• troll posted an update 2 months, 3 weeks ago

    Is it true that the level in a bottle of whisky can drop over time? Why is this? Can it evaporate out of a closed bottle? Thanks.

    • Has somebody else got access to your whisky?

      In my experience, no.

    • I believe it can do and often does this constantly, but is counterbalanced by the absorption of cold, weak black tea from the surrounding environment and thus often goes unnoticed.

    • The Angel’s Share is a term used to describe the small amount of Whisky that evaporates whilst it is casked and maturing (over many years this can add up to be quite a significant amount). Once bottled then as as you say it can’t escape unless the bottle is opened.

    • Ok! I’ve got a bottle of my Dad’s Macallan which was distilled in 1965. I was going to open it and celebrate…..but in the back of my mind I remember an article in the paper a few weeks ago saying that older bottles of whisky can be worth a bit as the cohort of people with too much money are prepared to pay for rarer, older bottles. So I googled and found a website of a friendly looking bloke who said, yes, it could be a good find. He sent me a jpeg of a bottle of 1968 Makallan and said could I return one the same as he’d like to check the ‘level’ before giving me a price. The pic he sent me has the level of the whisky quite close to the lid, but mine is further down the neck. I’m thinking he must mean the level that the whisky comes to in the bottle. He’s due to email back again soon……..

      • Old Macallans are very valuable. Your bottle is probably worth several thousand pounds of it is unopened.

        So the whisky should not escape from the bottle at all unless it’s been opened, however each bottle will have a slightly different fill level from the start, especially on older bottle as the bottling was done with inaccurate equipment.

        On expensive collectibles bottles such as yours, a high fill level is one of the things collectors look for. But regardless your bottle I’m sure will fetch well into the thousands. You should consider auctioning.

      • With a cork yes. Old wines, port, etc the level drops and if liquid out then air in and it may have oxidized too much.

        But I never heard of it with whisky, mainly because old whisky is in the cask for a long time, and the bottle for a lot less. It doesn’t change in the bottle, unlike wine.

        With wine it’s bottle quickly and vintages will age in the bottle. Same with port. So it matters that the condition is good.

        I don’t see why a Macallan 1965 is worth much if it was bottled soon after (say a standard expression). Most distilleries aim to maintain a similar bottling with time. If it was a rare experiment maybe, but you can buy a 30 yo Macallan for only £3k and they’ve just released a 50yo for £25k. And these have that time in the barrel.