If you are a whiskey lover, then you know that proper storage is key to enjoying your drink. Whiskey can be expensive, so it's important to make sure that you store it in a way that will preserve its flavor and quality. In this article, we will discuss the different ways to store whiskey and the best practices for each method.
We will also provide tips on how to choose the right whiskey storage for your needs. So whether you are just starting out in the whiskey world or you are an experienced connoisseur, read on for information on how to store whiskey like a pro!
Does Whiskey Go Bad?
Does whiskey ever really go "bad"? Strictly speaking, no — as long as the bottle is unopened and stored properly, your whiskey will be just fine. However, that's not to say that it won't change over time. Whiskey is a complex spirit, and its flavor can be affected by everything from the type of barrel it was aged into to the length of time it spends in the bottle. So if you're wondering whether that dusty old bottle of bourbon is still any good, the answer is probably yes.
But, when you leave a bottle of whiskey that has been open in less than ideal conditions, it can absolutely start to taste wrong. This is for a few reasons, which we will get into just a bit later on.
How Whiskey Goes Bad
Whiskey will never truly spoil — as in you will not get ill because you consumed whiskey that has been stored in poor conditions. However, the flavor notes will start to deteriorate, as well as the color in less than ideal conditions. Here is a look at the two biggest culprits: sunlight and oxygen.
Whiskey and Sunlight
Once opened, a bottle of whiskey exposed to direct sunlight will begin to lose its flavor and lighten in color. This is due to the fact that sunlight breaks down the molecular structure of the liquor, causing it to evaporate and become less potent. As a result, it's important to store your whiskey in a dark place, such as a cabinet or closet, to ensure that it remains flavorful and potent.
Whiskey and Oxygen
Oxidation is the enemy of flavor in whiskey. When oxygen interacts with the whiskey, it begins to break down the molecules that give whiskey its distinct taste and smell. After a few months, oxidation will have a noticeably negative impact on the flavor of your whiskey.
The best way to prevent oxidation is to keep your opened bottles of whiskey sealed properly. You can also pour your half-empty bottles into a smaller decanter or bottle to decrease headspace in the bottle and prevent exposure to oxygen. If you take these steps, you can enjoy your whiskey for months after opening the bottle.
How To Store Open Bottles of Whiskey
Once you open a bottle of whiskey, it's important to take steps to preserve its flavor and freshness.
1. Prevent Exposure to Direct Sunlight
Whiskey should be stored in a dark place, such as a cabinet or closet, to prevent the whiskey from being exposed to direct sunlight. Sunlight can break down the molecular structure of whiskey and cause it to evaporate and become less potent.
To keep whiskey away from sunlight, you can store the whiskey bottle in a box or wrap it in foil or paper. You should also avoid storing whiskey near windows or in rooms with strong sunlight.
If you are going to drink whiskey that has been stored in direct sunlight, you should check the color of the whiskey before drinking it. If the whiskey has lost its color, it may have also lost some of its flavors.
2. Prevent Oxidation
To prevent oxidation, whiskey should be stored in a cool, dry place. The best way to keep whiskey from oxidizing is to keep the bottle sealed. You can also pour your half-empty bottles into a smaller decanter or bottle to decrease headspace in the bottle and prevent exposure to oxygen. If you take these steps, you can enjoy your whiskey for months after opening the bottle.
3. Store Bottles at a Consistent Temperature
Whiskey should be stored at a consistent temperature in order to preserve its flavor and freshness. The ideal storage temperature for whiskey is between 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Storing whiskey at a higher or lower temperature can cause the whiskey to evaporate and become less potent. If you are going to drink whiskey that has been stored at an inconsistent temperature, you should check the color of the whiskey before drinking it. If the whiskey has lost its color, it may have also lost some of its flavors.
You can store your whiskey bottles in a wine fridge or cooler to keep them at a consistent temperature. You should also avoid storing whiskey near heat sources, such as radiators or stoves.
4. Store Bottles in the Upright Position
And finally, you have to store your whiskey bottles in upright positions. If you have a wine collection, then you know those bottles are meant to be stored horizontally. This is to keep the cork moist which keeps the seal.
Whiskey, on the other hand, needs to be stored upright. This is because the alcohol content is so high that if the cork were to be in constant contact with the whiskey, it would begin to deteriorate. So keep those bottles standing upright if it's the last thing that you do.
How To Choose the Right Whiskey Storage Solution for Your Unopened Bottles
Now that we've gone over some of the basics of whiskey storage, let's talk about how to choose the right storage solution for your unopened bottles and collectibles. There are many different types of whiskey storage, but here are a few ideas you can use.
Display Them Behind Your Home Bar
One of the best ways to display your whiskey collection is on a home bar. This way, you can show off your bottles to your guests and impress them with your knowledge of whiskey. Home bars come in many different styles and sizes, so you can find one that fits the aesthetic of your home. If you don't have a lot of space for a home bar, you can also use a liquor cabinet or cart.
Get a Display Case
Another great way to display your whiskey bottles is on shelves or in a glass-fronted cabinet. This way, you can see your collection and admire it, but it is also protected from dust and sunlight. If you choose this option, be sure to arrange the bottles so that they are not touching each other.
This will prevent the labels from being torn or ruined. You should also keep your bottles in their box if they came with one to prevent damage or dust from collecting.
Consider Off-Site Storage
Finally, if you have too many bottles to keep track of and not enough space at home for them all, you should look into off-site storage. Just make sure you are choosing an off-site storage facility that offers temperature-controlled units, as well as units without sunlight.
You will also need to keep checking in on your collection regularly in off-site storage, maintaining a thorough inventory so that if anything goes missing you know right away.
What To Do With Whiskey That Is About To Go Bad
If you've got a bottle of whiskey that's about to go bad, don't worry — there are still plenty of ways to enjoy it. One option is to use it as a cooking ingredient. Whiskey can add a unique flavor to sauces, marinades, and desserts. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even try your hand at making your own whiskey-infused dishes.
Another way to make use of old whiskey is to create homemade cleaning solutions. Mixing whiskey with vinegar or baking soda can produce an effective cleaning agent for everything from countertops to jewelry. And if all else fails, you can always pour your whiskey into an empty bottle and give it away as a quirky gift.
You can also throw a party, where you invite your friends to bring their half-drunk bottles and everyone finishes the alcohol that is going to go bad. Or if you want to try your hand at blending, you can pour all the remaining whiskey drams into one decanter, bottle, or even just a mason jar.
Let the flavors meld for a week or two before tasting and adjusting your blend. Or continue to add the drams of bottles you finish for an ever-evolving blend that is purely your own.
So next time your whiskey starts to turn, don't head for the nearest drain — there are still plenty of ways to enjoy it.
How To Store Whiskey: Takeaways
In conclusion, whiskey should be stored in a cool, dark place away from any sources of heat or light. The best way to store whiskey is upright, in a glass-fronted cabinet, or on shelves. If you have whiskey that is about to go bad, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy it, such as using it as a cooking ingredient or making homemade cleaning solutions.
If you are looking for some new bottles to add to your collection, look no further than Oak & Eden. Our whiskies have been shaking up the whiskey world thanks to our special in-bottle finishing technique.
Each bottle of Oak & Eden whiskey contains a specially selected and toasted wooden spire, which adds depth and flavor notes to your Oak & Eden whiskey while it sits in the bottle.
Furthermore, if you have a more adventurous palate for whiskey, consider a bottle from our infused series of whiskey. Our infused whiskies take our spires one step further, infusing them with other flavors like rum, coffee, wine, or vanilla, giving you a whiskey with a unique depth and character that you have to taste to believe.
Whether you like bourbon, rye, or anything in between, we have a bottle that you are going to love right here at Oak & Eden.