How to Store your Whisky Collection

August 11, 2020
 / 3 mins

You’re building your ultimate whisky collection, so you want to look after it, right? Here are some ways you can properly store your bottles, while still keeping your whisky in optimal condition.

Avoid direct sunlight - Direct sunlight is not a friend to whisky. Do your collection a favour and keep those bottles somewhere safe and out of the sun.

Keep them cool - Although your collection would look great lined up on a mantlepiece above the fire, it’s not a good idea. Whiskies like cooler temperatures — room temperature or below is best. If you’ve got a cellar or a basement, that’d be ideal. Just make sure the bottles don’t get humid.  

Keep your bottles upright - Store your collection upright, don’t lay the bottles down on the side. That’s because the high alcohol content of whisky can eat away at the cork. This could allow more air in during storage and potentially ruin the seal.

Limit exposure to oxygen as much as possible - Why? The goal here is to maintain flavour by keeping the whisky from oxidising. This can be achieved by decanting an open bottle into a smaller bottle(s).

Consider the shelf-life of open bottles - Once a bottle of whisky has been opened the alcohol will start to very slowly evaporate. The shelf-life of an open bottle of whisky is open to debate, but the general view is that it’ll last anywhere between six months and two years. The amount of change in flavour is variable, too. Sometimes the flavour will improve, sometimes not.  

Fishing out the cork - If a piece of cork breaks off and gets into your whisky bottle, don’t worry, you haven’t ruined your whisky. You can easily filter it out using a sieve or coffee filter paper. If you leave it in there, over time it could erode in the whisky and that might affect the flavour.

There you have it, some pretty simple tips to keep those bottles in mint condition so you can keep growing and enjoying your collection!

We’ve adapted this content from our partners at The Edinburgh Whisky Academy. Head on over to the Whisky School in your account and have a look at the great courses on offer.

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