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Does Whiskey Go Bad ?

does whiskey go bad

‘I followed my heart and It led me to Whiskey’. Does it happen to you? Well, I think,  brands like Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey, Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey, Canadian Club Whiskey,  Buchanan’s Scotch Whiskey simply steal the show and so most of them always keeps my mini bar tasteful and  gorgeous.

But, I used to wonder sometimes, if whiskey goes bad or not, because it is said that whiskey doesn’t age once bottled and sealed. Also,  the market research  says that The age of whiskey is determined by the time between distillation and bottling. Whiskey does not mature in the bottle.(reference link 1)

Moreover, as from my experience an unopened bottle from the 2000’s opened recently is still as fine as new, it tastes just as a newly purchased bottle of whiskey. And so I can say, it can last till decades

But, if you consider the studies,  there are several factors which make wiskey indefinite are gathered further in this article so let’s dive into some more information on whiskey. 

Warning Signs That Your Whiskey Has Gone Bad

Although it is said that whiskey doesn’t really go bad, I witnessed some signs which will make it very easy for you to determine whether your bottle of wiskey is safe to drink or whether you should throw it away. 

As I once left the opened bottle unattended for weeks on the kitchen shelf without proper storage measures, which led to a discomposed cork and a very bad or weird odour from the bottle. The cork eventually develops mould on it and also forms some white floating substance. 

But that white substance formed because the wIskey isn’t filtered. So, did I throw the bottle, Well, no. At this stage, you can Just strain the white substance and drink until and unless it has a colour change or a weird smell.  If that happens, it will eventually taste different, and the quality will start to degrade, so if you notice any of the above warning signs, then you should probably discard it or buy a new one. 

When Does Open Whiskey Go Bad? 

As said, whiskey doesn’t really go bad. If it is open and stored properly, then it will go for a longer period of time than a poorly stored bottle. The process of whiskey getting spoiled is very slow, it will gradually start to come in contact with oxygen-rich air and the process of oxidation will start and make the alcohol content in the bottle evaporate, which will make the alcohol taste a little bit different than a new bottle but thankfully! This process takes decades to take place.

When Does Unopened Whiskey Go Bad ? 

However, I think, people like me, keeping the mini bards at home can look forward to storing wiskey as well. So, if you wish to store unsipped whiskey like me, always rember that, storing the whiskey is the main key as that can even affect a perfectly sealed bottle to let some air inside and then oxidation will happen. This can also lead to a little change in the taste of whiskey.  And the tips to store an unopened bottle of whiskey are the same as an opened bottle. Here they are!

An unopened bottle of whiskey stays fine almost indefinitely if you’ve stored it right. Though the survey conducted by Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS)shows that the most number of buyers are millennials and they use whiskeys for parties and occasions so they don’t really have to store their wiskey. (Reference link 2)

Tips To Store Whiskey 

What happens If you Have Expired Wiskey ?

It is said that wiskey doesn’t expire but after years of keeping it, you drink it and it doesn’t taste as good as new or it tastes a little off than the regular then it is time to buy a new bottle and discard this one.  It will not harm your health, but it is said by Colin Blake, Moonshine University’s Director of Spirits Education that once it is opened you should finish it within the time span of six months. (reference link 3)


Q1. Is whiskey still good after 40 years?
Ans. If the bottle is not opened, sealed and stored properly then it is good for decades. The unopened bottle is said to have an indefinite shelf life.

Q2. How long can you keep a bottle of unopened whiskey?
Ans. If stored right then it will be good for a year or minimum six months. Because after that it will show alters in its taste

Reference Links 

1. Market Research: : whiskey is determined by the time between distillation and bottling.
2. Distilled Spirits Council of United Nation: Revenue From Whisky Consumption
3. Moonshine University: Colin Blake On Whisky

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