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newbie aging question

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by loafinaround, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. loafinaround

    loafinaround Savant (415) New York Jul 16, 2011 Verified

    Even though I'm very stout biased, I will confess I almost never age beers. (No room!) So, I'm totally a neophyte
    A friend just bought a giant pile of lovely ales. How does one figure out which are best suited for aging? Alcohol content? Anything else to consider? a few were barrel-aged already, so I presume they're prime candidates. What about fruit ales?

    thanks for your help! :)
  2. jl28r1

    jl28r1 Savant (490) Texas Jan 10, 2011

    Only age if you have an extra bottle. You need to try it fresh or you will have no baseline for how it might have changed over time.
    My opinion would be to just drink them and enjoy!
    loafinaround likes this.
  3. loafinaround

    loafinaround Savant (415) New York Jul 16, 2011 Verified

    this is normally what both he and I do... however, he just scored a major haul. he likely will dirnk one of each, but obviously, some will be chosen to age. Just wondering which would be better candidates. I know coffee fades over time, and anything hoppy or low abv should be fresh, but don't know what criteria make a beer a decent candidate for the cellar.
  4. jtmartino

    jtmartino Advocate (525) California Dec 11, 2010 Beer Trader

    For a vast majority of beers, aging them will meld the flavors together and adjuncts tend to fade. Coffee, hop aromatics, fruit, etc. usually fade over time. So beers that are missing cohesion with conflicting distinct flavors usually do well with age.

    Usually, stronger beers age better. And beers that have a hot, boozy mouthfeel usually mellow out with age. Sours can be a gamble - they can get more sour, less sour, or change completely. Typically high-end sours age well (Cantillon, 3F, etc.) but fruit can fade fast.

    I age true verticals, so I can try them side-by-side. Stouts, imperial porters, barleywines, etc. Usually only something I've had before that I know I'll like, and I'll age it to see what happens. I also age most of my sours because they can be an interesting experiment after a couple years.