View Full Version : Storing Bourbon - Cold Weather Edition

08-20-2010, 13:32
I checked the other threads about storing bourbon, and there's some good stuff there. However, my situation differs somewhat. I'm about to leave for Afghanistan for about half a year. I will be moving all my stuff into storage. Thing is, my storage unit is not climate controlled, and the weather near here has been known to get down to -20 fahrenheit, sometimes colder. I'm wondering if this would affect the whiskey in any way. Any help is appreciated, since if I need to make alternate arrangements, I need to do it soon. Thanks.

08-20-2010, 14:01
If Shakleton's whiskey survived all that time in Antarctica, then I'm guessing yours will be okay too.

Seriously though, I would guess (and this is just speculation) that as long as the spirit doesn't freeze (which could break the bottle or explode the cork), it should be okay. 80 proof Bourbon freezes around -30 F. The higher the proof, the lower the freezing point.

Bourbon Boiler
08-20-2010, 16:04
I store my bourbon in the freezer regularly. It's not as cold as the temps you're describing, but unless they stick around long enough to freeze the bourbon I imagine you'll be fine.

08-20-2010, 16:07
Really good question. I couldn't imagine how the corks wouldn't dry out, shrink or freeze in those temperatures.

Dramiel McHinson
08-20-2010, 18:01
You could have some interesting things happen at temperature extremes. Not to worry as long as you store them in good strong type containers where they aren't tightly packed together. Rapid changes in temperature are more harmful than steady low temperatures. Pack them good in insulating material or wrap them in paper and put them in a plastic ice chest. That will slow down any rapid temperature swings and allow the whiskey enough time to slowly adjust as the temperature goes up and down. Controlling condensation will also save the labels.

08-20-2010, 19:11
Any alcoholic beverage stored in those cold conditions (freezing) the cork will shrink and the alcohol evaporate leaving just a sweet sticky glob.

This usually takes a few weeks at those temperatures. I agree that wrapping them and storing them inside some insulated container will prevent this. Good luck.

08-20-2010, 19:25
I'm about to leave for Afghanistan for about half a year. I will be moving all my stuff into storage.

Don't you have a freind or relative that would put it in their basement for you?
BTW, where would this storage unit be where it gets 20 below zero?
Good luck in Afghanistan, thanks for volunteering, I hope it's only for 6 months if not sooner.

08-21-2010, 04:21
Thanks everyone! The storage unit is in New York, near Watertown. I've spent a few winters there, and it does really get that cold. Once again, thanks for the advice.

08-23-2010, 08:13
Another consideration you need to take into account is how hot is it going to get in that storage unit. The heat won't hurt the bourbon but will pop the corks.

08-27-2010, 17:31
I'd look for a friend who can hold on to it, in the basement or an attached garage, somewhere out of the way.
Thank you for your service.