View Full Version : Does Bourbon go bad?

12-14-2000, 12:27
This is probably a crazy question, but I just found an opened 1/2 gallon of Jim Beam that was stored in a box in a cabinet. Is it still good, does the taste change?

12-14-2000, 12:38
unlike wine, Bourbon can last a very long time. Except for a small amount of exaporation (for VERY old bourbon) its unlikely that your bourbon has changed its flavor at all.


12-14-2000, 12:39
Sorry! That was supposed to be EVAPORATION!


12-14-2000, 12:43
Thanks!! I can feel good about serving it now..without worrying I'll poison someone.

12-14-2000, 13:35
The proof of the pudding is in the eating, or in this case drinking. Taste it before you serve it!
As Linda points out, bourbon doesnt share wine's short shelf life (once opened), but like most anything edible, it's two greatest enemies are oxygen and ultraviolet light ... in the case of bourbon, the former more than the latter.
So the rules are fairly simple: Keep your bottles inside on hot sunny days, and don't drink it after it's been sitting in the dog's water bowl overnight.
I think with those caveats in mind, you'll be safe.


Jim Butler

Ken Weber
12-18-2000, 10:32
I tend to agree with Jim, however, make sure you taste it first. We sample some very old bottles from time to time and they will sometimes take on a creosote-like taste. We also had some Weller returned from Texas that tasted bad and had turned black. We discovered that the bar had been reducing the proof (watering it down) and the water was plain tap water. The iron in the water caused the bourbon to discolor and taste bad. My point is, sometimes water finds its way into old stock and pretty much ruins it.


12-19-2000, 00:15
As a rule bourbon doesn't go bad, but bourbon drinkers sometimes do. (In the spirit of the season, I won't mention any names.)

--Chuck Cowdery (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com)