Help me with my really old alcohol

I’m really a beer drinker. But I have a decent collection of other booze. Some of it is stuff I’ve bought for baking, and some of it is stuff I “inherited” in the late 90s when my parents moved across the country. My parents haven’t been drinkers for as long as I can remember, so I suspect some of the stuff dates back to the 70s.

I just had to pack all of it up to prepare the house for tenting. I’m unpacking now, but will have to re-pack it soon when I do the next stage of my remodel.

So…can someone help me figure out if there is anything I should just throw out? Or if there’s anything really cool that I didn’t realize? Part of the master plan for the house includes a new wet bar, so I don’t mind storing stuff forever. As long as it’s useful.

There are two sets of stuff - open and unopened. And there are a few non-alcoholic bottles of syrups and such. None of this is refrigerated. And some say they are Whisky, while others say Whiskey. :dubious:

If there is anything that needs more of a description, I’ll be happy to provide it. Some of the old bottles are pretty cool, too.

Open stuff:
Rose Water
Jallab Syrup
Rose’s Grenadine
Whaler’s Vanille Rum (yes…Vanille)
Prailine - New Orleans-style Liqueur
Raspberry de Amore Liquer
E&J Brandy
Inver House Rare Scotch Whisky
Kankan Liqueur - Coffee and Rum
Lady Venvet Amaretto
Chococo Milk Chocolate with Coconuts Liqueur
Creme de Banana
Peter Dawson “Special” Blended Scotch Whisky
Bacardi Rum
Old Crow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Early Times Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Angostura Aromatic Bitters
Closed stuff:
Old Mr. Boston English Market Gin
Eucario Gonzalez Tequila
Single Malt Scotch Whisky (labeled: over twelve years old. I’ve had it at least that long, too.)
Cellier Des Dauphis Cots du Rhone (???)
Ouzo 12
Barkeepers “Call” For Professional Use Long Island Iced Tea
Sheridan’s Original Double Liqueur

and one really old can (with a pull-tab!) of The Club - Wallbanger

So…any thoughts?



Two thoughts:

I’d pour out the E&J brandy even if it was new, stuff is nasty.

The single malt must have a name.

I’ll keep the E&J for the end of a party, when people are drunk. :slight_smile:
Full label on the malt - it was something my parents brought back from a cruise ship:

Sagafjord - Vistafjord
Single Maltch Scotch Whisky
Over Twelve Years Old
Bottles in Scotland by Beinn Bhuidhe Holdings Limited
Inverary Argyll
It’s in a small bottle - 2" high, but thicker than an airline bottle. The opening at the top has a pour spout, and is sealed with a wax plug.

Keep the bolded stuff, unless the open bottle is less than half full. Dump the rest - it was total garbage when it was new, and age hasn’t done it any favors.

All the creme drinks are not only bad, but are most likely solid by now. We had a bottle Of my grandfather’s like that. Cracked it open carefully by hammer and there was a white jello-like substance in the shape of the bottle inside. One of my friends carved off a piece and ate it.
We filmed it but it turned out terribly. I’ll see if I can find a link anyway.

Anything with milk or cream in it will probably have deteriorated by now. I had a bottle of Amaroula liqueur which I bought for my parents in 2001, and we opened it up last year. It was soured and long gone. And that’s never having been opened. Looks like all your milk/cream liqueurs have been opened, so I’d dump them. I mean, you can give it a taste, but if it’s from the late 90s, they should be long gone by now.

For the closed stuff, you can probably keep most of it. What is the “Single Malt Scotch Whisky”? It’ll be fine, but it doesn’t age in the bottle. Grenadine isn’t usally alcoholic–it’s just a pomegranate syrup (usually.) It may or may not still be good. Unopened, I don’t see any reason for there to be any problem.

In addition to what silenus mentioned, I’d keep the kirschwasser (depending on who made it), the Ricard (assuming you’re talking about Pernot or some kind of pastis), and, hell, the Bacardi rum for mixing.

Grenadine is cheap. No need to ever have a bottle around that is decades old, even if it is still drinkable. The rum will still be “good,” but msot of the other spirits were crap when they were bottled, and are even worse crap now. The single malt is a cruise line hand-out, which means it stunk when his folks went on the cruise. Toss it.

Can someone help me filter out what is ‘cream or milk’ based in the list? Anything besides the obvious ones that have “creme” or “milk” in the name?
I’m looking to toss out things that have GONE bad. Things that were bad from the start is…a bit subjective. (Reference the keep and throw out suggestions for the E&J Brandy)

I use the Kirschwasser, Raspberry de Amore Liquer, and some of the rums for baking…they’re actually in good shape.

The Ricard is Pastis de Marseille. Smells like Anise.

I’ll move the cruise line single malt to the souviner shelf.

Thanks for the feedback so far…keep it coming…


E & J isn’t a bad brandy for cooking or putting in your coffee. I wouldn’t particularly want to drink a glass of it straight, but it has its uses.

There is nothing on the list that rises above Mediocre as far as quality goes. The Scotch selection is vile, to say the least. Ditto the tequila. The Cotes de Rhone was crap when it was bottled, and crap now.

What is the armagnac? I shudder to ask.


Since you haven’t been inclined to actually drink or taste any of this stuff in the last ~15 years to see what you might like (and haven’t mentioned any interest in doing so now…) I say just chuck it all rather than hanging onto it indefinitely (except what you’re using for baking etc), if you want to set up a bar in the future you can start a little at a time with quality ingredients.

I guess I held out too much hope that my parents might have had some taste in alcohol. Not sure why - I rarely agree with their taste in food/drink.

Marquis de Montesquiou Monopole.
It’s nicely packaged… :slight_smile:

This seems like good advice. And it’ll certainly make unpacking/packing/unpacking easier. I’ll clear out a few things now that are consensus crap…and give the thread a little longer in case there are any other opinions.


Whiskey is U.S. spelling, whisky British/Canadian (the rest of the Commonwealth?), a reversal of the usual U.S. spelling whereby it’s shortened; color, not colour, and so on.

From my computer dictionary:

The armagnac is also a “decent” cooking brandy. But yeah, your parents had crap taste in booze. There is no excuse for buying “Mr. Boston” anything.

Mix it all together and light it on fire. Pretty colors.

The raspberry liquor sounds like it would be fun to play with in cooking.

A little bitters goes a long way. I had one bottle for several years. When it got hard to open, I threw it out.

Yeah, it’s supposed to smell like that, which is a good sign, or at least not a bad one. If you’re interested in comparing, it should taste sort of similar to that Ouzo 12, though the pastis will be a little colored while the ouzo is clear.

With the exception of Maker’s Mark, who label their product as “whisky.” I’ve been drinking Maker’s for over a decade (not my favorite bourbon, but a reasonable one if I want something on the sweet side of bourbon), and I only realized last week the spelling on the bottle.

That is a depressing list.

Isn’t it though?

Once you are out of college, there is no excuse for buying some of the stuff on that list.

Says Wikipedia:

I suppose like a U.S. theater named ___ Theatre, looking for a little extra cachet. Whiskey is whisky in U.S. law? I’ll drink to that, though I’d say “Cite!” But it’s Wikipedia.

I don’t know anything about the law, but I was at the distillery on Monday, and that’s when I first realized that, wait a second, they spell it like the Scots do. That’s interesting to see that a couple other brands in the US spell it “whisky,” too.