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If there is around half a bottle remaining, you should drink it within six months. If there is a quarter or less left, finish it up within three months.
How To Tell If Whiskey Has Gone Bad
Although whiskey does change over time, whiskey doesn’t go bad. Many whiskey connoisseurs actually enjoy the subtle alterations to taste and aroma that occur as whiskey gets “tired.”
Once opened, whiskey begins to evaporate. Because alcohol evaporates more quickly than water, you may lose some of the alcoholic kick, which results in a smoother more mellow drink.
The changes that happen when air reacts with whiskey are unpredictable – sometimes the whiskey may improve, and other times it may become unpalatable.
The lower the level of whiskey remaining, the faster the changes occur. Here are some things that may indicate your whiskey is over the hill.Check the color – As some of the watery components evaporate, whiskey may become darker and slightly syrupy. If it’s lighter in color, this may indicate it has been exposed to too much sunlight.Taste it – if it is less strong than you’re used to, with noticeable changes in flavor, it is likely old. However, it will be perfectly safe to drink if you still find it to your liking.
Can Old Whiskey Make You Sick?
Whiskey that has become oxidized is not unsafe to drink. It may taste and smell a bit different than normal, but there is no danger in consuming whiskey that is past its best.
How To Store Whiskey
Alcohol has two consistent enemies: Light and air. If your bottle of whiskey is left sealed and kept in darkness, it will last almost indefinitely.
Exposure to sunlight is a big no-no. The UV rays will fade out the color of the whiskey, as well as accelerating its natural decline.
Be aware that corked whiskey, unlike wine, should never be stored on its side. Whiskey corks do not seal as tightly as wine corks and whiskey can and will evaporate or leak through the cork over time.
If your whiskey has a screw cap, make sure you regularly give it a check and retighten the cap, as screw caps can loosen on their own.
After opening, you can protect your whiskey from light by keeping the liquor cabinet closed. Even protected from light, an already opened bottle will suffer from some air exposure, allowing for oxidation, which will alter the flavor of your whiskey.
If you dislike the flavor of oxidized whiskey but would like to store it for a longer period, you can pour it into smaller bottles once opened. This reduces the amount of air inside and helps the whiskey stay good for longer.
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Whiskey lasts best at temperatures a bit cooler than room temperature – about 60-67 F – but at a pinch, room temperature storage will suffice. Avoid any temperature extremes or sudden changes in temperature.