How To Tell If Whiskey Has Gone Bad?

When determining whether whiskey is old, it’s best to start by examining the bottle itself. Many movies show characters keeping their whiskey in a window. This is fine for short periods, but the alcohol will lose its quality over time. Even though it will be safe to drink, the quality of whiskey will be diminished. To ensure a fresh and delicious batch, store it properly in a dark, airtight container.


While whisky doesn’t go wrong when kept in its original container, it will likely change color, smell, and appearance. Sugar crystallizing and curdling are other signs that the liquor has gone wrong. If you aren’t sure, you can always try a small sample to see if it’s still good. If you’re unsure, try tasting it a little to see if it has a different smell.

How to Tell If Whiskey Has Gone Bad?

There are two main signs if you wonder how to tell if whiskey has gone wrong. The first one is sediment on the bottom of the bottle. Although this may be a red flag, it doesn’t mean that the whiskey has gone wrong. This sediment is simply a sign that the whiskey hasn’t been appropriately filtered when filled from the cask. The whiskey has likely been exposed to too much sunlight if you see this.

The second way to tell if whiskey has gone wrong is to smell it. This is a good indicator that the liquor is spoiled. While whisky won’t go wrong if appropriately stored, opening it will introduce environmental factors. Luckily, this doesn’t mean it will be toxic, but a spoiled bottle will smell and look bad. This is why it’s essential to open the bottle and smell it to know if it’s spoiled.

Whiskey is not an evil substance. The only time it goes wrong is if it’s not stored correctly. If you’ve purchased the whiskey in the 90s, it’s probably not good quality. But there are several other ways to determine if the whiskey has gone wrong. The first step is to check if it’s too old. If the bottle is too old, it’s likely because it wasn’t appropriately filtered.

If the whiskey has sediment or a bad smell, you should dispose of it immediately. You should also check if the cork has a damaged or cracked area. If it has sediment, don’t drink it, and it will ruin the flavor and the color of the whiskey. If the cork is cracked, you’ll have to discard the whiskey. If the cork is damaged, the flavor will also be ruined.

If the whiskey is too old, you need to check the cork for leaks and mold. If appropriately stored, whiskey will not go wrong, depending on the cork type. If the cork has been exposed to oxygen, it will deteriorate. If you are concerned about the flavor, you can try a small sample to determine if the whiskey is not spoiled. This way, you can avoid wasting money and spoiling your alcohol.

What Is The Shelf Life Of Whiskey?

The first thing you should know about the shelf life of whiskey is that it does not mature once it has been bottled. The casks are used for the entire aging process. Because of this, there is no use in attempting to keep it alive for as long as is humanly possible. It’s not going to get much better any time soon.

That is to say. If you purchased a bottle of whiskey in the 1970s and maintained it correctly, the whiskey will likely taste nearly the same in the years 2000 and 2030. I chose the word almost because, even if a container is fully sealed, it will eventually allow some air into the bottle over time. In addition, having access to fresh air modifies the flavor of alcoholic beverages.

While some producers include a best-by date on each bottle, this is usually done as a formality or to increase the faith of potential customers in the product. In any case, whiskey that has not been opened will last for a very long time. As previously said, the taste may alter very slightly with time, but it will not spoil. Once the bottle is opened, the whiskey is exposed to the air, causing the process of flavor to change speed slightly more quickly. And at some point, the shift in flavor will be so noticeable that you may discover the terrible and decide to discard it for the sake of quality.

However, there is no way of knowing when this will occur in the future. Whatever the case, it is almost transparent that the more alcohol present in the bottle, the slower flavor degradation will be. That implies that if you have a fifth of a bottle remaining and it has been sitting in your cupboard for two years, it is unlikely to taste anything like it did when it was first opened. For this reason, if the whiskey in the original bottle is less than half full, I propose pouring it into a smaller bottle instead.


How To Storage Whiskey?

Whiskey should be stored similarly to other base liquor, such as vodka or rum. Keep the bottle in a fabulous, dark location away from direct sunlight and heat sources. However, while neither of these variables will cause the whiskey to rot, they may negatively impact its taste. As a result, you should avoid excessive heat and frequent temperature changes.

When deciding where to store the bottle, the pantry or a wine cellar are excellent options, but the kitchen is also acceptable. Another popular alternative is to keep the bottle in a liquor cabinet but make sure it is not on display where sunlight might reach it. About wine cellars, make sure to store the whiskey in an upright position, especially if the bottle has been corked previously.

While the horizontal position is ideal for keeping wine, whiskey contains far more alcohol, and the cork will not be pleased if it is submerged in whiskey for an extended period. Either the cork will begin to disintegrate a little, the flavor of the whiskey will be altered, or both may occur. If the bottle has a screw-on cap, this is less of a concern.

It is critical that you properly close and seal the bottle each time you put it back into storage after you have opened it for the first time. And to maintain the highest level of quality, use the original cap or cork. If that isn’t a possibility, a wine stopper should do the work, especially if you don’t plan on keeping the bottle for more than a few months after it has been opened.

How to Make Sure Your Whiskey Bottles Don’t Go Bad?

Because whiskey only goes rancid when exposed to direct light, extreme or fluctuating temperatures, or oxygen, it’s simple to avoid by properly storing it. This entails keeping it cool from direct sunlight and minimal temperature swings. Whiskey bottles should also be stored upright. This is because storing them flat (as heat causes the whiskey to expand) puts the 40% ABV alcohol in constant contact with the cork, causing it to degrade, dissolve, loosen, and let oxygen in.

Leaving your bottles upright for years, on the other hand, means the cork will totally dry out and chip, crumble, become loose, and allow air back in. As a result, you must spin your bottles regularly to keep the corks from drying out.

How Long Does Whiskey Keep If It Isn’t Opened?

An unopened bottle of whiskey will remain indefinitely if you don’t drop it and accidently open and drink it and if you store it away from its three natural enemies. But don’t get too comfortable just yet, which means that it will not spoil. We also need to know how long it takes for an unopened bottle of whiskey to evaporate.

Even though a bottle has an airtight seal, evaporation happens because the seal is rarely 100 percent airtight, leaving room for your whiskey to escape. However, because the seal is still relatively airtight, evaporation will be a sluggish process (even slower than oxidation). The closer the seal is to 100 percent airtight, the slower the evaporation will be.

When your whiskey has been in storage for a few years, and you’re working your way through the bottles you’ve already opened and those farther down the opening order, the quantity that evaporates is bearable. If you’re a whiskey collector who wants to keep it for a long time, you’ll have a problem. After ten years, evaporation will be visible, and after 30–40 years of storage, the filling level will have significantly fallen.

If your bottle has a twist-on lid, the process will be considerably slower, and if it’s a modern wax-dipped container, the evaporation will be virtually non-existent. You’ll have an issue if your bottle is sealed with a cork, even if it’s a modern bottle with corks designed to seal better and slow evaporation. To avoid evaporation, make your bottles airtight to the point of being completely airtight. You can accomplish this by affixing a second seal. This can be accomplished by placing a second cap on top of the cork or dipping your bottle in wax. Still, these methods can harm the bottle and the underlying seal, lowering their value and defeating the purpose of keeping them rather than consuming them right away.

How Long Does Whiskey Last After It’s Been Opened?

Opened whiskey can last from six months to two years, depending on the headspace. An inch or two of headspace will have little effect on the whiskey’s taste for at least a year, but if three-quarters of the bottle is air, the quality will deteriorate in about a month.

As a result, it’s ideal for drinking a bottle of whiskey within a few months of opening it to get the most out of it. This also means using the only-open-the-number-of-bottles-you-can-finish-in-four-months guideline. You should compute the maximum number of bottles to have open at any given time.


As you can see, the whiskey will not go wrong if properly stored. Although the alcohol will degrade, the whiskey will still be safe to drink, and you can enjoy it for a few more days. Once it has been opened, it will taste different. A few days before you drink it, you can try a little to ensure it hasn’t gone bad. Then, you can start storing it again in the original bottle.

Before opening a whiskey, it’s essential to check its age. Although its shelf life is indefinite, it can still be years old if you don’t open it. Once it is opened, it will lose color and flavor, and if it isn’t filtered, it will not have a shelf life. So, if you want to drink the whiskey in the future, it’s best to keep it unopened to prevent mold growth.