Does Liquor Get Better With Age?
You have probably strolled down the aisle of the store to see all this advertising about liquor. The scotches all brag about how long the product has been aged and fine wines are all from some far off yesteryear. Whiskey seems to be more expensive the older it gets as does tequila. You don’t hear much about this and vodka, though. So, it goes to wonder, does all liquor get better with age? The answer is a bit more complex than is expected.
The expensive of fine liquor comes from the aging process. A good bourbon will have been aged for a number of years in charred oak barrels made of young white American oak wood. This aging process can take up to ten years and then the spirit is bottled. The aging process stops once the liquor has been bottled. Glass is a non-reactive surface so it will not react with the liquor. If the bottle is opened and then ‘aged’ or not consumed for a number of year is will turn to a sugary sludge. Only certain aging makes spirits taste better.
If the aged liquor is put into an oak barrel and aged again then it may taste even finer. A mid-level whiskey would benefit from aging in an oak barrel as will a rum or even a tequila. This will restart the reactive process of aging in an oak barrel and more flavors will be infused with the spirit.
Aging is a verb. It is not done by letting a bottle of spirits or wine just sit in its bottle. That does nothing because glass is non-reactive and there is no oxygen present inside the bottle. Aging done the right way in an oak barrel will make most liquors taste better; perhaps not vodka.