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Black Note

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by Coirm, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Coirm

    Coirm Aficionado (150) Illinois Dec 12, 2012

    Anyone cellar last years? Year before? Trying to decide how much to put away. It's hard not drink now, it is quite good.
    cfrances33 likes this.
  2. pmoney

    pmoney Advocate (595) Illinois Apr 15, 2011

    There wasn't a year before in bottles. The first time it was bottled was in February 2012. I had one from that batch in September (roughly 7 months later) and it was great, but pretty much unchanged.
  3. Bay01

    Bay01 Savant (435) Illinois Nov 19, 2008

    I have no idea, but since Expedition ages great I think it has potential to age well.
  4. surlytheduff

    surlytheduff Savant (370) Michigan Jul 22, 2010

    First question: if you're trying to decide whether or not to cellar it, what are you hoping will change about it by doing so? Is there some aspect of it now you don't like?

    Personally, I would cellar it only to have it available on demand, not with hopes of it getting deliciouser.

    As far as real world anecdotal results, the first couple times I had BN (middle of, and late 2011) was from the last brewing before the batch that came out at the beginning of last year (2009 I think?). Obviously aging in kegs is different than bottles, but I didn't think it tasted a whole lot different than fresh Black Note.
  5. Coirm

    Coirm Aficionado (150) Illinois Dec 12, 2012

    Thanks for insight and advice. Think I put a four pack away and try it against next years. Will be hard :)
  6. oh man... a great question that pretty much no one seems to think about when they cellar stuff.
    BdubleEdubleRUN and atone315 like this.
  7. Coirm

    Coirm Aficionado (150) Illinois Dec 12, 2012

    Thats why I am asking. I don't know enough to make the call. I read about beers that people say improve immensely with age. I guess I am not patient enough to wait a year or two and do a vertical. Any Chicago area BAs have last years? I would donate this years for a comparison? ( hope I am not bending/breaking the rules here)
  8. thebeerisgood

    thebeerisgood Savant (250) Indiana Mar 13, 2011

    Personally, I wouldn't intentionally cellar this one. Nothing about it is aggressive, hot, unappealing, etc. It's a really well balanced beer, ready to enjoy right now. With that said though, I will probably "cellar" a few bottles just so I can have it whenever I want down the road, not because I am expecting a change.

    I opened a bottle from the Feb 2012 release, it was still delicious, and honestly didn't seem to have changed much.
    Coirm likes this.
  9. Coirm

    Coirm Aficionado (150) Illinois Dec 12, 2012


    Thanks for the insight.
  10. Bluecane

    Bluecane Initiate (0) New York Dec 30, 2011

    You get the opposite too, i.e. This beer is boozy, so cellaring MUST improve it. Eh.
  11. crushedvol

    crushedvol Savant (265) Illinois Jan 29, 2008

    Yes, Thank You.

    That should be a sticky in the Cellaring forum. Along with a blanket ban on the statement " XYZ beer is amazing with x years on it " without an explanation of why.

    How did it change from a fresh bottle. What flavors are muted, Which flavors come to the for front etc.

    and possible chemical castration for anyone who gives a beer all 5's then says they are gonna cellar the rest.
    /rant
    libbey likes this.
  12. steebo777

    steebo777 Savant (485) Michigan Jun 30, 2009

    Opened a batch 1 after BBL People's Porter and Sexual Chocolate and it was absolutely mind blowing. Still silky and as delicious as possible.
  13. Corbet

    Corbet Savant (330) Michigan Nov 7, 2010

    I've talked to quite a few local Bell's reps and they all seem to think it's only going to get better with age. Maybe they'll be wrong, but it doesn't hurt to throw some bottles in the closet, especially if they decide to release it every year in 12 ounce bottles.
  14. Honestly I don't know IF this is a great question. Ok first does there HAVE TO be something wrong or something that needs change to cellar your beer. Maybe you are either hoping a) it will get better with age, just tastier in your own opinion, whatever flavors that change or get muted or brought out. I know someone aged a Night Stalker for two years and said it basically turned into BCBCS. Ok maybe they loved the hops but just wanted to see what happens. Or you are hoping b) it changes and you just like to explore. I am sure most people don't want beers to go downhill, but I am ok if I cellar something and it changes, for the better or for the worse. It's beer, and I like to try different flavors, even if these different flavors come from the same beer, just with different years on em.

    I feel like this is why people do ventricles of stuff like BCBS. Ya the bourbon flavor might get reduced, but they want to compare, they want to see how stuff changes, ect. It is just fun. All I am saying is I will probably cellar some BN so I can see what happens, and if it drops off then it drops off and if it gets better it got better and I am ok with my seven dollar experiment, ya dig! :)
  15. surlytheduff

    surlytheduff Savant (370) Michigan Jul 22, 2010

    Some points. First, neither 1 year, or 2 year, or 3 year old Nightstalker would ever be mistaken for BCBCS. Or BCBS.

    Anyway, I happen to think it's a great question. One that I wished I had asked myself a few years ago. Sure, it's awesome having metal shelves full of ventricles, but then you find yourself never having the heart to crack them open, cause you don't want to have a hole in your ventricle.

    Again - what sort of magic transformation would one expect to happen by sitting on Black Note? It has a delicate (but extremely flavorful) bourbon aspect will just start fading into the void over time. The initial barrel aging already took off what roughness there might have been to the Expedition (which is further cut by the cream stout). I will concede that Expedition with time on it is pretty amazing. But if I wanted to experience that awesomeness, well, I'd age Expedition. Listen, I'm not saying it's going to go to hell. I just don't expect it to evolve into some higher form of beer.
  16. I will admit I understand the point of your post, which I believe was don't go aimlessly throwing beers in the cellar that are not going to get better, which many people do. Plus people assemble these huge cellars for various reasons (to collect, to trade, to look at, ect but not to drink the beer when it should be drank). I was I guess playing devils advocate. I myself have a tiny cellar that I just started full of mostly things that people say cellar well such as expedition, so I am no expert either.

    I was merely saying, if someone wants to cellar to Black Note just too see how it changes, than by all means go for it. It's not Pliny the Elder and probably wont become a total shell of what Bell's intended, but if people love it for the smooth delicate flavor it brings, than don't cellar it, if people like to experiment with changing beer, then cellar away.

    As for the Nightstalker, he is what I was quoting. Article/blog post from some Chicago beer drinkers whose blog I think its pretty well done. http://www.guysdrinkingbeer.com/review-goose-island-night-stalker/ <---- Read the reviews of that, they are pretty clear it tastes nothing like fresh (obviously, and the coffee comes out huge... COOL!). I would chalk this up to the whole experiment by cellaring. Hey let's see what happens when those hops go away... oh look, coffee chocolate bomb yummy!

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