I thought I had heard whiskey goes bad after extended periods in a bottle. Any truth to that?
I know that there's a lot of talk about that, but I don't think there's much truth to it. If you're talking drinking the bottles in a few years or less you'll be fine. The info below comes from one of the mods at at the whiskey version of expressobeans, whisky.com
Will your whisky go bad? No, it should not, but you have to store it properly. Here are guidelines:
1. Keep your whisky in a cupboard - or liquor cabinet. The key is to keep it OUT of the sunlight. If the Scotch came in a 'presentation type' box and if you can't keep it tucked away in the dark, then just keep it in the box or tube since it is designed to protect the whisky.
2. Temperature - what's ideal? First, don't expose it to extremes of temperatures and second, keep it at what's known as 'cellar temperatures' - which is between 65 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, or 18.3 - 19.4 Celsius. Now we realize not everyone has a the opportunity to store it in 'cellar like temps', but it is considered the ideal way to do it.
3. Store whisky in an upright position - you want to keep the Scotch AWAY from contact with the cork.
Your opened bottles of Scotch should not vary month to month, but it is possible there can be subtle changes over the years and that's mainly because even the best sealed bottles eventually will let air in. In addition, if a cork is being used, over a long period of time, that cork can deteriorate which would cause air to get into the bottle, and therefore evaporation. Also, the cork itself can sometimes flavor a whisky. Another problem could be with a metal cap - over a long period, that metal cap can sometimes deteriorate or rust and even quite possibly leave a metalic taste in the whisky.
Every bottle is different and it may just boil down to trial and error. There are many really old whiskies which should be perfectly fine to drink, but each person has to make their own assessment.