cellarable beers

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by inchrisin, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (470) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    I've got some play money and I'm looking for some feedback on which beers I should buy to stat a beer cellar. I've recently bought a 4 pack of Rasputin, an oaked Yeti, and would like to pick up some Stone RIS. Maybe I should double up in number on some of these beers too.

    I'm also starting to wonder which styles are best for cellaring. Thick body and high ABV are a good start, but any other feedback would help too.

    What are your top 5-10 beers to have in a cellar? Feedback on styles will help me grab some of the good local stuff too.
  2. kawilliams81

    kawilliams81 Advocate (640) Illinois Feb 27, 2009 Verified

    dogphishead likes this.
  3. CityofBals

    CityofBals Initiate (0) Illinois Sep 12, 2012

    100% Lambics. Don't cellar anything that isn't bottle conditioned.
  4. 1-5 = Cantillon
    6 -10 = Cantillon also
    gpawned and kbuzz like this.
  5. auhwfm

    auhwfm Zealot (90) California Dec 6, 2010

    My top five cellarable 6/4pk brews:
    Sierra Nevada Bigfoot
    Lagunitas Brown Shugga
    North Coast Old Stock
    Flying Dog Gonzo
    Dogfish Head Palo Santo

    Large format:
    Firestone Walker Parabola
    Port Santa's Little Helper
    Deschutes Abyss
    Alaskan Smoked Porter
    Avery Hog Heaven

    I've had great results with all of these. Have fun!
    ESeab and Eriktheipaman like this.
  6. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (470) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    Is there a good way to find out if a beer is bottle conditioned, or do you just look for a white ring at the bottom of the bottle?
  7. gpawned

    gpawned Initiate (0) Illinois Jun 5, 2012

    Westy (the more time the better is what I hear)
    Boltcutter (curious to see)
    Fou Foune
    Cantillon Classic
    Bare Tree (needs a few years...eh fresh...great with 3-4 yrs on it)
    Expedition Stout (needs a couple years)
    Darkness (I like 2 years on it...unless the 2010 batch was just vastly superior)
    Central Waters Y2k Catastophe Ale (amazing with 5 years on it)
    Founders Cerise (needs a year)
    Surly Syx

    (i'm using the word, "need", pretty loosely).
    inchrisin likes this.
  8. I think you should think about what it is that you like or want out of each beer, respectively. Someone above mentioned aging parabola. I think that's a good example of a high abv, barrel aged stout, where best qualities about it are gonna stand up and taste best when fresh. However, you may find that you like where it goes with some age...probably a bit of roastiness compared to the fresh chocolate flavors. I just personally think Parabola is at its best when enjoyed fresh whereas something like Firestone Walker XIV Anniversary would be one that I felt needed age badly when first bottled. A little over 2yrs later, I think it can still benefit from a little more time. It was much boozier at first but is now starting to mellow and the flavor profile is developing nicely. Basically, a little trial & error while learning what you like about certain styles will help you figure out what you want to age and about how long. Out of what you mentioned, the Stone IRS would be the best one to cellar. Grab some and put em back for multiple years and save some for longer than that. They'll age beautifully.
    gpawned and tx_beer_man like this.
  9. tx_beer_man

    tx_beer_man Savant (370) Texas Jan 22, 2013 Verified

    Aging IRS are great. IIPA's on the other hand are your choice. Remember hop oils will separate over time, mellowing the taste of IPA's. I've aged several barrel aged doubles for six to seven months and they come out with great head, yet much more mellow.
    ESeab likes this.
  10. gpawned

    gpawned Initiate (0) Illinois Jun 5, 2012

    Great advice, trial and error for sure. Don't be afraid to even age and IPA that you know really well just to see how it changes (maybe take a 6pk and open one a month for 6 months...remember ever beer will react differently). I've definitely tried DIPAs that I liked better with a year on them.

    Certain flavors fade quickly...I love a bourbon bomb and thus no longer want much age on my bourbon barrel beers. You'll just have to figure out what you like and how certain flavors change over time through your experiments.
    dogphishead likes this.
  11. MCImes

    MCImes Savant (395) Connecticut Dec 31, 2010 Verified

    many of my favorite old beers are mentioned above but to add some more:

    Any gueuze
    Most sours
    Nogne sweet horizion and red horizion (just had a 3 year old sweet horizion...omg it was great)
    Founders Imperial Stout (not kbs though. It got worse after 1 year IMO)
    Yeti and its oaked/belgian/espresso/coco variants
    Wheat wines (not a big wheat beer fan but for some reason wheat wines with a year or 2 on them flip my cookie)
    Sammichlause (mis-spelled im sure)
    Broad Head barley wine (great fresh or with a couple years on it)

    Even low abv stouts. I "lost" a bottle of Bridgeport stout which was only 5% abv. I found it after 5 years and was debating drinking it at all. Im glad i did! it was one of the best beers ive had and I cant get another =( its not distributed to MN anymore. So im trying to put away some fairly "normal"/"nothing special" stouts to see what happens in 3-6 years.

    As mentioned above too - Bourbon fades fairly fast, so thinks like KBS are best fresh IMO.
    gpawned likes this.
  12. I think you should search within this forum, and you'll find similar posts to your own. Read the responses for these posts.
  13. yinzer

    yinzer Savant (395) Pennsylvania Nov 24, 2006

    Yeah, JW Lees is pasteurized. Such a bad beer to cellar.
    Gobigvt7 likes this.
  14. CityofBals

    CityofBals Initiate (0) Illinois Sep 12, 2012

    I personally don't enjoy cardboard.
    kojevergas likes this.
  15. yinzer

    yinzer Savant (395) Pennsylvania Nov 24, 2006

    I just opened a 1988 over New Years and didn't get any cardboard. But I typically do with Fullers Vintage Ale, Harveys Elizabethan Ale, Artvelde and even sometimes with the beloved Thomas Hardys. Yeast doesn't prevent cardboard flavors.
  16. CityofBals

    CityofBals Initiate (0) Illinois Sep 12, 2012

    Meh, to each his own.
  17. FanClub

    FanClub Zealot (95) Indiana Nov 2, 2012

    when it comes to taste yes, but not when it comes to something silly like

    You would think that all the beer experts and authors would have picked up on the relatively simple equation of:
    aged-beer + no bottle conditioning = cardboard
  18. tx_beer_man

    tx_beer_man Savant (370) Texas Jan 22, 2013 Verified

    I wouldn't call myself an expert by any stretch or means. I set up in Nov. '12 a fridge with a good 30+ brews in there, temps at 50-55 F. I have some bottle conditioned in there but mostly not (I assume, didn't look for whether bottle conditioned). All Mar-Dec 2012 brews and most of them are high ABV Russian Imperial Stouts, lots of DFH 120's, barrel aged stouts/porters, Alaskan Smoked Porters & some Chimay Peres Trapistes Gran Reserves. I have an inventory and I'll check online for whether bottle conditioned instead of pulling all out.

    If they're not bottle conditioned, what do y'all think? Good to sit for 6 months, yr, more, less? Thoughts well appreciated!
  19. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Advocate (615) Colorado Jan 20, 2012

    Yeti loves spending some time in the cellar. Espresso oak yeti with a year on it is amazing. Imperial stouts do well, as do barleeywines. Succaba, cockeyed cooper, bigfoot all do well. My favorite beers to cellar are beers fermented with brett. The dynamics of the yeast change so much over time that it is fun to see what this little bug can do. Crooked staves wwb series are good candidates. So is gi sofie and matilda. My problem is patience, and buying at least two of everything.