How Long Does Rum Last?

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If you find an old bottle of rum, you may wonder if it’s still safe to drink. Even though it’s an alcoholic drink, it still might go bad. Right? This brings us to the question – how long does rum last?


The short answer to this question is that rum has an indefinite shelf life. However, the shelf life of an opened bottle of rum is reduced if not stored properly. 

Rum is a distilled spirit that retains its quality and flavor in an unopened bottle. However, it must be stored correctly to keep its quality intact.

This article will tell you how long rum lasts, how to store it properly, and how to tell if it has gone bad. In the end, you will also find tips for enjoying your rum in the best way possible.

How Long Does Rum Last?


Rum is a low-maintenance drink with a very long shelf life. Unopened rum can last indefinitely if kept in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat. 

However, the quality of the rum deteriorates in an opened bottle of rum, and it loses its flavor and aroma due to exposure to air.

It’s important to note that rum, like other alcoholic beverages, does not spoil or become unsafe to drink, but its quality may degrade over time. 

It is best to consume rum within a reasonable time frame to enjoy its full flavor and aroma. So, what are the ways to store rum to maintain its quality? Let’s find out.

How Long Does Rum Last Once Opened?

Once opened, the shelf life of rum depends on various factors such as the storage conditions, the type of rum, and the alcohol content. Consuming an opened bottle of rum within 6-8 months is best.

However, rum with a high alcohol content can last longer than a lower alcohol content rum. Additionally, if the bottle is properly sealed and stored under the right temperatures, it can be enjoyed for longer. 

Does Rum Go Bad Or Spoil Easily? 


Rum goes through a process of distillation, which removes impurities and bacteria. It is aged in barrels for decades, giving it an indefinite shelf life. 

Thus, rum does not go bad. However, the quality of an opened bottle of rum changes as it comes in contact with the air. 

How To Tell If Rum Has Gone Bad Or Spoiled?

Rum, like other spirits, does not spoil or go bad, per se, but its quality can deteriorate over time. Here are some signs that your rum may have gone bad or spoiled:

  1. Color and clarity: If the rum has changed color or become cloudy, it may be a sign that it has gone bad. The color of rum may darken over time, but if it has a strange or unusual color, it may indicate spoilage.
  2. Aroma and taste: It may have gone bad if the rum smells or tastes off. The aroma of rum should be pleasant and not have any strange or foul odors. If the taste is harsh or unpleasant, it may indicate spoilage.
  3. Appearance: If a bottle of rum has been stored in direct sunlight or heat, it may cause the rum to spoil or deteriorate more quickly. Check the bottle for any signs of leakage, mold, or unusual residues.
  4. Expiration date: Check the expiration date on the bottle. Although rum does not technically expire, it may lose its flavor and aroma over time.
  5. Storage conditions: If the rum has been stored in an open container or has been exposed to air for a long time, it may lose its quality and develop an off taste or aroma.

How To Store Rum?


Here’s how you should store rum to enjoy its flavor for a long time: 

  1. Keep it in a cool, dark place: Rum should be stored in a cool, dark place like a pantry, closet, or cellar. Exposure to light and heat causes the flavor and aroma of the rum to deteriorate.
  2. Store it upright: Unlike wine, rum should be stored upright to avoid contact with the cork. That’s because the cork can react to the spirit, which can impact the taste of the liquor. 
  3. Avoid temperature fluctuations: Extreme temperature changes can cause the rum to expand and contract, which can damage the quality of the spirit. Thus, the temperature for storage of rum bottles should be consistent.
  4. Keep it away from strong odors: Rum can absorb the flavors and smells from strong-smelling foods or chemicals. So, it is best to store it away.
  5. Seal the bottle tightly: To prevent the rum from oxidizing and losing its flavor, make sure the bottle is tightly sealed after each use. Additionally, wrap the bottle cap with cellophane or parafilm to prevent the evaporation of the internal liquid and oxidation.

Tips For Enjoying Rum in The Best Way 

Here are some tips for enjoying your rum in the best way possible:

  1. Choose the right glassware: The type of glass used to serve rum affects its aroma and taste. Rum should be served in a tulip-shaped glass or a snifter to enhance the aroma and flavor.
  2. Serve it at the right temperature: The ideal serving temperature for rum is between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, rum releases its best flavors and aromas.
  3. Sip it slowly: Rum is a spirit that should be savored and enjoyed slowly. Take small sips and let the rum linger on your tongue to fully appreciate its flavors.
  4. Pair it with the right foods: Rum can be paired with various foods. These include chocolate, tropical fruits, and cheese. 
  5. Use it in cocktails: Rum is a versatile spirit that can be used in various cocktails. Add it to mojitos, punches, and daiquiris to find your favorite rum cocktail.


The shelf life of rum is indefinite. However, if not stored properly, its quality and taste may change once the bottle is opened. Thus, it’s best to finish an opened bottle of rum within a year. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does rum get better with age?

Distilled spirits do not improve with age once they are in the bottle.

Can rum last 100 years?

Rum stays in good condition as long as you store the bottle properly and it remains unopened.

Where should rum be stored?

Rum should be stored in a cool, dark place like a pantry, closet, or cellar.

Does rum lose alcohol if left open?

Once a bottle is opened, the alcohol will begin to evaporate.

Can rum be frozen?

Pure rum doesn’t freeze until the temperature falls to minus 27 C (-17 F).

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