Theoretically, whisky bottles are able to last almost indefinitely. Although, the correct shelf life of any bottle is dependent on how well the bottle has been stored. This is mainly influenced by many other factors that come into play like what type of air is stored around the whisky bottle. To become a proper whisky collector, it is important to know how long a bottle of scotch whisky will last and how to store it properly. Here are some simple steps to take in order to become a pro in whisky storing. Whisky will oxidate.
Step 1. How To Preserve Sealed Whisky Bottles Longer
Storing a bottle of whisky requires the knowledge of whisky science. The latter involves controlling the temperature, the level of light, humidity, and even air. As soon as a bottle of whisky is brought home it needs to be stored correctly even though the bottle has not yet been opened. It does not matter what type of whisky it is, as long as it is stored correctly, such as a cabinet, wine cellar, or someplace dry and cool.
Whisky should be stored upright, below room temperature, out of direct sunlight, and in an environment that has low humidity such as a cupboard or wine cellar. Oxidation is a common problem with opened bottles of whisky. However, if the bottle is unopened, decanting the whisky is unnecessary.
Same Taste Same whisky
The maturing process of leaving whisky in a cask to age before being bottled is similar to most spirits. That said, whisky is dissimilar to wine since it doesn’t age once it is bottled in comparison to wine which continues to age. In other words, the flavor profiles of the whisky will not change over time. If you are beginning your whisky collection, keep in mind that by the time you buy the bottle of whisky, it has already been pre-aged. A twelve-year bottle of scotch will remain a twelve-year bottle of scotch, even though it is opened one hundred years later and so forth.
Drinking or Selling your whisky
The process of the whisky’s taste changing begins once it has been opened. Due to oxygen rushing into the bottle, a reaction begins. Hence, there is little reason for leaving a bottle of whisky unopened unless the bottle of whisky is intended to be sold or consumed on a special occasion. Storing a bottle of whisky properly may improve its resale value, but only due to the quality remaining the same. That’s why it is wise to always take good care of a bottle of whisky.
Step 2. How To Properly Take Care Of Unsealed whisky Bottles
Elements to keep your whisky away from
As it was mentioned before, your whisky’s taste changes once it is unsealed and opened. This is due to the oxidation of the whisky causing its taste to worsen. Oxidation cannot entirely be prevented from happening, but there are steps that can be taken to slow down the process. Steps such as getting an extra cap to cover the cork. Indeed, the temperature is the most crucial thing to monitor and the extra cap will help to prevent the whisky from evaporating. If the bottle of whisky has a screw cap, then regularly retighten the bottle by hand to prevent any future loosening of the bottle cap over time, which will lead to the whisky progressively evaporating.
Store away from air
The two steps mentioned above will stop air from entering an open bottle of scotch, which would oxidize your whisky. Any air in the bottle, whether it be existing air or new air that has entered the whisky, will react with the alcohol and slowly change its flavor. Simply put, depending on what type of taste you prefer in the whisky, its oxidation could be a good thing. However, over a long period of time, the original flavor and color will be lost, which indeed, most people would prefer avoiding.
Storing your Whisky
If you want to avoid oxidizing your whisky and altering the flavor from its original taste, it is best to drink your whisky when opened. An unsealed whisky bottle will last a lot longer and even up to 5 years if the whisky is more than half full. Sadly, if the whisky bottle is only half full, the shelf life expectancy will decrease to 1 or 2 years. However, if you would like the whisky to last longer, the best advice would be to put it in a small glass bottle. That way, it will reduce the amount of air that interacts with the alcohol. This method will help you keep the taste of your whisky intact.
Enjoy your Whisky
With these simple beginner steps, you now know how to store a bottle of whisky to keep its best quality and flavor. You will be able to continue with your own collection of rare and exquisite whisky brands, without having to worry about flavor changes or losses in value.