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Old 09-01-2006, 12:00 AM   #1
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Does Alcohol Go Bad?

My MIL cleaned out her goody cabinet and sent home with hubby 2 boxes full of spirits. 1 Bottle is some sort of canadian whiskey unopened. Point is, some of this stuff is old.... several years at least.... everything from vodka, tekillya, gin, whiskey, and rum. Basically we have a stocked bar now if any of that stuff is any good. There was also a small bottle of triple sec and some sort of Italian liqueur... Frangelico... smells wonderful what ever it is!

Any advice on the matter is much appreciated!!!!

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Old 09-01-2006, 12:04 AM   #2
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Booze NEVER gets old if you ask me!

Fact of the matter is, No, booze....the hard stuff, just ages. Beer and such will get "skunky" or such.

Liquor ages gracefully. So long as it has remained sealed.
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Old 09-01-2006, 12:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sattie
My MIL cleaned out her goody cabinet and sent home with hubby 2 boxes full of spirits. 1 Bottle is some sort of canadian whiskey unopened. Point is, some of this stuff is old.... several years at least.... everything from vodka, tekillya, gin, whiskey, and rum. Basically we have a stocked bar now if any of that stuff is any good. There was also a small bottle of triple sec and some sort of Italian liqueur... Frangelico... smells wonderful what ever it is!

Any advice on the matter is much appreciated!!!!
Ship the bottles to me and after repeatedly and carefully sampling each item I will report back to you on the quality of each.
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Old 09-01-2006, 12:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker
Ship the bottles to me and after repeatedly and carefully sampling each item I will report back to you on the quality of each.
LOL!

HEY! That's my job!
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Old 09-01-2006, 02:43 AM   #5
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Liquor ages, but it never gets "old." Beer will get nasty quick though.
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Old 09-01-2006, 03:01 AM   #6
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Frangelico - hazelnut liquor. Quite tasty in coffee!

Some alcohol does really go bad. Case en pointe: A couple of Christmases ago, my mil offered me a cordial. She then proceeded to her cupboard and poured out a small glass of baileys. That is, she attempted to. What came out had the consistency of heavy custard. Not pretty. I'm guessing she'd opened it, then put it into the cupboard for a year or two.
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Old 09-01-2006, 05:05 AM   #7
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the alcohol molecule C2H5OH (God bless the stuff) is really quite stable, and unless it`s exposed to oxidising agents such as Air, it`s fine, it`s a preservative.
kept in a cool dark place (UV light can spoil it), it will outlive you :)
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Old 09-01-2006, 05:22 AM   #8
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I think it depends on the type of alcohol and how long age is (presuming most of it has been opened and then stored correctly)

We did a clear out of our cabinet last summer. It had left over stuff from my parents in law, and recent additions from my s-i-l too. Some of the p-i-l stuff was fine...stable traditional drinks, well closed after use and was very drinkable. My s-i-l stuff mainly went. They tended to be the sweeter things, like midori rather than whiskeys and brandies. We also were left with loads of different vodkas.

I have to say, the tasting method was employed. We also went on the basis that if neither of us cared to taste it it went...because it was eithr so revolting looking it was spoilt or because it looked ok but we would never drink it.
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Old 09-01-2006, 07:56 AM   #9
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Distilled spirits, once in the bottle, really don't age. There's one type (either scotch or bourbon) that I thought I saw a note on Thirsty Traveler that it did still age in the glass, but I've never been able to confirm it. If it's an unopened bottle, it's still good (but not necessarily better or worse than when it was bottled).

Liquors have sugars and sometimes flavorings mixed in, and these WILL age and oxidze over time, especially once opened.

Beer and wine will both age in the bottle (or can). This is again due more to the other stuff (sugars, hops, tannins, etc.) than the alcohol. Some styles will age better and more gracefully than others (some just flat out go stale). Beer will not skunk from age, it skunks due to exposure to light (particularly UV light). It's a reaction between the light and the isomerized alpha acids in the hops that causes this. Darker bottles (i.e. brown) help guard against this. Miller Brewing uses a hop extract in their beer, which is why MGD can be sold in a clear bottle without skunking (unlike Corona).

Any type of alcohol is best stored in a cool, stable environment. Hot temps can be bad, but large and frequent changes in the temperature are even worse. Darker places will help with issues relating to light.

Yes, I do spend FAR too much tim learning about this stuff....

John
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Old 09-01-2006, 09:07 AM   #10
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Baileys goes bad ~ that is for sure. We decided "the cream" portion is what turns.

Beer does not need light to go bad! Age and heat ARE factors. Beer should be consumed 120 after bottleing for the best flavor as long as it hasn't been exposed to heat ~ i.e. don't keep it in your trunk in the summer.

And if you ever see someone who collects beer cans, have them remove the beer. I was working for a man who builds car washes. We had just about finished up when the owner started moving in. He had a 6 pack of Dale Jr. Budweiser cans and they fell from the box they were carrying. I thought I was going to die from the smell. And the mess. It went everywhere. We had to pull up the new carpet and redo it (at the owners expense because he dropped it). The cans weren't that old, but they had definitely gone WAY bad.
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