Why You Should Never Store Whiskey On Its Side

For a whiskey connoisseur, there are many nuances to appreciate about the spirit including its flavor, age, and color. Often the process of helping whiskey to achieve a complex flavor takes time, and as a result, the price to purchase a bottle can reach the luxury level. Some of the most expensive whiskeys are called "unicorn whiskeys" for their scarcity (per Gear Patrol). In December 2021, a Michter's 25-year-old Straight Rye sold for $21,000, per Whisky Advocate

If you are lucky enough to capture a "unicorn whiskey" for your liquor cabinet or have purchased another high-quality bottle that you enjoy savoring, you want to make sure it's stored properly to maintain the flavor you love. Like most liquors, whiskey should be kept in a cool place and away from direct sun, advises Food & Wine. If maintaining the whiskey's value is important, keeping the bottle in a dark place is best so the label does not fade.

Upright is best

When you have a high-quality bottle of whiskey in your liquor cabinet, you want to make sure it's stored properly. One of the most important things you can do is to keep the whiskey bottle upright and not on its side. According to Food & Wine, the reason whiskey bottles should not be placed on their side is that the strong liquor content of the spirit will break down the cork. Should the cork corrode, the whiskey will eventually leak out of the bottle. Whisky Advocate also cautions that if the cork should erode, the flavor of the whiskey could be affected. This advice may seem counterintuitive to wine enthusiasts who are taught to store wine on their side to keep the bottles' corks moist, per Food & Wine. Storing wine on its side also prevents sediment from forming in the bottle.

However, the cork in the whiskey bottle does need some special attention while it is stored. According to Liquor.com, a bottle of whiskey should be tilted a few times per year to allow for the whiskey to wet the cork. After it is soaked with the spirit, the bottle can be returned to its upright position for storage. The reason this is important, per Liquor.com, is it helps to prevent too much oxidation of the whiskey. 

Go ahead and pop the cork on that beautiful bottle of whiskey, but just remember to return it to its upright position after enjoying it.