Does Rum Go Bad?

Does rum go bad? Can you tell if your rum has gone bad and how should you store rum? The answers will surprise you.

Who knew fermented sugarcane molasses could become an alcoholic favorite? This popular liquor can be enjoyed as light-bodied rum or with a heavier and fuller flavor.

But imagine this: you’re just about ready to have a glass of rum when you realize your bottle has been in the cupboard for a pretty long time and you wonder:

Could my rum go bad? How long does it last?

Here’s the deal. Unopened rum won’t go bad, but once the bottle is open, it’s a good idea to consume it within 6 months.

Related:Does Malibu Rum Go Bad?Does RumChata Go Bad?

How To Tell If Your Rum Has Gone Bad

pouring rum into glass

Rather than go bad, rum, like other spirits, tends to deteriorate in quality and lose its taste after a bottle is opened.

The good news: strong spirits have a high alcohol content which kills most hostile germs and bacteria.

However, an opened bottle will end up losing most of its taste after a while. In fact, the expiration date on a bottle refers to the degrading of the taste of the rum and not really that the rum has gone bad.

Although there are some tell-tale signs that you may not want to drink the rum. If you see any spoilage in the bottle or a change in the color or smell, you may want to get rid of it.

How To Store Rum

rum brands

Rum should be stored like other spirits – in a cool, dry place away from light. Storing it in the fridge won’t do much for the liquor.

When you open a bottle, it is important to keep it tightly sealed to avoid oxidation from taking place and the liquid from evaporating. These processes give a milder flavor to the rum.

These unfortunate effects take place within a tightly closed bottle at a much slower pace. However, most rum drinkers do not notice any change in the flavor.

Another pro tip is to pour a bottle that is less than half full into another smaller bottle.

Remember: the more empty space within the bottle, the quicker the taste changes. This is because of the oxidation process.

Lastly, when a bottle of rum is open, use screw tops instead of corks as it can maintain the quality of your rum for longer.

How Long Does Rum Last

barrels of rum

The shelf life of rum is indefinite if it is stored properly. It is better to drink an opened bottle of rum sooner than later to maintain the quality and taste.

An opened bottle of rum can be stored for years and it won’t go bad but you may be unhappy with the quality.

The Bottom Line

Rum can last for a very long time and it doesn’t really ever go bad even if opened. However, due to the change in the quality and taste of a bottle that has been kept open for a while, you may be inclined to discard it anyway.

Rum may be nicknamed “the kill-devil” but you don’t have much to worry about in regard to it turning bad.

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Alisa Shimoyama
Alisa Shimoyama

Alisa eats her way around the world on her travels and likes to have good food ready and waiting for her when she gets back.