How long does booze keep?

I have:
[li]5 cans of beer in the fridge (2 months)[/li][li]Bottle of Tropico-Bacardi rum w/fruit juices in the fridge (1.5-2 years)[/li][li]Bottle of Mcgillicuddys ?? in freezer (3 years)[/li][li]Bottle of Cuervo on top of fridge (4 years)[/li][li]Bottle of wine from before Christmas (kept outside back door, less than 40 degrees outside)[/li][/ul]

Is anything still safe to drink? Is there any general rules about keeping and storing liquor for long period of time?

Beer in glass bottles should keep for several years as long as it is not exposed to sun and not allowed to get too warm (significantly above room temperature) or freeze. Beer in cans is bad when purchased.

Wine is probably the most finicky. If properly stored, wine should keep for decades. All wine will slowly turn to vinegar; exposure to sun and heat speeds this process.

Wine and beer should be stored in a cool, dark place. Beer should be stored upright. Wine should be stored with the wine in contact with the cork (on its side). (If the wine is in a bottle without a cork, it’s not of sufficient quality to care. See “beer in cans”, above.)

Distilled liquors (40 proof and above) have indefinite shelf life. Nothing much can grow in that. Storage doesn’t really matter that much, although exposure to excess heat or light may be bad to the nonalcoholic content of the beverage, especially for liqueurs or fruit mixes. Many distilled beverages improve with age.

Also note that the result of going bad won’t be that it will make you sick (or at least any sicker than it would have in its prime), but merely that it will taste bad.

There were some sealed containers of ale found in King Tut’s tomb, alledgedly still drinkable but I never saw any reports on the tasting.

I think this is what you’re thinking of.

The containers of ale had only dregs, which were analyzed. Then these men brewed some beer from the recipe and auctioned off the results as a fundraiser for the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Egypt Exploration Society.

Hard liquor, quite a while.

The beers fine. For “proper” taste though it should be within a year though. Many beers even have a “best if consumed” before date on them now.

Wine can be a long time however while it may be drinkable (as was mentioned, years) it may however be past its prime. Many whites and blushes should be enjoyed inside the first couple of years of bottling…they can go downhill from there.

I found an huge cache of 20 year old liquor in a garage of the house I rented in Los Angeles a few years ago, the landlord told me I could have it, even though I really didn’t drink that much and had no use for cases and cases of liquor. The stuff must have been out there in summer heat for quite a few years. The beers actually had something precipitate to the bottom, it looked yellow and yeasty. The clear liquors like vodka and gin survived, but it was all cheap crap so we poured most of it down the sink. Most of the dark liquors like whiskey and brandy survived ok, although some of the brandy corks were just about to crumble (I broke one pulling it out). Some liquors like some Irish Cream were rancid, but Kahlua survived. But the one thing that has me puzzled, is an old and very expensive bottle of Royal Salute whiskey, it was aged before it went in the bottle in 1975, and I found it in about 1995, and I understand the damask pottery flask is worth a few hundred bucks in itself. But it is opaque and I have no way to look inside to see if the contents are any good. The seal has never been broken. I can only guess that it is still palatable.

I would say for the beer that it’s going to be rather iffy, as it does start to get a rather metallic taste (we called this phenomenon “skunking”)

The rum might be somewhat iffy as well (not so much for the rum but the fruit juice may be rather not-so-fresh)…but everything else should be fine.

Thanks for all the replies, I like to keep stuff on hand for people who come over, I probably won’t be drinking it myself.

Actually I read recently where some decent-quality vintner was going to use screw caps for its varietals, but I can’t remember who it was. Maybe screwcaps, properly designed, would be better, as certainly an inert metal or plastic substance would eliminate possible “corking” problems.