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

Shelf Life of Unopened Whiskey

All your whisky related questions answered here.

Shelf Life of Unopened Whiskey

Postby whiskeyme » Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:31 am

I've got a decent collection of whiskies going, but I don't drink them too fast. The last 4 or 5 bottles that I've picked up are unopened, and I may not open them for 10-12 months, maybe a bit longer :| . So, I'm hesitant to buy any new bottles :shock:. I've heard that as long as the bottles are unopened, stored in a cool dry place, with no direct sun-light exposure then they should last no problem. Is this true?
User avatar
whiskeyme
New member
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 8:18 pm
Location: USA

Re: Shelf Life of Unopened Whiskey

Postby ashman » Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:18 pm

would lov to know this myslef, good question
ashman
New member
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 2:51 pm
Location: Dublin Ireland

Re: Shelf Life of Unopened Whiskey

Postby shoganai » Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:23 pm

My understanding is that as long as the whisky is kept from extreme temperatures and sunlight, it will last indefinitely. It's not nearly as difficult to store as wine.

My question is what consitutes "extreme" temperatures?
shoganai
Silver Member
 
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:25 am
Location: Philadelphia, USA

Re: Shelf Life of Unopened Whiskey

Postby bamber » Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:28 pm

All unopened bottles should be sent to me for testing.
User avatar
bamber
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1913
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 3:57 pm
Location: Bristol, UK

Re: Shelf Life of Unopened Whiskey

Postby Sherried Malt » Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:54 pm

shoganai wrote:My understanding is that as long as the whisky is kept from extreme temperatures and sunlight, it will last indefinitely. It's not nearly as difficult to store as wine.

My question is what consitutes "extreme" temperatures?


Another good question.

To avoid that risk, I keep my unopened bottles in the basement where the temperature never gets above 65 F, even on the hottest day and never falls below 50 F during the winter. I think they'll be fine, even after many many years. At least I hope so...
User avatar
Sherried Malt
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1134
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 4:32 pm
Location: New York, United States

Re: Shelf Life of Unopened Whiskey

Postby Laphroaig » Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:56 pm

I'd guess it's safe to keep quite a period of time (cool & dark place as mentioned).

Some friends seem to regularly bump into items that still have the old tax seals around the cap, and generously break them open to study. Of course... almost all of these sorts, I'm not well versed with or have had ample comparisons with bottles purchased / consumed closer to real production & bottle dates.

Without being able to say for certain there was absolutely no time related change, I don't ever recall a sample that we tested that gave me the impression there was air damage or deterioration / falling apart of the delivered spirit.
Laphroaig
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2002 2:01 am
Location: SF CA USA

Re: Shelf Life of Unopened Whiskey

Postby oldrip57 » Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:30 am

In fact, even stored in relatively extreme temperatures and IN sunlight, they'll probably last a good while -- but why risk THAT?!
High-proof (abv) spirit is -- at least, vis-a-vis wine -- almost inert. It won't change readily, unopened. As examples, I opened among friends several bottles last weekend over 50 years old. All were fine, a couple stellar. Since I've had them, they've simply sat on a computer-room shelf.
Just don't store them on their sides -- whisk(e)y/alcohol is a solvent, and it will interact negatively with a cork, though perhaps very slowly.
oldrip57
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 11:12 pm

Re: Shelf Life of Unopened Whiskey

Postby Apollo11 » Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:22 am

My Dad had two bottles of Jack Daniels (unopened) from the late 80's. The JD then was at 44%, and I wanted to open up one of these bottles and taste it. The result was Jack that tasted better then the Jack of today. I think as long as you dont crack the seal, store it out of direct sunlight in a cool place the life span should be many years.

Just my $.02
Apollo11
New member
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:48 am

Return to Questions & Answers

Whisky gift and present finder