View Full Version : Shelf life??
Hi. As you can see by the subject line, I'm new to this. Anyway, I bought a bottle of Maker's Mark for my birthday which was in November. I'm a slow drinker, I guess. But just wanted to know, once the bottle is opened, how long's it good for? I have quite a bit left and would like to eventually drink it. Thanks.
My signature line below is the punch line of a joke. In fact, just the opposite is true. For all practical purposes, the whiskey in that bottle will stay good longer than any of us will. Of course, some of us weren't so good to begin with.
I'm a slow drinker, I guess. But just wanted to know, once the bottle is opened, how long's it good for?
Only a few months more, tops. Better bring it to the Gazebo in April or September for careful evaluation. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif
Okay, thanks. I guess I need a tie-breaker opinion (?)
Barrel Proof was kidding with ya http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Your bourbon will keep for a very long time. Years and years http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif...
Keep it upright, sealed tight, not in direct sunlight or extreme temps...and it should keep just fine http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Barrel Proof was kidding with ya http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif You bourbon will keep for a very long time. Years and years http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif...
I must be doing something wrong, everytime I open a new bottle it disappears in only a few days http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif
I know that cognac and s***h aficionados often claim that an open bottle starts to deteriorate as time passes and the proportional amount of air in the bottle increases. Some say that a bottle should be consumed within 6 months of opening. Personally I haven't been able to detect any real difference after having a bottle opened for a year or two.
Why don't you leave enought for a single drink in your current MM bottle when you buy a replacement. Have a tasting and see if they taste pretty much the same (wouldn't work for a singel barrel though). Then share your results. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
I have never experienced deterioration in a bottle in my possession, even though I have a bad habit of leaving one or two drinks in the bottom of a bottle, espcially if it is one I can't readily replace. Of course, the fact that I can't taste it doesn't mean other people can't. There are people who claim that some vodkas taste better than others too.
I have experienced deterioration, specifically oxidation, in bars but we are talking about partially-full bottles that have sat around for years. Six months? Six years, maybe.
Maybe I'm missing something but it seems to me if you're a bourbon drinker and you open a bottle of bourbon, it's not going to hang around for months at a time before you finish it off. I know that won't be the case with me. I open that rascal and it will be gone in a maximum time period of one month. But I don't open a lot of different bottles of bourbon at the same time. I work on one at a time.
But I don't open a lot of different bottles of bourbon at the same time. I work on one at a time.
That's the difference. Some of us have dozens of bottles open at a time. Some of us also have a sentimental attachment to certain hard-to-replace bottles that causes us to stare forlornly at that last inch of whiskey for months, if not years. (I'm suffering that agony with some first edition Stagg even as we speak. Should I kill that soldier tonight? It may be time.)
Agreed. I believe I have around 25 bottles open right now. I try not to hang on to bottles with only a drink left in them, mostly to clear room for something else, though I do have about an inch left of Weller 19, Stagg '02 and Eagle Rare 17yo, '02.
Yeah, me too -- I have 15 bourbons/ryes open currently, and I finish them at a rate of about 1-2 a month, so most stay open 6 months to a year before running dry. I guess I'm not drinking enough. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
I have 15 bourbons/ryes open currently
Heck, I currently have 77 opened bottles of bourbon, plus many other american, canadian, and that other place overseas that makes real popular "whisky". I never have been able to detect a difference and some have been opened for years. I think as Chuck stated, some oxidation may take place, but I think the bottles aren't sealed to tightly, or not al all, in a bar. However, I've only noticed a marked difference in the appearence of the whiskey that had an oxidation (maybe), such as hazzy or what not. I may be crazy though, I haven't seen that but once or twice.I do have a bottle of JB 10 yr old from 1969 that I bought off eBay and it was obviously stored poorly (too hot of an environment) because it tastes fine right up front, then takes a horrid musty taste and finish. I can't even drink it.
The biggest problem I find is when I find a bottling I REALLY like, I think the corks are always defective. The whiskey seems to "evaporate" in a couple of weeks. Every day a little more "evaporates" http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif. Until the darn thing is empty! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif: http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif
I have 39 open bottles and 5 sealed. You can see which way my priorities lie.
An interesting thread. The single malt drinkers all swear that there are noticeable changes in a bottle once it has been open a while. The consensus here seems to be the opposite. Many single malt aficionados claim that some bottles improve after being open a while and so should be left alone for a couple of months after a few drinks have been pored from the bottle. All bottles should be finished within a year. However, even if the above is true of malt whisky, bourbon is a very different drink (Duh!) and its shelf life maybe very different. I myself don't profess to know. I did have a drink out of a bottle of Jim Beam Rye the other day that I had opened New Years Eve and it seemed changed. But that might have been me. I know that one whiskey drunk on different days tastes different to me depending on a host of variables including how much I had drunk the night before, what I had for dinner, even what I had for lunch and the odors present in the room.
I am running an experiment to see if there is any truth to this using a nice, but cheap scotch blend, Teacher's Highland Cream. I have a bottle that is nearly empty sitting with an unopened bottle that I bought the same day. I plan to open them both in about a years time and see if I can note a difference. That may not tell me anything at all about bourbon though.
Basically, I plan to play things on the safe side and finish off bottles within a year of opening them and if I just can't bear to drink the last inch of Old Irreplaceable Single Barrel then I will decant it into a smaller bottle where it will be safe.
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