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  1. #1

    how long is an open bottle of bourbon good for?

    just wondering? I know with wine a bottle should be drunk within 24 hours before losing its quality. what is it for bourbon

  2. #2
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    Re: how long is an open bottle of bourbon good for?

    Bourbon will last a long time. Oxidation can have an effect on it, though, and in some cases it's beneficial, other times it isn't. My rule of thumb is that once it's less than half full, it should be given a bit more attention, but it can still last for months. If you're really worried about it, you could always decant it into a 200 or 375 ml bottle.

    I made a 40yo single-grain Scotch last for almost a year without decanting it, and the last pour was as superb as the first. My open '06 Stagg has been open since November 18 (hmmm, I ought to have an anniversary pour), and it hasn't shown any sign of deterioration. It's about one-third full or so right now.
    Oh no! You have walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue!

  3. #3
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    Re: how long is an open bottle of bourbon good for?

    It should last around 3 years give or take after opening. Unopened, don't even worry about it, it will last a looooooooooooooooooooooooooong time.
    Tim

    To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.

  4. #4
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    Re: how long is an open bottle of bourbon good for?

    I remember I left a 1/4 pint in my metal flask left over from hunting season. And when I got to it again 3 months later, it was filled with limestone rock and empty of whiskey. And the flask wasn't sealed completely tight but it wouldn't leak either. Ruined the flask!

  5. #5
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    Re: how long is an open bottle of bourbon good for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sycamore Tree View Post
    I remember I left a 1/4 pint in my metal flask left over from hunting season. And when I got to it again 3 months later, it was filled with limestone rock and empty of whiskey. And the flask wasn't sealed completely tight but it wouldn't leak either. Ruined the flask!

    Had you cut the whiskey with hard water? I don't see how lime (calcium carbonate) or any mineral salts could have made it through the distillation process. besides, don't distilleries use de-ionized water?

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: how long is an open bottle of bourbon good for?

    By "open bottle" people usually mean a partially-consumed bottle, but one with the top sealed by a cork or screw cap. What you're really talking about is open, as in exposed to the air, in this case not entirely, but you say the flask "wasn't sealed completely."

    Obviously, I don't know the extent of the partial seal, but whiskey exposed to the air will deteriorate pretty quickly. How fast? An unfinished glass of whiskey, if it doesn't all evaporate, will be undrinkable the next day.

  7. #7
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    Re: how long is an open bottle of bourbon good for?

    I think it was from a posting of Dougdog, but it generally sounds like a good rule of thumb:

    Bourbon - 6 months
    Rye - 1 year

    I personally haven't done enough experimentation in this area, and my beginner's palette may not discern enough changes. So I tend to keep a limited number of opened bottles for drinking.

    However, there's the option of decanting into smaller bottles or using the Preserve gas bottle (which I don't know how long one really lasts, in other words, once sprayed in the bottle I'm not sure if it loses efficacy after a certain amount of time).
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  8. #8
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    Re: how long is an open bottle of bourbon good for?

    I got a bottle of WT tribute that is half drank, and I opened it about 3 years ago. Last time I had it, it seemed fine. I got around 100 open bottles and a lot of them are over a year old. Pappy 20 that is 2 years old, and still taste like the best I ever had...

  9. #9
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    Re: how long is an open bottle of bourbon good for?

    Quote Originally Posted by jinenjo View Post
    I think it was from a posting of Dougdog, but it generally sounds like a good rule of thumb:

    Bourbon - 6 months
    Rye - 1 year
    I have bourbon that has been open way more than 6 mos. It is still good.
    Joel

  10. #10
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    Wink Re: how long is an open bottle of bourbon good for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sycamore Tree View Post
    I remember I left a 1/4 pint in my metal flask left over from hunting season. And when I got to it again 3 months later, it was filled with limestone rock and empty of whiskey........
    Perhaps your bourbon and flask were the victims of foul play or mischief on the part of someone. Must have been some good bourbon is all I have to say!

 

 

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