In the United States, 26 percent of Americans who enjoy liquor say that whiskey is their beverage of choice. Have you built a collection of whiskey over the years yourself?
It’s great that you’ve taken an interest in this popular spirit. And why wouldn’t you? But it’s also important to make sure you’re storing it the correct way if you want to keep it at its highest quality and continue its great taste longer.
Don’t know how to store whiskey properly? Below we’ve outline four effective tips to keep in mind.
1. Avoid Heat and Direct Sunlight
This is one of the most crucial whiskey facts to remember when it comes to storing your favorite bottle of single-barrel bourbon or sour mash. Exposing your whiskey to direct sunlight for a long period of time is a big no-no.
The sun’s UV rays will dull the deep brown color of the whiskey. To make matters worse, though, it also breaks down compounds in the whiskey and can turn it rancid. Remember, most whiskey bottles are made of clear glass, so there’s no protection from the sun if you store it in an exposed area.
Speaking of clear glass, did you know there’s no need to bother with a decanter to pour your whiskey? Yes, pouring wine in a decanter is beneficial, as its reaction with the air can improve the taste. But the same doesn’t happen with whiskey, though. We recommend keeping whiskey in an airtight glass bottle or just in its original bottle.
Heat exposure is also not ideal when it comes to storing whiskey. Don’t keep it in a cupboard that sits above your oven, for example. The heat will rise and cause the liquid to evaporate over time. And who wants to waste their whiskey?
2. Keep It Out of the Freezer
It’s clear that you shouldn’t let your whiskey get too hot or be exposed to the sun for long periods of time, but the opposite is also true. Storing your whiskey in the freezer is also not a great idea.
Admittedly, freezing your whiskey, or any spirit, for that matter, isn’t as potentially damaging as allowing it to overheat or be exposed to the sun. However, freezing has a tendency to dull the flavor of whiskey, especially if you pull the bottle straight out of the freezer and try to drink it immediately.
For the best flavor experience, you’re better off storing your whiskey at room temperature. Remember, you can always serve it on the rocks if you prefer a cold drink at the end of the day.
3. Store Bottles Upright
Because wine is generally stored horizontally, many people assume that all alcoholic beverages, including whiskey, also need to be stored this way. That’s not the case, though.
Your whiskey bottles ought to be stored upright. This storage tip doesn’t affect the taste of the drink, necessarily, but it has a significant effect on the cork.
When you store wine horizontally, the cork stays wet and won’t be prone to cracking. On the other hand, when you store whiskey the same way, especially a higher proof bottle like Giant Straight Rye Whiskey, the liquor will actually degrade the cork and leave you with a very expensive leak on your hands. This is especially likely to happen if you leave the bottle tipped on its side for a long time.
4. Pour Leftovers into a Smaller Bottle
What should you do if you don’t finish a full bottle of whiskey? Do you just pop the bottle back in the cabinet (away from the sun and standing upright, of course)? Not so fast.
The best way to preserve your whiskey is to pour any leftovers into a smaller bottle if you have one on hand. Ideally, the liquid should almost reach the top of the bottle. This helps to protect it from oxygenation and preserve the flavor.
What about if you’ve only had one drink out of your bottle of whiskey? Do you need to go to the trouble of tracking down a slightly smaller bottle?
If you’ve just had one or two drinks, you don’t have to worry about this tip. However, in general, if the bottle contains a quarter or less of its original volume, transferring the whiskey to a smaller bottle is ideal.
Upgrade Your Whiskey Storage Today
Do you need to make some adjustments to your whiskey preservation practices? Keep these tips in mind so you can get the most out of your collection and avoid wasting or weakening your spirits.
If you want to add some more great whiskeys to your stash, we have plenty of delicious options for you to choose from at Gulf Coast Distillers. Check out our selection today to learn more.