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6 tips to protect your whisky collection

pouring whiskey glass

In October 2019, a single bottle of Macallan Fine and Rare 60-Year-Old 1926 sold for a record-breaking US$1.9 million, becoming the most expensive bottle of wine or spirit ever auctioned. One year before that, a bottle from the same batch of Macallan sold for US$1.2 million at auction.

As headlines announce new benchmarks for whisky, investors and industry leaders are taking note. Whether you’re collecting whisky as a hobby or as an investment, you’ll want to protect your whisky by keeping it safe and in good condition while it’s in storage or being transported.

Here are a few tips on how to store your whisky:


  1. Store bottles of whisky upright and monitor the condition of the cork.

    The cork will degrade if in constant contact with the high strength of alcohol in whiskey. Over time, it may begin to disintegrate and even transfer unpleasant flavors into the whiskey. Bottles should be stored upright to help protect the condition of the cork.

  2. Keep it dark.

    Direct sunlight and intense lighting causes a chemical reaction, degrading the delicate flavors of the whiskey. Store whiskey out of direct light and consider using motion activated lighting to keep light exposure at a minimum.

  3. Keep the collection consistently cool, but not too cold.

    If a collection becomes too cold, it can cause the spirit to become cloudy. Experts recommend storing whisky at a temperature of 15 – 20 Degrees Celsius.

  4. Maintain consistent temperature and humidity.

    Fluctuating temperatures and humidity can cause the spirit to expand and contract, destabilising the whisky. Excess humidity can cause damage to the labels and degrade the cork. Consider adding climate control notifications to your alarm system, which will alert you if the temperature or humidity in your cellar shift.

  5. Protect the bottle and label condition.

    The condition of the label can impact the bottle’s value. To avoid ripping or scuffing, consider storing whisky bottles in their original cartons or cases.

  6. Prepare them to be transported.

    If you are transporting your whisky collection, make sure the bottles are packed with proper materials including  insulating layers that can protect them from getting broken. Optimal travel conditions include a consistent, cool temperature and no harsh light.

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