Does Sake Go Bad?

If you like to drink sake, you may be wondering if steak goes bad or if it will last forever. This is a commonly asked question, as many people may assume that sake is shelf stable for a very long time.

Sake is an alcoholic beverage that is made from rice, creating a very unique-tasting alcoholic drink. But just like any other kind of product, you should store it correctly and know when it may possibly start to spoil.

As it is never a good idea to drink or eat anything that has gone bad or has sat around for longer than it should. As it has most likely been contaminated with bacteria during this time.

Keep reading to find out whether or not sake goes bad, and if it does, what it will look and taste like if it is no longer safe to drink.

Sake Can Go Bad

If you enjoy drinking sake, you may be wondering if this alcoholic beverage will go bad at any point. Unfortunately, sake will go bad after a period of time, whether it has been opened or not opened and stored in different ways.

Hand with Bottle Pouring Sake to a Cup

Most people say that sake will last for 6 to 10 years if it is not opened during that time. If this is the case, you can leave the bottle at room temperature anywhere in your home, and it will last for a very long time.

This is because the bottle has not been opened, and bacteria have not been allowed to enter the drink. So it will have a very long shelf life just like any other kind of alcoholic beverage does.

But it will eventually go bad after several years of being shelf stable. This may happen sooner if the sake is exposed to warmer temperatures than just room temperature or is exposed to sunlight.

There are several ways to tell if sake has gone bad and if you see any of these signs, you should not drink this beverage. As you do not want to expose yourself to the bacteria that may have developed in the sake.

Yellow Color

Sake is an alcoholic beverage that is typically going to be crystal clear, just like water is. Because of this, it is easy to tell when the color has gone off and could indicate that the sake has gone bad.

Usually, when this happens, the sake will turn a light yellow color that is not what it normally should look like. This indicates that oxidation has happened, and the alcohol has been damaged throughout the time that you had the bottle.

If your sake has turned a shade of yellow, you should not drink it, as this indicates that it is no longer safe to consume. It may technically be safe, but it will no longer taste the way it should as the alcohol has been damaged and discolored.

Bad Smell

Because steak is made from rice, it is going to have a very pungent smell if it goes bad. You should immediately be able to tell the minute you remove the cap from the bottle whether or not the sake is still good to drink.

Sake Barrels in Japan

It will usually have a very strong and pungent smell that may also smell rotten or moldy. No matter what it smells like, you should be able to immediately tell that it does not smell the way that it should, which usually means it has gone bad.

Bad Taste

If the steak that you bought looks normal in appearance, you may taste it to see how it tastes. Sometimes sake can go bad and not necessarily show any visible signs of this, but it will usually taste off in some way.

If it does not smell bad, it is most likely not very bad, just a bit past its lifetime a bit. If this is the case, it will most likely have an off flavor or a slightly rancid taste to it.

If this is the case, you should not drink any more of the sake and should pour it out just to be safe.

How Long Does Sake Last Opened?

Once your bottle of sake is opened, it can last for 1 to 2 years if it is kept in the refrigerator. This is still an impressive shelf life considering the fact that this is a beverage that will be exposed to bacteria once opened.

pouring sake into a cup

If the bottle is not kept in the refrigerator, it will most likely only last for six months to a year, depending on the environment. As the cold environment of the fridge will help to keep the sake fresh for much longer.

Though it is recommended that you drink the sake within a year of opening it, as this is when the flavor will be best. Any time past this point and it just won’t have the same flavor or freshness that it did.

Does Sake Need to be Refrigerated?

One of the good things about sake is that it does not need to be refrigerated. Like most alcoholic beverages, it is safe to be kept at room temperature, whether it is open or not.

Though it is important to remember that refrigeration will keep the sake fresh for longer. So it will stay fresh for a longer period of time, tasting better and not spoiling as quickly as it would if kept at room temperature.

Final Thoughts

If you have a bottle of sake, you will need to drink this within 6 to 10 years if you leave it unopened until you are ready to drink it. Though if you open the bottle, it will last for 1 to 2 years if kept in the refrigerator during this time.

Sake definitely can spoil, and you should make sure you always check it before drinking to make sure it shows no signs of spoiling.