Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. #1
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Camden, TN
    Posts
    181

    Question about long term storage

    How long can a bottle of scotch or bourbon for that matter be stored and still be drinkable if the bottle seal is still intact?

    I am more of a collector than a drinker but I would also like to try some from time to time.

    For instance, I just purchased an 8 year old Ambassador Scotch that was bottled in 1956. It was only $25.00 so I do not expect it to increase much in value so is it still drinkable?

    Thanks!
    When re-arranged, the letters in "whiskey" spell "key wish," those in "spirits" spell "sip it sir," and those in "moonshine" spell "in no homes."

  2. #2

    Re: Question about long term storage

    Inside a sealed bottled, whisk(e)y is virtually inert -- thus, that blended Scotch shouldn't be any different from the day it was bottled.
    Even after opening, high-proof spirits are remarkably stable. No part of a bottle is ever empty -- any space is filled with air and, thus, oxygen -- but its effect on the whiskey will be slow. Frankly, I've never had a bottle of bourbon/whiskey that I thought 'faded' after opening, and I just finished recently some I opened 5 or so years ago.
    Tim

  3. #3
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Camden, TN
    Posts
    181

    Re: Question about long term storage

    Thanks Tim,

    That is good to know. One other question if you do not mind. Whether a bottle is opened or sealed, is there any special storage requirements to keep it drinkable such as keeping it away from light or refrigeration?

    I collected wine for years and wine is not as forgiving as distilled spirits apparantly are. If you purchased a bottle where you did not know its provenance, the fact that the bottle was sealed did not mean it was not ruined.
    When re-arranged, the letters in "whiskey" spell "key wish," those in "spirits" spell "sip it sir," and those in "moonshine" spell "in no homes."

  4. #4
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,394

    Re: Question about long term storage

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy Hightower View Post
    ...is there any special storage requirements to keep it drinkable such as keeping it away from light or refrigeration?
    Spirits are indeed very forgiving compared to wine. A minimal amount of protection from light and temperature extremes should be all the spirit requires for decades of storage. In fact, if you are a collector, the amount of care you would use to protect the label and wax/foil tops should be care enough for the spirits inside. Also, keeping the closure tight to prevent overly much air interaction is good. Some screw-ons can use a bit of tightening for the long haul.

    Once a bottle has been sampled down some, if you wish to go long with it the spirits can be transferred to a smaller bottle with minimal headroom and the clock will tick slowly on it. I've posted about storing samples in 4oz bottles , which you may find interesting.

    The main vulnerability for spirits seems to be corks. If they are overly loose they can allow too much interaction, but they also can impart similar types of "corking" from infected or decaying cork as wines can get. Prevailing wisdom is to not allow the spirits to rest against the cork (no side storage). Some like to wet the cork occasionally by holding the bottle upside down for a few seconds, others feel it's better not to.

    Bottom line, some of the best bourbon you could ever taste has been in the bottle for decades. Jerry Dalton recently wrote that much of the old fashioned character many of us favor is due to years of slow change in the bottle, not changes in distilling over the years. This is not a commonly held view, but he has strong credentials.

    Roger
    Last edited by Rughi; 12-01-2007 at 01:15.

  5. #5
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Camden, TN
    Posts
    181

    Re: Question about long term storage

    Thanks Rughi and Tim,

    That was the kind of info I was looking for.
    When re-arranged, the letters in "whiskey" spell "key wish," those in "spirits" spell "sip it sir," and those in "moonshine" spell "in no homes."

  6. #6
    Moderator and Bourbonian Of The Year 2014
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Brisbane Australia
    Posts
    2,821

    Re: Question about long term storage

    Several of the bottles I picked up whilst overseas are unavailable in Australia, so I tend to pour them lightly, drink them very slowly, and not have them all that frequently (maybe one pour a month). The oldest open bottles are from the UK in October 2004. None taste any different to my recollection of how they tasted three years ago. For the record, my open bottles from this trip are Old Rip Van Winkle 10yo, Old Rip Van Winkle 13yo Rye and Buffalo Trace. All are sitting at somwhere between 1/3 and 1/2 level.

  7. #7
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    374

    Re: Question about long term storage

    You can keep a closed bottle good for decades but there is a turning point that the drink getting less tastier or gets bad,when that is?..time will tell.Never put it away laying like wine,the alcohol can solve the glue the cork is attached to the lid.An open bottle stays good for a considerable time but the more oxygen comes in,the lesser the taste will be.Whiskydistillers and collectors advise to finish a bottle quick when there`s only a quarter left.
    Eric.
    Netherlands

  8. #8
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    867

    Re: Question about long term storage

    In my experience, the nose deteroriates much faster than the taste, when it comes to opened bottles. In extreme cases this happens already after a month or so.

    The taste, however, remains unchanged. I have no idea why this is.
    Delighted to see you if you can find me!

  9. #9

    Re: Question about long term storage

    hi there, i live in Southern Ontario and collect unopened whisky bottles. Is it ok to store these bottles in my celler where the temperatures range significantly thoughout the year? I've never actually measured the temperature in my celler but the outside temperature can reach as low as -30 degrees celcius in winter and go as high as 35 degrees celcius in the summer.

  10. #10
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    374

    Re: Question about long term storage

    Quote Originally Posted by Hedmans Brorsa View Post
    In my experience, the nose deteroriates much faster than the taste, when it comes to opened bottles. In extreme cases this happens already after a month or so.

    The taste, however, remains unchanged. I have no idea why this is.
    Aetheric oils vaporise quicker when exposed to more oxygen as the bottle gets emptier,my expierience is that if a bottle is only a quarter full the whisky starts getting a lesser taste.No problem it is an excuse to have one more.
    Eric.
    Netherlands

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. The term "Presidentīs reserve"
    By Hedmans Brorsa in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 07-25-2005, 06:19
  2. Bourbon: a long term outlook?
    By tdelling in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 08-05-2003, 16:05

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top