Does brandy go bad?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “does brandy go bad” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not brandy goes bad. Moreover, we are going to discuss the shelf life of brandy, factors affecting the quality of brandy, and the proper way to store brandy.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Does brandy go bad?

When it comes to brandy, no doubt that owing to its high alcoholic content it has a very long shelf life and can last for ages if it is stored properly. So it does not go bad in the conventional terms but like every other food item after a certain time, it begins to lose its potency, thus with time its flavor, aroma, and quality begin to degrade. 

Thus, we can say that brandy won’t have the molds in it (until and unless you intentionally keep the bottle without a lid in a humid environment for a long time for the obnoxious agents and contaminants to enter the bottle) but it will start to lose its flavor.

How long does brandy last?

As we already said that brandy lasts for an indefinite time but there is still some time limit in which you can enjoy the best quality and flavor of your brandy but again it is all a matter of your taste preference, how you like your brandy to be.

No doubt that the unopened bottle of brandy lasts for ages but an opened bottle of brandy retains its best flavor for about 1-2 years depending upon the storage conditions it is kept in.

When it comes to refrigeration, then there is no need to refrigerate brandy if the only reason behind refrigeration is to prolong its shelf life because a properly stored unopened brandy lasts almost indefinitely even if stored in the pantry but if the reason behind refrigeration is to chill your brandy so that you can gulp down a chilled brandy then you can go ahead.

It is worth mentioning that these figures are just the estimated shelf life of the brandy and brandy lasts almost indefinitely, provided that it is stored properly.

You can read more about brandy here.

What is the alcoholic content of brandy?

Brandy contains 35% to 60% ABV (Alcohol by volume) in its formulation.

Is brandy safe to drink after the best-before date?

The “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the bottle of brandy refers to more of quality rather than safety so brandy doesn’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date. It is the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality and flavor of brandy but you can still use brandy that is past this date as long as it was stored properly.

What are the factors that affect the quality of brandy once it gets opened?

Once you open your bottle of brandy, you will notice that its flavor starts to fade slowly with time. The two factors that are responsible for this gradual change are oxygen and the volatility of alcohol.

There are many volatile compounds present in the formulation of brandy and each time you open your brandy bottle, they evaporate a bit.

Moreover, each time you open your brandy bottle air (oxygen) enters your brandy that can initiate oxidation reactions in it, thereby decreasing the quality of brandy. So the more oxygen that finds its way to your brandy bottle, the more will be the change in flavor that you will notice.

How to properly store brandy?

  1. The brandy starts to lose its characteristic flavor when it comes in contact with the air and sunlight owing to the oxidation reactions. Therefore to seal the freshness of brandy for quite a long time we recommend you always close the lid/cap of the brandy bottle as soon as you are done pouring the brandy that you need.
  2. Once your brandy bottle has been opened, it is recommended to always seal or close the cap of the bottle properly to minimize its air exposure.
  3. On the other hand, an unopened bottle of brandy can be stored in a cool, dry, and dark corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat and it can stay there for quite a long time.
  4. Temperature fluctuations can degrade the quality of the brandy so you should take care of this.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “does brandy go bad” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not brandy goes bad. Moreover, we discussed the shelf life of brandy, factors affecting the quality of brandy, and the proper way to store brandy


Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.