Keeping whiskey in a dark cabinet or basement will help it last longer. Temperature variation and air oxidize the whiskey. These chemical reactions change the whiskey’s flavor and character. But transferring whiskey to a smaller bottle will ensure the same quality. Here are some other tips to preserve whiskey. We hope you’ll find them useful. Here’s the list of factors that affect the shelf life of whiskey. All of them contribute to its flavor and character.
Unopened whiskey lasts indefinitely
It is not entirely possible to keep a bottle of whiskey unopened forever, but there are some ways to extend its shelf life. For example, the airtight seal can prevent the whiskey from evaporating, but that doesn’t mean it won’t change taste as it ages. In fact, whiskey that has never been opened can last more than two years if properly stored. If you can avoid exposure to sunlight, however, you can increase the whiskey’s shelf life.
While most drinks and foods spoil fast, whiskey is typically kept for longer periods of time. The chemical components of whiskey slowly break down with time. The longer you wait to consume it, the lower its taste will be. The optimal storage temperature is around fifteen to twenty degrees Celsius, but a root cellar is an excellent choice as well. It is important not to repeatedly heat up whiskey. If you keep it in a very cold room, the whiskey may turn cloudy, but it will clear up once the bottle returns to room temperature.
Air oxidizes whiskey
As a whisky connoisseur, you’ve probably wondered about the effects of air on whisky. As the air interacts with the alcohol molecules, oxidation occurs. Over time, the oxidation process changes the flavor of whiskey. It can also produce unwanted effects like a sulphury note. This change can be particularly noticeable in sulphur-tainted whiskies and newmakes.
However, you can limit the effects of air on whisky by decanting it. If you have a distillery tour, you’ll probably have some small bottles that you can reuse for whisky decanting. If you don’t have these, you can also clean beer bottles and use them as whisky decanters. Beer bottles tend to contain less air than whisky bottles, which means less oxidation.
Temperature variation can catalyze chemical reactions within whiskey
The flavoring compounds in whiskey, such as lactones, play an important role in oak-aged spirits, such as bourbon. Many of these compounds are also known to be catalyzed by acidic metal ions and enzymes. The authors of this paper discuss the minor impact of acid catalysis on volatile ester hydrolysis. They cite several key chemical kinetic works that discuss the role of acid in a variety of reactions.
Light and temperature variation both promote the chemical reactions within whiskey. Temperature variation in particular can change the esters found in whiskey, and alter its flavor. Although whiskey won’t spoil if kept in a refrigerator, it should be kept at a constant temperature of 59 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. While the alcohol will lose flavor and aroma if stored in a freezer, it won’t harm you. However, alcohol kept in a warm environment can oxidize faster and change flavors over time. While drinking a whiskey that’s over a year old is not harmful, it is not recommended, as it is likely to change in flavor.
Transferring whiskey to a smaller container
Many whiskey aficionados transfer their whiskey to smaller containers for drinking. This process preserves the whiskey’s flavor and protects it from oxygenation. However, this method has one disadvantage: more air in a bottle will cause the whiskey to oxidize faster. Ideally, you should transfer whiskey to a smaller bottle after it has reached roughly one-quarter of its original volume. After you have transferred your whiskey to a smaller bottle, you should cap it with a decanter stopper or screw top.
If you’re concerned about oxidation and want to keep your whisky at its best for years to come, decanting it into smaller glass bottles is a good option. However, it doesn’t take long to decant a single bottle of whiskey. Using a whisky funnel will help you achieve the perfect transfer. It will also make pouring easier. Whiskey can oxidize easily when it comes in contact with light.
Discarding whiskey if it develops an odd or funny smell
Old whiskey should be thrown out when it begins to smell bad. However, before you throw it out, you should first try it to see if it’s safe to drink. If it’s mild and pleasant, it’s probably still fine to drink, but if it has an off taste or a funny odor, you should toss it. Whiskey can go bad if certain contaminants have been introduced into it or if it has been exposed to air for a long time. Luckily, whiskey can still be used as a drink, if you are sure the taste isn’t too bad.
If you find sediment at the bottom of the bottle, it’s probably unfiltered. If you notice sediment, don’t drink it right away. The sediment can be dangerous and affect the flavor of your whiskey. If you do happen to find particles in your whiskey, give it a sip first to check if you like the taste. If it smells funny or has a sour odor, you should discard it immediately.