We all know that proper Scottish whisky has to be aged in oak barrels for a number of years before it can be bottled and sold for consumption. This ageing process is what makes Scottish whisky stand out as the original and best whisky on the market, and why it enjoys major popularity all around the world.
But what about when it has been bottled and reaches the shelves of the supermarket or the cupboards of the end consumer? Well the two main factors that can affect Scotch whisky is light and temperature. This has been known ever since whisky production began hundreds of years ago.
Leaving a bottle in direct sunlight is particularly bad and can have disastrous effects in a short period of time. If sunlight is able to reach a bottle of whisky in the summer time it can change the colour and dull the flavour in a period of around four to eight weeks. The fact that whisky is placed in clear bottles doesn’t help this degradation.
The clear bottles are used to showcase the whisky’s colour and clarity, but it means that it is sensitive to outside light, much more so than coloured bottles that are used to avoid this spoiling process.
As one would expect, heat also plays a big role in how well a whisky ages. If the bottle is stored near a heat source such as a radiator, it can expand the liquid in the bottle. This can lead to the cork being pushed up in the neck of the bottle and becoming damaged and not sealing properly.
For people who are storing their whisky at home, we recommend a cool, dark place that is away from any temperature swings. A stable environment is the most important factor here, so try to find somewhere that will remain a constant temperature away from direct sunlight.