How long does rum last once opened? (3 factors)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, ‘How long does rum last once opened?’. Rum can lose its quality if it is not stored in optimum condition. We will discuss the possible measure we can take to make sure that rum tastes the best it can.

In the glass-bottle, alcohol undergoes changes owing to the following three factors:

  • Oxidation
  • Light exposure
  • temperature changes

How long does rum last once opened?

You may not go through your bottle of Rum as soon as you think you might. Often you end up with an opened rum bottle, wondering how much more time until you may have to throw it away.

Try to put your rum bottle, insight to avoid forgetting about it. The sooner you drink it the better.

Some of us think that alcohol never spoils, while others that the older it is, the better it tastes. This rule may apply to other liquors, but to rum, it doesn’t.

For example, RumChata will never go bad if it is maintained at room temperature all the time. 

Chemical changes that occur in rum

An unopened rum bottle undergoes gradual oxidation that makes the alcohol develop flavor over time. However, alcohol is highly volatile thus, you need to prevent it from evaporation.

A sealed bottle cannot lose its liquid by evaporation while your open bottle can. 

Exposing it to light can cause the color to change while temperature change deteriorates terpene. Terpene is an organic molecule that imparts most of the flavor to alcohol. 

However, an unopened bottle undergoes oxidation at a faster rate. This reaction causes the rum to change the flavor to vanilla-like.

If a botanically made rum bottle was opened, it does not age after being opened. It is now prone to evaporation and needs to be tightly sealed to prevent evaporation from taking place. It still must be consumed within 6 months, when it tastes the best, and the fluid is still reserved. 

Alcohol does not spoil, it cannot succumb to mold or become toxic. However it does deteriorate in taste and quality, so for the best experience, you would want to drink up as soon as possible.

How to store an opened rum bottle?

To store an opened bottle of rum, store in a cool, dark place away from sunlight. Doing so prevents the liquid from direct oxidation and retains most of the flavor and quality. 

When you close your rum bottle, avoid cork closure. Corks do not last long, as they shrivel and dry out with time. Synthetic corks are better at sealing your rum bottle.

A corked rum bottle should have a wax or plastic seal over the opening. An inefficient lid can cause air to enter the bottle and oxidation to occur.

Use screw top closure for rum bottles instead of cork if you can.

Even if you chose to put aside your rum bottle, make sure it was not opened frequently. Every time the liquid is exposed, you are losing some of the volume and flavor.

If your bottle is less than half full, you can transfer it to another bottle. The existing bottle is host to air that is capable of causing oxidation. If you have transferred it to a smaller bottle that is clean and tightly screwed, your liquor can last for years.

Other FAQs about Rum which you may be interested in.

Does Malibu rum go bad?

Does rum go bad?

Can you put rum in the freezer?

Rum Degradation Process

Rum is a distilled spirit and stable alcohol that implies that it shouldn’t spoil. If rum was left open, it should stay drinkable. 

Rum doesn’t spoil but, its quality can deteriorate with time, especially if weren’t stored properly. Otherwise, rum can last for years. However, to ensure the best experience, most people recommend keeping it for about two months.

The degradation process occurs rather slowly if it was stored under ideal conditions. The impact is almost negligible if the storage conditions were proper. 

At a concentration of greater than 40%, bacterial spoilage is unlikely to occur. A breakdown of alcohol molecules does occur, but it can’t make you sick. You may not like the dull taste of old alcohol but it is definitely safe for consumption. 

Other rums aren’t pure such as the Malibu Rum. It is a coconut-based rum and will perish sooner.

The Rum Chata is only 40% alcohol, also degrades quickly. It tastes the best only within a few months.

If rum has gone bad, you can tell by its odor. It also shows some impurities or slightly alters its color.  If rum smells or looks different, it is best to discard it.

Rum loses its taste gradually, so it is better to consume it within a couple of years. 

In this brief guide, we answered the question, ‘How long does rum last once opened?’. Rum can lose its quality if it is not stored in optimum condition. We discussed the possible measure to make sure that our rum tastes the best it can.


Does Rum Go Bad?

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