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Oxidize That!

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@Nolinske
Nolinske started a discussion

I'm looking for a general rule or guideline that you use in regard to how long to keep a bottle. I know from research the basic concept of oxidation, but I am not sure how long you are able to keep a 3/4, 1/2 or 1/4 full bottle before the effects of oxidation set in and destroy the character of the whiskey. I know from experience that the flavors tend to become somewhat dull (lacking the "zip" to quote another discussion hehe) when you leave a 1/4 full bottle for even just a month or two.

11 years ago

12 replies

@olivier
olivier replied

@Nolinske For the moment, I have dozens of open bottles, in various states of emptiness, and my general experience is that oxidation makes each bottle taste better than when I first opened it. Mind you my bottles are all kept in a dark cool environment.

11 years ago 0

@two_bitcowboy

I track the open and finish dates on my bottles. A few (not many) have become finicky at about the 18-month point, but generally agree with Olivier. I wish I had documented the one peated whisky that failed miserably after about 8 months of being open. I no longer have it, but that seems to be a rare occurrence from my observations.

11 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor replied

@olivier, storage in a cool environment is key. I am certain that exposure to too much heat rapidly accelerated deteriouration in a number of my bottles. I gas everything now, and the results have been very good.

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

@JeffC
JeffC replied

I tend not to worry about it that much with American and Canadian whisky since I find that it benefits from oxidization of a few weeks or months, it is relatively inexpensive, and I tend to finish it within a year of being opened anyway. With Scottish whisky, I am a bit more concerned and try to finish up bottles within a few months.

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

@hunggar
hunggar replied

So many variables. Aside from the general guidelines which encourage us to store in a relatively cool environment, there are other considerations. For example, Different whiskies deteriorate at different rates. Some can last for months and remain seemingly unaffected, while others show signs of oxidization after only a few days. Also, some drams actually benefit (IMHO) from the process, while others tend to lose their kick. A lot of things to consider. Gassing the whisky with CO2 and storing it in a cool environment will undoubtedly help slow the process though.

11 years ago 0

@Nolinske
Nolinske replied

I store my whiskey in a closed cabinet in my air conditioned house. Besides using the co2, are there any other steps I can take to help preserve the whiskey?

11 years ago 0

@MCM
MCM replied

Just drink it, man!!

11 years ago 3Who liked this?

@valuewhisky
valuewhisky replied

I go with @MCM's last comment - if I care enough that I'm worried about it, I just make sure to drink it! I have never let a good bottle last more than 4 or 5 months open. Mixer whiskies have lasted a lot longer, though.

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Nolinske
Nolinske replied

@valuewhisky that makes sense I was just concerned about some of the nicer bottles that I tend to save for special occassions but I guess once a bottle is open no matter how u preserve it its best not to keep them for multiple years because it sounds like bottles will not typically keep their proper flavor for that long

11 years ago 0

@WHSKYLVR
WHSKYLVR replied

Other things to consider are the "headspace" of the bottle, not just the oxygen. The more open space above your liquid means more opportunity for the volatiles (like the alcohol) to start evaporating. With a good cork in place, or a stopper if you use a decanter, most of this collects back down, but why risk it...I try to move to a smaller clean bottle or decanter once the level starts to get low.

Another approach, I can't remember where I read it, but someone said they throw a "bottle finishing party" once they get below half way on a bottle. At least this will make you very popular with your friends!

11 years ago 3Who liked this?