In October 2019, a single bottle of Macallan Fine and Rare 60-Year-Old 1926 sold for a record-breaking £1,452,000, becoming the most expensive bottle of wine or spirit ever auctioned.
As headlines announce new benchmarks for whisky, investors and industry leaders are taking note. Whether you’re collecting as a hobby or 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:
Store bottles of whisky upright and monitor the condition of the cork. Constant contact with high strength alcohol can degrade the cork, causing it to disintegrate and/or transfer unpleasant flavours into the liquid. Flip the bottles a couple of times a year to help ensure the cork does not dry out or oxidate.
Keep it dark. Store bottles away from strong sunlight which can affect the delicate flavours and desired colour of the spirit and cause evaporation. Consider using motion-activated lighting to keep light exposure at a minimum.
Keep the collection consistently cool, but not too cold, it can cause the liquid to become cloudy. Experts recommend storing whisky at a temperature of 17-20°C. If you’re collecting both whisky and wine, you may not want to store them together, since ideal temperatures for whisky are at the higher end of the spectrum for ideal wine storage.
Maintain consistent temperature and humidity. Fluctuating temperatures and humidity can cause the liquid to expand and contract, destabilizing 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.
Protect the bottle and label condition. The condition of the label can impact the bottle’s value. To avoid ripping or scuffing the labels, consider storing whisky bottles in their original cartons or cases.
Prepare them to be transported. If your whisky collection is going to travel, make sure the bottles are packed with proper materials including stable, insulating layers that can protect them from getting broken. Optimal travel conditions include a consistent, cool temperature and no harsh light.