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How long can you keep Cognac?

12 July 2010 8 Comments

In the period of oak aging in barrels, which can take years, there has been positive aging. Once the brandy is in the bottle, that aging stopped.

If the bottle is protected from light, it has not been opened, and the cork has not been altered, you are able to preserve your bottle of Fine Cognac for a really long time!  However, be aware that in contrary to wine, Cognac does not age in the bottle, so it will not improve with time. So, Cognac in a bottle is a ‘dead’ product with an basically unlimited shelf life, as long as it is unopened!

Once the bottle is opened, the contents may begin to evaporate slowly and some flavor may be lost over time, but the alcohol will remain safe to consume.

If the bottle has been opened and a part of the content is poured out, a part of the volatile components (formed during distillation and bearings), and evaporates in the empty space of the bottle. The less liquid in the bottle and the more empty space means a worse air / liquid ratio. The evaporation of volatile compounds means that the drink will taste flatter.

There is no official termination date for the sustainability of an open bottle of cognac.

A guide that you can hold: a half-full bottle of cognac is maintainable for about 3 years. Even afterwards this period the Cognac will remain safe to consume, only the quality is lower. For example, you can use it for cooking.

The most important element for storing Cognac is to store the bottle of cognac upright/vertically. Otherwise the cork will be pulverized.

For questions? Ask below or on our Cognac Forum!

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  • How To Read A Cognac Label? - Cognac Fans, information and reviews said:

    […] from the end of the distillation period, that is April 1st of the year following the harvest. Once bottled, a Cognac, unlike wine, doesn’t evolve anymore. Therefore it retains the same age […]

  • The Boss said:

    Interesting article! Thanks! I recently opened a 40 year old VS quality Cognac, still tasting great!

  • Ultimate list of Vintage Cognacs - Cognac Fans, information and reviews said:

    […] Vintage Cognacs are a great gift, to give a loved one! And opposed to wine, you can keep Cognac for ever! […]

  • lulu said:

    I have a bottle of opened remy martin 1724 cognac fine champagne, & guessing it has been opened for ten years or more. Is it safe to drink?

  • Ron Yap said:

    After opening a bottle of Cognac XO I will use a wine vacuum pump to remove the air and keep the remaining until the next drinking and it tastes the same.

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