past year and it too merely tasted like flavoured water.

Based on this, whisky that isn't already bad won't go bad. However, it will lose its' volatility to oxygenation if the level gets too low, exposing the surface to greater contact with said oxygen.

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Re: When does whiskey go bad?

Postby M.B » Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:52 am

To avoid the oxidation I pour the whisky in smaller and smaller bottles so that the air in the bottle is kept to a minimum.

I use 30, 20, and 10cl bottles that I got from LFW. Of cource, you miss the 'feeling' a bit when you don't have the original bottle any longer, but I still preffer the taste to be good.

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Re: When does whiskey go bad?

Postby randall fairbrook » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:37 pm

here is a good tale.....

if lohssanami comes over to your san francisco hotel and tells you to pour as large a sample as you like from his bottle of ardbeg renny..and you pour about three fingers because you are a glutton...and your first sip makes you want to quit your job and do nothing but sell your belongings to buy many bottles of aforementioned ardbeg..and you pace your enormously tiny hotel room because the room is way too small for the largeness of the ardbeg and you put your nosing glass down from time to time but eventually fall asleep and the next morning leave your hotel to go have crepes..and return late at night having made the most of san francisco..and find you have left a half finger of the ardbeg in your glass...and decide to finish that glorious fucker off............realize that between when it was poured and when it was finished that the hotel help probably came in and changed the linens and sprayed some horriffic air freshener that would have eventually made way to your small finger of manna and made it taste like a peat smoked jolly rancher stirred with a tampon.........know then that you should finish what you have been offered before the gracious giver has left the building.....



(the story above was written at 7 am ....before i went to bed for the "night" and after i have imbibed 4 bottles of red tail ale and 4 shots of patron silver......)





i think i will sleep now......
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Re: When does whiskey go bad?

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sat Sep 20, 2008 5:15 pm

I think you should be punished most severly for abusing a whisky so. At the very least, you should be cut off from any future largess for the term of one month to teach you proper decorum when it comes to whisky treatment and protection.

For shame.

You Sassenach!

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Re: When does whiskey go bad?

Postby Bruichladdict » Sat Sep 20, 2008 5:55 pm

I think that it would be fair to say that leaving SM in a bottle sealed is a little different than leaving it out for the maid to spray Fabreeze into it! Oxidation is exactly what happens in the cask as the oxygen replaces the angel's share.

I think the term "going bad" is not accurate. The whisky may "change" and sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse...but worse does not mean bad, just lesser quality, yet still enjoyable. I remember when the heel of my Highlan Park 12 became noticeably less heathery and peaty/smokey...it was still very enjoyable.
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Re: When does whiskey go bad?

Postby shoganai » Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:52 pm

I've found that most whisky goes bad at some point between my mouth and my bladder. Can't say for sure exactly where it turns bad though.
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Re: When does whiskey go bad?

Postby Muskrat Portage » Tue Sep 23, 2008 2:06 am

Nick:
It's from my background in Corrections and then Courts Administration. I'm a bit of conservative when it comes to firmly sanctioning people.

That being said, to abuse whisky is one of the most heinous crimes I can imagine. Wouldn't you agree?
:insane:
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Re: When does whiskey go bad?

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:01 am

Oh Musky, I've gone bad, sanction me, sanction me!
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Re: When does whiskey go bad?

Postby Muskrat Portage » Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:17 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:Oh Musky, I've gone bad, sanction me, sanction me!
When a few U.E.L. returned south, that was sanction enough. I couldn't think of a greater punishment.
:D
Musky

And when does whisky really go bad? Honestly I would hazard that if the cut is too long or the aging cask is worn out, a good whisky can go bad and nothing can save it.

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Re: When does whiskey go bad?

Postby centrefire » Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:27 am

Hi

I was recently (2008) engaged in renovating an old house in rural Ireland. I found a full glass bottle of John Jameson Irish whiskey in its original box and priced in Euros. I also found 3 airline plastic 50 ml bottles in a plastic container of Powers, Jameson and Paddy and 2 x 50 ml Scotch blends. The owner kindly let me have then and believes they date to around 1997. The room 1st floor room they were in was used as a store for many years and was very dusty but dry and had a small window opened. There would have been little or no heat in it, but no frost would have gotten in. All were sealed as purchased.

I thought I had found treasure. However the joy was short lived. All whiskeys were gone off. The Jameson had a stale overly sweat taste and had lost its sharpness. The 3 Irish samples were stale with a mouldy sweat taste and the Scotch had an ugly smell and taste. ( I think one Scotch was Ballintine's Standard airline blend). I gave some to 2 friend who agreed they were not fit for consumption. I thought whiskey was self preserving when kept within room temperatures due to the alcohol. But not in this case. Whatever about the plastic bottles, the full jameson bottle was definately glass.
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Re: When does whiskey go bad?

Postby Jhelder » Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:53 pm

The interaction between sunlight, air (oxygen), and temperature can alter the taste (which is not always a bad thing). Sometimes a bit of oxygen can bring balance in a whisky. The alteration of the whisky should be at a minimum as long as the bottle is kept in a dark place at room temperature (or lower) and the volume of air above the whisky (more then half the bottle) isn't to big (so yes, pushing up the whisky volume with marbles should have a positive effect).

I'm a chemist by profession and there is another way of protecting your whisky against oxidation (interaction with the air above the whisky) by replacing it with another non-reactive gas such as nitrogen.

But to be honest I think that isn't really necessary. As long as you keep the sunlight out and the temperature below 25°C you're whisky should be safe for a long time....except for bottles filled with only one third or less, then the air above the whisky is going to react with the contents due time...but keep in mind...this isn't always a bad thing...and sometimes interesting finding can be made!
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