How long is the shelf life of Awamori? Have you ever wondered that?
In this article, I would like to explain the shelf life of Awamori, as well as the shelf life of other alcoholic beverages.
One of the joys of Awamori is letting it mature over time.
Please know the proper way to store it and enjoy the long term aging of Awamori.
What is the shelf life of Awamori?
There is no expiration date on Awamori.
Awamori and other spirits called liquor (shochu, vodka, whiskey, tequila, etc.) basically have no expiration date.
In addition, some Awamori is aged for a long period of time and is called "Kosake", which means "old wine", and there are some valuable products that have been aged for decades.
However, it is important to note that depending on the storage environment and method, the original state of the alcohol may not be maintained. There are some Awamori products that you should be careful about storing for a long time, such as the following
- Paper package products
- Products with rubber packing or cork on the lid.
- Storage in jars
Even unopened bottles of Awamori may require caution.
Note 1) Paper-packed Awamori
Care should be taken when storing products in paper packs for long periods of time, even if they are unopened.
This is because paper packs are usually used for new sake and are not designed for long-term storage.
In addition, the high alcohol content of Awamori may cause the inside of the pack to dissolve due to the alcohol content.
Paper packaged products basically have a special treatment to protect the inside, but be aware that they are only recommended for short-term storage.
Note 2: Pay attention to the shape of the lid.
Even if the container is a bottle, be careful if the lid is made of rubber packing or cork.
It is not suitable for long-term storage for several years, simply because it is a material that deteriorates.
However, if you want to store Awamori for a long time, it is recommended to replace the container or lid with one that can be sealed.
Note 3: Be careful about storing in jars.
Storage in a jar also requires care.
There is an impression that alcoholic beverages such as Okinawa's Awamori and China's Shaoxing wine are stored in jars, but jars and other containers made of ceramics produced from soil are said to be breathing, strictly speaking.
Although it may not be common for the alcohol inside to leak out directly, it is said that the alcohol component will gradually leak out. I have heard stories of people opening jars that have not been opened for a long time and finding them empty.
But on the other hand, in some traditional Okinawan households, people enjoy decades-old Awamori by pouring a little bit more Awamori into the jar where it is stored.
If you have a jar of sake in your home that has been stored for a long time, why don't you check it out?
Storage in bottles is fine, even if the bottles are more than 10 years old.
If you want to store it for a long period of time at home, we recommend using a bottle with a screw cap. If the bottle is tightly corked, it will continue to mature even after it has been opened.
However, some customers buy a few bottles of their favorite Awamori and enjoy drinking it right away or store it for a long time before enjoying it.
If it has been aged for more than 3 years, it can be called "old sake", but if it has been aged for more than 5 years, you will be able to feel the difference clearly.
What is the shelf life of old Awamori wine?
Old wine does not have an expiration date.
Now that you know about the shelf life of Awamori and how to store it, you can see that there is no expiration date for old sake either.
It is said that there are many ways to enjoy old sake in Okinawa.
There are those who enjoy decades-old Awamori, some of which are over 100 years old, as part of their collection, and there are also those who enjoy it as part of their culture, such as brewing Awamori together with their children when they are born, and enjoying 20-year old sake with their families when they reach adulthood.
There is no expiration date on the sake, and it becomes more delicious as it ages.
Shelf life of other alcoholic beverages
Best before date for sake
Sake also does not have an expiration date. It is said that this is because the high alcohol content makes it difficult for bacteria to breed, although it is lower than spirits such as Awamori.
However, like Awamori, there are only a few types of sake that can be stored for a long period of time to mature. Since there is no expiration date, it is possible to drink sake, but the flavor and color will change, so it is best to drink sake at the right time depending on the type of sake.
Shelf life of shochu
Shochu, like Awamori, has no expiration date.
The image of old shochu is not as strong as that of Awamori, but old shochu does exist.
The storage method is the same as for Awamori. Avoid direct sunlight, and choose a container and lid that will not deteriorate, so that it will not oxidize, and the quality will not change greatly.