Whisky Connosr


Can whisky go off?

0 7

IainVH started a discussion

Yet another novices question I'm afraid. Can an almost empty bottle of whisky go off over time? If so, does the rate differ or is it pretty uniform across all types of whisk(e)y? And finally is there anything that can be done to prevent this happening (apart from drinking the whisky in rapid time, before anyone says!) I recently finished a bottle of Highland Park 12yo and Glenlivet 12yo which had both stood for quite some months with an inch or so left in the bottom and both were very tasteless and lifeless compared to when I opened them. Thanks on advance for your help. Cheers.

12 years ago

7 replies


Generally speaking, I understand once a bottle is down to the last quarter, you should finish the bottle in one go, so next time you get that point, call your friends let them know you have some Whisky that has to be drunk.

Just make sure when you first open a bottle keep it out direct light.

12 years ago 0

Peatpete replied

It certainly isnt a constant thing. I have bottles that have been well under the 1/4 mark for anything up to a year, with no negative effects. Indeed, with a couple of notable examples (Talisker 10 and a single cask bottling of Kilchoman) the last couple of mouthfulls were actualy the best of the bottle. Something that you can do if it concerns you, is to go to a pharmacy and buy a handfull of the small square glass bottles. GIve them a rinse out, and decant the last bit of the bottle into them. That will decrease the interaction with the air, and stop the taste from degrading. Incidentaly, those bottles are also great for transporting samples, if you want to take a range of scotches over to somebodies place to let them try a selection from your range.

12 years ago 1Who liked this?


I've talked with some folks who use a wine pump to take the air out of the bottle every time they open it. I use an inert gas that's heavier than air so the gas layer, once sprayed into the bottle, sits atop the whisky and doesn't allow air to interact and degrade the liquid.

Before I started using the gas some peated whiskies were ones that seemed to change the most.

12 years ago 0

Abunadhman replied

I have 2 decanters (W&C); one holds a a litre, the other about 1/2 litre. All my 750ml. Whiskies are decanted into the larger and when the level gets down to about 1/2 and I intend keeping it for one reason or another (usually a rationing thing of special Whiskies) I transfer it to the the smaller decanter. I have never had a problem, in fact, in the larger decanter Whisky mellows out very nicely indeed.

I never wash the inside of either vessel; I refill as soon as they are empty. The outside, of course is kept sparkling with the ocassional wipe over with a damp cloth but this is purely aesthetic. Sparkling crystal with A'bunadh inside is one of lifes' real treasures.

12 years ago 0

Peatpete replied

@A'bunadhman Not to be pedantic, but just about anything with A'bunadh inside it is gonna qualify as one of lifes treasures.

12 years ago 2Who liked this?