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Does alcohol go bad?

Got some 80 proof stuff that has been in a cabinet for 10-20 years.
Whiskey, vodka, brandy, etc.
The vodka hasn't ever been opened. ( until today )

Still smells right. Is it safe to drink?

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Old 08-03-2007, 05:42 PM
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I'm pretty sure distilled liquor has an infinite shelf life. Vodka, whisky, and brandy qualify.
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Old 08-03-2007, 06:01 PM
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I'll tell you if I go blind...

Anybody else concur?


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Old 08-03-2007, 06:05 PM
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Alcohol does not go "bad", especially if it's kept in a cabinet, sealed and protected from light and oxidation. But, if it was "bad" when it was bottled (ie... Kesslers, Old Grand Dad, Smirnoff) it will be "bad" after years of sitting in the bottle, in other words, "aging" won't help it at all...
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Old 08-03-2007, 06:09 PM
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Once its out of the barrel it doesnt age. Exposure to UV light will not make it better, but as long as its distilled, it won't spoil. It can evaporate, tho, and that would be a shame. Bottoms up!

Last edited by Shuie; 08-03-2007 at 06:12 PM..
Old 08-03-2007, 06:10 PM
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FWIW, brandy is a wine base. It can go bad just like wine can.
Old 08-03-2007, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shuie View Post
FWIW, brandy is a wine base. It can go bad just like wine can.
Some of the most expensive wines are from the 18th century. Don't think Ripple was around then.

Realistically, 20-30 year old wine is perfectly good to drink. I don't think brandy goes bad.
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Last edited by TerryH; 08-03-2007 at 06:20 PM..
Old 08-03-2007, 06:18 PM
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If its been in a bottle since the 18th century, then how could you possibly know if it was bad or not

I worked with a Port snob that waited over 10 years to open a case of something that had gone completely rotgut. I forget what it was, but it was worth a down payment on a house before he opened it.
Old 08-03-2007, 06:36 PM
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What whisky do you have there?
It should be fine. High proof (distilled) alcohol has an infinite shelf life especially if unopened. If it is opened and has a sufficient amount of air in the bottle (half full say) then it can oxidize to some extent. It might make it taste a little different but it won't go bad to the point that there is anything wrong with it that would harm you.
As Shuie said, UV can affect it but it still wouldn't do you any harm to drink it. But if the bottles have been sitting in a cabinet that won't be a concern. He is also correct about it sitting in the bottle. If you bottle a 30 year old Scotch is will always be a bottle of 30 year old Scotch whether it was bottled yesterday or fifteen years ago.
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Old 08-03-2007, 07:08 PM
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I beg to differ.

On the night of my bachelor party, one of my friends broke out a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey from the 1950s - it had been his grandfather's. I was touched by the gesture because in doing so he was essentially paying tribute to the occasion. I was blown away. However, although I had been imbibing all manner of substances up to that point in the evening's festivities, I felt fine - until that whiskey. Shortly after having a couple of shots of that, I got sick. REALLY sick. I can't say for certain whether it was totally blame-able on the whiskey or on all the other debauchery that transpired that evening and maybe the whiskey was the "straw that broke the camel's back", but it certainly didn't help matters.

I'd say in THEORY liquors of this type stay good forever. However, your mileage may vary.
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Old 08-03-2007, 07:09 PM
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I read that once you open a bottle of booze it should be drunk within 1yr.
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Old 08-03-2007, 07:19 PM
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There are very few instances of old whisky going bad due to a reaction with the cork. It works much the same way that a 'corked' wine does, but the advantage the whisky has is that a majority of the time the alcohol kills anything nasty in the cork. As I say, I have heard of isolated instances but they are VERY few and far between. The general assumption that it will be fine hold true 99.9% of the time.

Jeff - I had some Tequila like that once.
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Old 08-03-2007, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerkuld View Post
What whisky do you have there?
I didn't know it was here.
We brought it home.

The whiskey is "Bourbon de Luxe"? Never heard of that.
Looks like it is missing about a shot glass.

The Vodka is a pint of "Gilbey's". To give you an idea of the age, the price tag on top is $2.69. Never been opened.


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Old 08-03-2007, 07:23 PM
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Um, I'm not much for hard alcohol, but Gilbey's is terrible even if it was bottled yesterday. Dump it and at least invest in some Absolut.

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Old 08-03-2007, 07:30 PM
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Did anybody see the schtick on Letterman last night where he up-ends 1/2 a bottle of 151?
Dave says: "I should have done that before the show"

Then Jackie Chan comes on and hits it, too. Fake, but hilarious.
( I hope it was fake )


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Last edited by trekkor; 08-03-2007 at 07:33 PM..
Old 08-03-2007, 07:30 PM
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Once, in the early 90s...while out for a late night drink at the old Lindell AC,
a famous sports bar that used to be in downtown Detroit.... we spotted a dusty bottle of "Old Taylor" whisky behind the bar. Upon our inquiry, the owner Johnny Butzicaris told us that it had been there since the 60s...opened but since untouched...
our curiosity got the better of us...and we ended up draining that bottle with
several rounds of shots through the night...
it tasted fine (as fine as it could be) but we were probably too drunk to tell the difference anyway.
Old 08-04-2007, 12:36 AM
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When my favorite fish passed away in my first fish tank when I was about seven years old, I secretly stole a bottle of Absolute Vodka from my father and buried the fish in it. Hid it away in the basement.

Looking for some other stuff last year, I found that bottle. The darn fish still looked like the day it died. Alcohol keeps things fresh!
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Old 08-04-2007, 12:59 AM
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It does go bad. Send it to me and I will dispose of it for you ...
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Old 08-04-2007, 01:13 AM
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Made me sick too last time I drank Jack Daniels. I was doing well one fine evening, drinking beer, until I had Jack Daniels. Only had a few shots...
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Old 08-04-2007, 04:59 AM
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Never had a bottle around long enough to go 'bad'....
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Old 08-04-2007, 06:28 AM
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