In October 2019, a single bottle of Macallan Fine and Rare 60-Year-Old 1926 sold for a record-breaking $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 $1.2 million at auction.
As headlines announce new benchmarks for whiskey, investors and industry leaders are taking note. Whether you’re collecting as a hobby or an investment, you’ll want to protect your whiskey 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 whiskey:
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.
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.
If a collection becomes too cold, it can cause the liquid to become cloudy. Experts recommend storing whiskey at a temperature of 59-68°F. If you’re collecting both whiskey and wine, you may not want to store them together, since ideal temperatures for whiskey are at the higher end of the spectrum for ideal wine storage.
Fluctuating temperatures and humidity can cause liquid to expand and contract, destabilizing the whiskey. 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.
The condition of the label can impact the bottle’s value. To avoid ripping or scuffing the labels, consider storing whiskey bottles in their original cartons or cases.
If your whiskey 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.
Speak to an independent agent about your insurance needs.