How long Jack Daniels lasts depends a lot on how it’s kept. A bottle that has never been opened has a shelf life of 10 years or more, but once a bottle is opened, its shelf life drops to 6 – 24 months. The faster the bottle is emptied, the faster it oxidizes and changes its flavor or goes bad.
In this article, I will answer the question about the expiration of Jack Daniels (a whiskey brand).
Have you ever discovered a bottle of whiskey hidden in the back of the liquor cabinet and pondered whether it would improve with age or if it should be thrown away? Is whiskey like a superb wine that becomes better with age, or does it have the potential to go bad?
Jack Daniel’s is a Tennessee whiskey brand that is the best-selling American whiskey in the world. This is according to the World Whiskey Report. Now that so many people love this whiskey, one thing that a consumer might want to know is, “does it expire?”
And what happens if you drink old Jack Daniels?
Does Jack Daniels Expire?
Unopened Jack Daniels does not expire. It can last for several decades. However, once opened, Jack Daniels has a shelf life of about 6 – 24 months. The rate at which whiskey will expire depends on volume left in the bottle and how it is stored.
The more empty the bottle is, the faster the rate of oxidation will increase, changing the flavor of the whiskey.
Whiskey does not really “expire” or eventually go bad.
If you open it, drink a tiny bit from it, and then reseal it carefully, it should last for decades at least (if not forever). If you leave the top off and the whiskey is exposed to the air, the whiskey will slowly evaporate and degrade. It will not deteriorate in the same way as an open carton of milk would, but it will degrade over time. Even in such case, I don’t believe it would be harmful if you consumed it (Assuming it hasn’t been poisoned by anyone).
Why whiskey doesn’t really expire?
Whiskey and other strong liquors can last for years without expiring if kept in a cool, dark place. Liquors with a high alcohol concentration that have been lowered through distillation are generally protected from mold and bacteria that would otherwise ruin the product once the bottle has been closed.
Unfortunately, whiskey does not improve with age once it has been bottled, and the flavor will alter with time, particularly once it has been opened.
So, unlike non-alcoholic beverages such as Kool-Aid, which have specified expiration dates, Whiskey does not go bad.
Oxidation of Whiskey causes it to Expire
Additionally, in order to maximize the shelf life and safety of your whiskey, you must store it in a cool, dark environment at all costs, as far away from air as possible, as oxygen is regarded to be the whiskey’s most dangerous enemy.
Opened vs Unopened Whiskey
If stored properly, all whiskey varieties – including normal, rye, bourbon, scotch, and the world-famous Jack Daniels – have an almost endless shelf life.
However, there are several factors to keep in mind for both opened and unopened bottles when storing whiskey.
- Unopened whiskey – When stored properly, whiskey can endure at least 10 years and, in some cases, even a decade or more before any discernible changes in flavor or quality are noticed. Please keep in mind that whiskey can continue to evaporate through the cork, resulting in a reduction in volume even while the bottle is still closed tightly.
- Opened whiskey – A whiskey bottle that has been opened has a shelf life ranging from six months to two years. In proportion to the amount of liquid present, the amount of air present increases, speeding up the oxidation process and altering the flavor of your whiskey.
If you’re unsure about expiry of your alcohol, there are several ways you can tell if your Jack Daniels has gone bad.
How to Tell If Whiskey Has Gone Bad
Despite the fact that whiskey changes over time, whiskey does not go bad. While many whiskey enthusiasts deplore the minor changes in flavor and fragrance that occur as whiskey ages, many whiskey specialists genuinely appreciate them.
Whiskey begins to evaporate as soon as it is opened.
The fact that alcohol evaporates faster that the water in it means that you may lose some of the alcoholic portion, which results in a drink that is smoother and even more mellow.
It is impossible to foresee what will happen when air combines with whiskey; sometimes the whiskey will improve, and at other times it will become disagreeable.
The lower the amount of whiskey left in the bottle, the faster the changes take place. Here are some signs that your whiskey may be nearing the end of its shelf life.
- Look at the color – As some of the watery components of the whiskey evaporate, the color may darken and become slightly syrupy. This could be due to excessive exposure to sunshine, as evidenced by its lighter tint.
- Sample the taste – Wine is likely that it is old if it is less strong than you are accustomed to, and if the flavor has changed noticeably over time. If, on the other hand, you still find it to your liking, it will be entirely safe to consume.
Can Old Whiskey Make You Sick?
No, old whiskey or Jack Daniels will not necessarily make you sick if it has not been poisoned. However, opened whiskey that has been oxidized is unsafe to consume. Despite the fact that it may taste and smell a little different than usual, drinking whiskey that has passed its prime poses no hazard.
Drinking expired Jack Daniels would be increasing your risk for unknown effects.
How to Store Whiskey
Light and air are two of alcohol’s most persistent enemies. Here are the tricks for how to store whiskey properly.
- If you keep your bottle of whiskey sealed and in a dark place, it will last for nearly limitless periods of time.
- The use of sunscreen is strongly discouraged. While the UV rays will lighten and fade out the color of whiskey, they will also hasten the whiskey’s natural demise.
- You should also be aware that, unlike wine, corked whiskey should never be stored on its side. When compared to wine corks, whiskey corks do not seal as tightly as they should, and whiskey can and will evaporate or seep through the cork as time goes on.
- If your whiskey has its screw cap, ensure you inspect it and tighten the cap on a regular basis, as screw caps have a tendency to loosen on their own.
- After you’ve opened the liquor cabinet, you can keep it closed to keep the whiskey from being exposed to light. Even if it is kept away from light, a bottle of whiskey that has previously been opened will suffer from some air exposure, allowing for oxidation to occur, which will affect the flavor of your whiskey.
- In order to preserve the flavor of opened whiskey while storing it for a longer period of time, go ahead and pour it into smaller bottles once it has been opened. This reduces the quantity of air that gets into the bottle, allowing the whiskey to last longer.
Whiskey lasts the longest when stored at temperatures slightly cooler than room temperature – approximately 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit – but in a pinch, room temperature storage would suffice as well. Avoid extremes in temperature or rapid changes in temperature whenever possible.