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Thread: Question: Does unopened liquor expire?

  1. #1

    Question: Does unopened liquor expire?

    I have a bottle of dry sherry that I bought well over a year ago (actually it is more like two years ago). It has never been opened. I'm assuming it is still good to use. There is no expiration date on it. So, should I use it?

    I also have an unopened bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream that has a "Best Taste Date" of March 2005. Should I chuck it, or is it okay to use?

    Please share your expertise with me.

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Mimo ~

    I cannot think of a single good reason (and if there is I am sure someone on the board will mention it) why you cannot use your sherry. The high alcohol (my bottle says 19%) should prevent any nasty critters from proceating. After all, instead of paying someone else to age the sherry (or wine) you are doing this yourself.

    The Bailey's Irish Cream is also in my opinion still very usable in terms of saftey. The "Best Taste Date ~ March 2005" I believe refers to when the product is still at its premium ~ in other words there maybe some color degredation and settling after a period of time but the high alcohol content should keep anything growing that would cause food poisoning. I know of way too many people who have drunk with no ill effect the "I am moving and I just discovered a hidden bottle of Bailey's in a cabinet from X years ago."

    Just my two cents worth.

    Spydee

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    One time I was going to buy some sherry that was reduced to a good price, but when I got to the check-out counter the lady wouldn't sell it to me because it had sediment on the bottom. I think it had been there many years!

  4. #4
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    Okay, I'll take one for the team - send me your expired booze and I'll let you know if it was any good!
    Terri _A
    I'm anal retentive. I'm a workaholic. I have insomnia. And I'm a control freak. That's why I'm not married. Who could stand me?” -Madonna

    Read my ramblings about food and my nutty life on A Girl in the South!

  5. #5
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    I've heard that regular booze does not expire, but the creamy based ones do, once opened. We recently had bottles we tossed out, never opened, of Carolan's Irish cream (I think it was). It must have been at least 10 years old. It was all hard and lumpy - disgusting actually. As for regulur booze, we have bottles of Gin and Rum that must be 8 years old. I have some Chocolate liquer that has never been opened that is several years old too - I think I should check it or toss it out soon. As you can tell, we don't booze it up much around here. Wine, now, is another story.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Terri_A
    Okay, I'll take one for the team - send me your expired booze and I'll let you know if it was any good!
    Send me your address and it's yours.
    (I also have small unopened bottles of Maker's Mark Whisky and Grey Goose Vodka, Terri.)

    We all will know if we never see another post from you what happened.

    As you can tell, I buy liquor for recipes and NEVER use it.

    The dry sherry is in a clear bottle and looks fine...no sediment. The Bailey's is in a dark bottle and has been stored in a dark place (my pantry), so it's probably fine, too. I just thought I would ask. Thanks for the replies everybody.

  7. #7
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    Get some vanilla beans and make vanilla out of the vodka, if you don't plan on using it otherwise.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by funnybone
    Get some vanilla beans and make vanilla out of the vodka, if you don't plan on using it otherwise.
    along with the vanilla bean add some a couple of cups of fresh berries and a little sugar. Stir every day for a week then let is sit for another week or so and you will have a delicious liquir.
    A well rounded person is perfectly pointless. - Carrie

  9. #9
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    Remember, liquor has a higher alcohol content than wine, and wine is kept for years, sometimes decades. Even wine that's been open more than a few days doesn't make you sick, it just tastes bad. Same with scotch -- the more aged a scotch, the better. I would not hesitate to use liquor, open or unopened, no matter how old. Just give it the old taste test; if it tastes OK, go for it.

    P.S. I do agree that cream-based liquors probably do not have a great shelf life, just from a quality point of view. I'd give the unopened bottle of Bailey's a vigorous shake, open it up, and see what it's like. If it seems OK, tastes OK, enjoy.

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