How To Store Whisky
We often get asked about correct ways to store whisky bottles and how long they can be stored once opened. Let us guide you through everything you need to take into consideration when storing your precious drams.
Storing your whisky
We recommend that you store your whisky bottles in a cool dry place, out of the reach of direct sunlight. This is for two reasons; 1. Sunlight causes the whisky to lighten in colour 2. Sunlight will fade the label of the whisky, not what you want if you are a die-hard whisky collector.
There are many storage options available for whisky collectors such as drink cabinets, drink globes and racks. These can be a convenient and appealing way to store and display your prized collection.
Storing unopened bottles
As long as the seal has not been broken or tampered with, and you keep the bottle in a cool dry place as advised above. You'll then be able to keep an unopened bottle of whisky forever.
As previously stated, you should keep your bottle away from the sunlight as ultraviolet rays will cause the colour of your dram and its label to fade. The darker the storage place, the better.
As well as keeping your whisky in the dark, you'll also want to keep your whisky in a relatively cool place where the temperature won't fluctuate too much. If possible, keep your whisky in a space that maintains a temperature of around 15-20°C. Consistency is key as a fluctuation in temperature can cause the spirit to regularly expand and contract. Humidity is also a threat to your dram is it can degrade the label and/or box.
Keep an eye on the condition of the corks of your bottles. If not tended to properly, these corks may start to crack and crumble into your precious whisky! Be sure to keep all bottles of whisky upright. If the cork is constantly in contact with the spirit, the cork will begin to disintegrate over time. No one wants bits of cork floating around in their dram!
They key to keeping a well-maintained cork is by flipping the bottle on its side for a few seconds a couple of times each year and let the spirit come into contact with the cork. This keeps the cork moist and prevents it from becoming too dry and breaking.
Although not a necessity for storage, we certainly recommend a quiet place for consuming.
Storing opened bottles
Once the seal has been broken and a bottle has been opened, the length of time that the whisky within will maintain its original character will decrease. Once air gets into the bottle it starts to change the character of the whisky as it slowly oxidises. The more you drink from the bottle, the more air that is allowed to reach the whisky. This will speed up the rate at which the whisky loses its original character. Your whisky may also begin to evaporate so be sure to drink up once you open your bottle if you want to get the most bang for your buck!
If you have consumed over half of a bottle of whisky, it might be an idea to fill the remaining liquid into a decanter or a smaller bottle. This will help to slow down the oxidation of the dram as there will be less oxygen in this new, smaller container.
Again, we would advise that any opened bottle is kept in a cool, dry place, as this will at least reduce this deterioration in character. Opened and stored correctly, you should be able to keep your whisky stored for several years, but the character may change.