1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

How long is too long?

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

  1. dolphz

    dolphz Aspirant (40) Illinois Jan 13, 2011

    I have been aging a few beers for several years, 2005 Darklord, 2007 Worldwide Stot, several years of BCS, a bunch of different barleywines (Bigfoot, Olde School, Old Foghorn, Old Horizontal, etc). My question is, how long is too long to leave it in the cellar (my cellar is a cabinet next to the foundation in the basement)? I've found BCS is great after 3 years, the Darklord was amazing at 6, a WWW was bad after 8 years. Is there an optimal age by style?

    Thanks all!
  2. Duff27

    Duff27 Advocate (590) Illinois Feb 10, 2010

    Not as much by style as by particular beer. Even then you will find a wide array of answers for any given beer. Keep in mind that not everyone is aging/cellaring at the same temperatures and lighting situations. Your best bet it to keep "experimenting" and find your own "sweet spot" for beers that you enjoy in general. Cheers.
  3. dolphz

    dolphz Aspirant (40) Illinois Jan 13, 2011

    I just opened a 10 year old bottle of Avery Reverend that I was sure was going to have gone bad, its actually really good! The overwhelming sweetness it used to have has mellowed significantly, and it still had corbonation.
  4. RDMII

    RDMII Savant (290) Georgia Apr 11, 2010

    There is no rule of thumb for aging beers. Period. Everyone says they have the answer but everyone's palate is different, cellar conditions differ, and the actual bottling can vary across the board. I have found a lot of people's opinions to be completely useless, while others have been so dead on I wouldn't have guessed them right. Even going off a trusted person's experience with a particular beer you may have something completely different happen with yours, so it's really pointless to get a slew of opinions unless you can verify the entire process those people have dealt with. A bottle on the shelf from an old batch and a fresh bottle will differ, and even the slightest humidity or temp change can yield something different.

    Not the best answer for you, but it really comes down to what you like. I've opened a beer with someone that I loved, they hated. And vice versa. No one will know better than your own mouth.
    jedwards likes this.
  5. FEUO

    FEUO Initiate (0) Ontario (Canada) Jul 24, 2012

    As cellars balloon I can't imagine saving much beyond a few years. I think huge abv beers would benefit from a couple years MAX.
  6. After drinking a few of my collection this weekend... (BBXXIV, Alaskan Perseverance ,Nightstalker, 10 and a few Founders FIS ,10....i'm on a mission to drink some of my cellar down! I'm now in the camp that believes VERY few beers improve.... most go downhill
  7. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (425) Indiana Sep 25, 2008


    I'm curious why you think this? Don't the flavor profiles generally take a little longer to develop with 18% beers?


    From a homebrewing perspective this is blasphemy :) Most of your darker beers take at least 6 weeks to set up and turn into gold after that--bottle conditioned or otherwise. With the right care you'll wish you hadn't tapped a keg as soon as you did, or wish that you set aside another 6er.

    So which three beers are worth cellaring?
  8. Ommegang Three Philosophers
    GD Yeti
    GD Old Ruffian
    FFF Dark Lord
    DFH 120
    DFH Olde School
    Unibroue Trois Pistoles
    Unibroue Terrible
    Unibroue 17
    Southern Tier Choklat
    GI BCBS and tons of other great brews! Have fun and find out for yourself.

Share This Page