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Did You Know That Whisky Can Go Off?

Did you know that whisky can go off? It is extremely unlikely to ever happen and if you store your whisky correctly then it should be drinkable for many years.

The shelf life of whisky once opened tends to be around a year. Once a bottle is open, changes happen slowly, the alcohol begins to evaporate first and overtime this will create a smoother taste and texture. As the whisky is consumed and the bottle becomes emptier, the drink will come into contact with more air causing the flavours to deteriorate over time.

Even if you come back to an opened bottle of whisky after a couple of years, it will be perfectly fine to drink as long as you have stored it correctly, it just may not taste quite as strong and flavourful as it once was. The only way for whisky to go off is if the contact with the air has caused the flavours to become undrinkable, or if something has entered the bottle while it has been open can affect the flavour and could also introduce bacteria which can make you ill.

To store whisky you need to keep the bottle in a dark location away from sunlight to help deter heat from sunlight evaporating the liquid as well as creating discolouration. You will also need to keep the bottle in an upright position - this is due to the cork for whisky bottles being designed for multiple uses, so are a little looser which would cause leakage if the bottle is left on its side.

If you open a bottle that you intend to drink within six months, then, as long as you keep it in a tightly closed bottle away from light and heat sources, it should remain fine for drinking with little change in quality. 

If you are looking to store whisky long-term, then you will need to take other factors into consideration to ensure the safety of your drink. With open bottles they will need to be kept in a much cooler area to stop any chance of evaporation and to keep the flavours natural. If you are storing them for collection purposes you will have to avoid putting whisky bottles in places with too much humidity as the damp environment can cause the labels to go mouldy, which will damage your chances of a higher resale value.

If you want to start your own whisky collection, have a look at our whisky selection here

Written by Oliver Partington