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  1. #11
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: how long is an open bottle of bourbon good for?

    Different people have different sensitivities and where one might notice a deterioration, another might not.

    The main enemy of whiskey is oxidation. About the only time this affects whiskey in a sealed bottle is when you leave a small amount (less than 25&#37 in the bottom of a bottle. Even then, from my experience, it takes years to turn. I try to avoid having such a bottle sit around too long and have never, in my experience, had one turn on me. I have tasted bottles that have turned in other circumstances, but I have never had one in my control turn.

    The point is, acute sensitivity aside, a well-sealed but only partially full bottle of American straight whiskey will be "good" for at least a year.

  2. #12
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: how long is an open bottle of bourbon good for?

    Oxidation imparts a characterictic, "metallic" taste. Some of the older bottles on the table at Sampler had it, even full ones. It is unmistakeable once you know the taste. It is always hit or miss though.

    Gary

  3. #13
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    Re: how long is an open bottle of bourbon good for?

    My personal experience is that American whiskey is much les sensitive to oxidation than single malt and actually often benefits from it in an early stage.

    Leif
    Swedish lover of American whiskey

  4. #14
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: how long is an open bottle of bourbon good for?

    Quote Originally Posted by nor02lei View Post
    My personal experience is that American whiskey is much les sensitive to oxidation than single malt and actually often benefits from it in an early stage.

    Leif
    That's very true and, of course, some oxidation takes place in the barrel. With some of these bottle-aged bourbons, I think they do get a touch of additional oxidation that does benefit them. Hard to tell, though, since when we're drinking a 35-year-old (bottle age) whiskey at the gazebo, there's no way to know exactly what it tasted like when "fresh."

  5. #15
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    Re: how long is an open bottle of bourbon good for?

    How long is an open bottle of bourbon good for?

    In my house - about a week.

  6. #16
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    Re: how long is an open bottle of bourbon good for?

    Looking back I did notice the last couple inches of a bottle of '93 or '94 Evan Williams Single Barrel did take on an unpleasant bitterness after sitting only a few months. At the time I thought I was just having an off night. I have never experienced anything like that before or since.

  7. #17

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

    Quote Originally Posted by dons View Post
    just wondering? I know with wine a bottle should be drunk within 24 hours before losing its quality. what is it for bourbon
    I had a Sazerac 18 Years (2004) opened after I bought it and had the last glass 2 weeks ago. It turned out really smooth .... still a pleasure. But who wants to take risks with good bottles?
    Bernhard

  8. #18
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: how long is an open bottle of bourbon good for?

    I keep all my bourbon stored in a cool (not cold) dry place and out of direct light of any kind. I figure it should out live me. (YEAH RIGHT!)
    As he removed the cork from the bottle of bourbon, he threw it across the room and said, "we ain't gonna need that no more".

  9. #19
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: how long is an open bottle of bourbon good for?

    As you probably imagine, I drink a lot of bourbon. The first time I tasted a bourbon that had been damaged by oxidation was a bottle that sat on a back bar for something like 20 years with a half-inch of whiskey in the bottom of it. In most other cases, it has been something from a decanter or with an otherwise dicey closure. I've also tasted some that was simply very old (e.g., 100 years) that had some damage.

    Some people misidentify cork taint as oxidation damage. I've tasted cork taint, usually from old decanters, much more often than oxidation damage.

    I've never had a bottle of mine here at home "go bad" from oxidation.

    Note too my use of the term "oxidation damage." Oxidation itself is part of the aging process, it's part of what is going on in the barrel. Like every other aspect of aging, oxidation can go too far and the whiskey picks up some off-flavors. An excessive and unpleasant taste of vanilla is what I usually notice.

    I just yesterday communicated with a craft distiller who removed a whiskey he made from the barrel, because it had all the wood he wanted, but he let it sit in stainless for 3 years, in part to get additional oxidation.

    Different people have different sensitivities, so that's part of it too. I know some people who feel the taste of a whiskey starts to change as soon as they open the bottle.

    But, in general, people make WAY too much of the fear of oxidation damage from partially-full bottles. Yes, you should finish off those bottles that have an inch left in the bottom, especially if you haven't because it's something precious that you can't replace and you hate to see it go. Oxidation damage is real and it is a risk when you have a bottle with a lot more air than spirit in it, but it's not as big of a problem as some people seem to fear.

  10. #20
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    Re: how long is an open bottle of bourbon good for?

    I've seen this some where before

    Chuck, Thank you for both replys..

 

 

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