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Does Hennessy Go Bad? Full Guide (2022 Updated)

Coming across a bottle of old Hennessy, probably sitting in your pantry for quite a few years, could be baffling. Should or should you not throw it? They say alcohol gets better when aged but up to what extent? Does it apply to cognacs like Hennessy? Wait, does Hennessy go bad? 

Worry not, as our team scoured every reliable source and did a test to find a solid answer. 

Hennessy: Does It Go Bad? 

Hennessy: Does It Go Bad?

No, Hennessy does not go bad because it has an indefinite shelf life assuming proper storage conditions, so no. Hennessy, like other cognacs, does not age in the bottle because once bottled, it stops maturing, so it can last for a long time [1]. 

However, it would be a different story when a bottle of Hennessy is opened, and the air sips in. Its content could deteriorate and affect its taste, aroma, and even color. It may even evaporate because of oxidation.

How Long Does a Bottle of Hennessy Last?

How Long Does a Bottle of Hennessy Last?

Opened

Hennessy, when opened, may last for six months before deterioration becomes noticeable. The contents may begin to evaporate due to oxidation, and oxidation is one of the greatest enemies of cognac. 

Even if the cork has been pulled out and the contents deteriorate, it is still fine to drink open Hennessy. However, you will notice the difference in smell, taste, and color.

Unopened

Unopened

When unopened, Hennessy lasts indefinitely because the aging process of the cognac ceases when it is transferred from casks into the bottle. When kept at room temperature and avoided extreme heat or cold, there will be no alteration in the quality of its content. 

Even when the bottle of Hennessy remained untouched for hundreds of years, it will be of the same quality, given it was kept upright. 

In Heat

If an opened bottle of Hennessy is placed under extreme heat, it may only last for a few months before it expands and evaporates. The temperature rise can increase oxidation rates that can affect the flavor and appearance of the cognac. 

On the other hand, extreme heat does not affect a sealed bottle. However, it is recommended to store it in a dark place and at room temperature to avoid cork deterioration. But, how much Henny can get you drunk?

How to Tell if Hennessy Has Gone Bad

How to Tell if Hennessy Has Gone Bad

Dull & Flat Taste

Oxidation triggers the deterioration of Hennessy, so if a bottle is left open for a long time or the air sips in, the cognac will have a dull and flat taste. Hennessy has a rich and bold taste but spicy, fruity, and bitter flavors. However, you will notice the flat and dull taste when it has gone bad. 

Foul Smell

Foul Smell

Hennessy has a bold, woody, and strong-smelling nutty fragrance. Moreover, it also has scents of dried fruit, vanilla, tobacco, and leather. With this, when you notice a foul smell on your Hennessy, we strongly recommend not consuming it because the bold fragrance evaporates and may affect the taste. 

Slightly Cloudy Appearance

Do you see any slight cloudy appearance on the Hennessy bottle you own? It will help if you think twice before consuming it because it may have gone bad. A bottle of Hennessy is supposed to be clear. So if you notice any sediments or cloudy appearance, the cognac may be in an oxidation state and ruin the fine taste. 

Also Read: Hennessy Black Review

FAQs

Can old Hennessy make you sick?

No, an old Hennessy cannot make you sick. If the old Hennessy is sealed, it’s good as new. However, the oxidation may ruin its quality and taste when opened. Although it is safe to drink, the alcohol may have evaporated and ruined quality. 

Can you still drink a Hennessy bottle stored for 10 years?

Yes, you can still drink a Hennessy bottle stored for ten years. When a cognac is bottled, the aging stops, so there’s no need to worry whether it is expired or not. However, if the stored bottle is opened, you must think twice about drinking a not-so-good cognac. 

Final Thoughts 

Hennessy is a distilled spirit, and if it is sealed and stored in the right place and at the right temperature, it has an unlimited shelf life. However, things will be different when the bottle is opened, or the air sips in because the oxygen can get the cognac bad. 

It is fine to drink Hennesy that has gone bad because it will not make you sick. However, if the alcohol has evaporated, the quality will not be the same.  

Reference:

  1. https://www.winespectator.com/articles/how-to-store-cognac-in-cellar-55469

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