Storing whisky in the carton

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Bob & Jill
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Storing whisky in the carton

Postby Bob & Jill » Fri Jul 28, 2006 2:27 am

We have read with interest the postings on: “How long does a bottle of whisky last once opened” and ”Taste preservation” under Questions & Answers.
Most answers discuss the need to keep excessive air out of the bottle by decanting into smaller bottles when the level goes down. Also, temperature has been discussed—not too much heat. I only found one reference to “storing it in a dark place” ---thanks Puck

From: PuckJunkie Jul 25, 06: “1) Keep it corked 2) Store it in a cool place 3) Store it in a dark place - the box works well
4) Keep your roommate/partner/pet with excellent taste from drinking it and replacing consumed liquid with water”

I just recently read Kevin Erskine’s storage recommendation in his Instant Expert’s Guide to Single Malt Scotch:
“Once opened and exposed to air, however, whisky MAY degrade…dependent on the whisky and the storage conditions. …The carton is more than just pretty packaging. …If you are not storing your whisky in an enclosed bar or cupboard, any single malt you purchase should be stored in its carton.”

I find this a bit of a shame because we get visual enjoyment of the various shapes of whisky bottles and the various colors of the whiskies in the clear bottles.
I now have noticed that most Islay distillers appear to want to protect their single malt by using dark bottles and wonder why most of the other distillers don’t.

Does anyone know if it is safe to keep opened whisky in these dark colored bottles out on an open shelf?
Judging from the photos of various whisky collections under “Whisky Chat- Your Whisky Pictures Wanted”, many of you out there store your whisky in cartons as well as in bottles on open shelves. We now do a little of both as well as put the dark Islay bottles out front to protect the clear ones in the back.

Bob & Jill

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Postby dram_time » Fri Jul 28, 2006 5:52 am

Hello Bob and Jill

To be honest, I’m not so sure it makes that much difference. My open bottles last no longer than a month each, and although there is some change in the taste, it is never that much. I find the taste changes most, and generally for the worst during the last quarter of the bottle, and I try to drink this bit the fastest !!!

If you were keeping whisky for more than a few months, then I suggest you keep it in the box/carton and UNOPENED. If you are getting problems with open whisky, try buying smaller bottles, opening smaller amounts of bottles and every ones favourite…drink faster.


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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Jul 28, 2006 6:06 am

I wouldn't expose a bottle of whisky to too much heat or direct sunlight, but otherwise I don't think it's too big a worry. Beer is bottled in dark glass, and should never be exposed to sunlight, because compounds in hops break down with exposure to UV to produce that characteristic skunky aroma. Whisky doesn't contain hops. I think that if normal exposure conditions were really a problem, most whiskies would be in brown glass, as most beers are. Green glass is ineffective in blocking UV, which is why every skunky beer you've ever had has been from a green bottle.

It might be interesting to know whether whiskies reported here as "oxidized" or otherwise spoiled have been stored in their tubes, or exposed to ambient light. I don't recall hearing anything about such, and so doubt that it is a problem. I do recall someone here saying that exposure to light can cause caramel coloring to fade, leaving the whisky's natural color; a bit, perhaps, like waking up next to someone for the first time without makeup. Oh the horror!

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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:07 am

I don't store whisky in tubes because I find it useful to be able to see how full or empty various bottles are. I don't believe light makes any difference at all to the whisky. I drink all my whiskies within a year of opening and tend to drink the second half quite quickly.

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Postby bamber » Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:23 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:....; a bit, perhaps, like waking up next to someone for the first time without makeup. Oh the horror!

I know what you mean - I never feel comfortable, without a little blusher at least Image

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