About Cellared/cellaring mead/whiskey

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by Beer_Economicus, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Devotee (410) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana
    Trader

    Since mead and whiskey trading are now allowed on BA, and I didn't see a thread on this (if I missed it, I apologize), I thought it might be nice to start one. I'm assuming that I'm not the only one with questions.

    I myself have a couple specific questions, as I know...nothing about aging either of these.

    Mead:

    The goal is not to age these, but it will happen (for my wife and I). We rarely get to buy mead, and so when we do there's a high probability that - especially given the cost of some of the purveyors - that these will sit. What happens exactly to aged mead? Any information would be great.

    Whiskey:
    I know slightly more about whiskey than mead. It's my understanding that an open bottle of bourbon will stay good for awhile, but it still oxidizes (just more slowly than beer). Not sure what the general recomendation is on consumption though. 3years? 5 years? Expecting it's not longer than 5.

    What about unopened bottles? I'm assuming that if I buy a nice bottle of bourbon today, if I don't open it for several years there should be no problem with it at all?

    Sincerely,
    B_E
     
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  2. oldbean

    oldbean Aspirant (270) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    Regarding whiskey, yes, open bottles will oxidize over time. It's not a super rapid process, although it accelerates as the fill level of the bottle reduces. This can actually beneficial to a lot of whiskeys, at least to a point. I've had a few Balcones spirits that seemed quite hot and rough on the first pour, but smoothed out dramatically after some time with air in the bottle, for instance. If you want to prevent or halt this process, you can use spray cans of neutral gasses, and/or decant the whisky into smaller containers.

    For unopened bottles of whiskey, if you keep them away from light, extreme temperatures, and excessively high or low humidity (to keep the cork in good condition, less important with synthetic corks or screw top bottles), and they will outlive you and possibly several generations of your descendants.

    This of course applies to rums, brandies, etc as well.
     
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