Aged Gems Found in Stores

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by mambossa, Nov 16, 2018.

  1. mambossa

    mambossa Initiate (128) Jun 30, 2015 Ohio

    I was recently at my local bottleshop chatting with the buyer about Schwarzbiers and imports. Somewhere along in the conversation he points out a small row of modest-looking wrapped up bottles of Aventinus Doppelbock. There are some vintages from 2008 to 2012. All at a fixed price of $7.50 He says the brewery cellars the beer themselves before distributing out to vendors. We speculate it may be because there isn’t much high demand for specialty German beer anymore.

    Naturally, I grab a few 2008s and they tasted absolutely beautiful. I also found many 2009s at a local German import store.

    A few years back one of the distributors near me had various vintages of Stones Imperial Stout and some of the variants (i.e. the Belgian one with anise). They apparently needed to make room, so they shipped them out to every store around. Ended up scoring many a 4-year-old Stone RIS for retail price, and it was aged perfectly.

    Anyone come across any great aged beer at their LBS?
  2. Lahey

    Lahey Disciple (386) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    I got a six pack of some 1 dollar year old brown shuggas. I enjoyed that beer with a year on it. I see theres some fresher in the store now, but for 11 bucks a sixer...

    Also was buying year old stone RIS last year, they're all gone now:confused:
  3. zid

    zid Savant (917) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    There's a store in my state that's rather far from me, but they are the kind of place you go to for a little archeology or beer antiquing. I'd swear the buyer there must have a soft spot for barley wines, 'cause they always have so many old ones in various states of burial by dust. I tend to buy more old beer than I should, but barley wines are the one style where I'm more forgiving of myself for this. I always drink through a collection of barley wines at this time of the year, and the group I'm currently going through are the ones in the pic below. About half of these were recently purchased at that store.


    The old ones from that store were:

    1997 & 2005 George Gale Prize Old Ale
    2002 (est.) George Gale Conquest Ale
    2010 & 2012 Brooklyn Monster
    2012 Widmer Brothers Old Embalmer
    2013 Bigfoot (not pictured)
    2015 Barrier Archibald
    2015 Victory Old Horizontal
    2009-2014 (?) Blue Point Old Howling Bastard

    The two George Gale Prize Old Ales were the oldest and newest bottles that I could easily find there. They even had (what could have been) a whole case of Brooklyn Monster, but I didn't check to see if it was unopened or just a reused box filed with other product. I don't know the date of the Old Howling Bastard, but the copyright on the label is 2009 and I know it was before the 2014 AB InBev purchase since the label states:

    "We're proud to be independently owned and operated with NO CORPORATE TIES." (that's their caps emphasis not mine) :grin:

    The Sierra Nevada Life And Limb was bought at a different store. I'm assuming it's from 2011. You can imagine my surprise when I walked into a supermarket and saw one bottle of that beer sitting in a prominent center spot on a top shelf... without a spec of dust on it.

    As far as any of these oldies being "gems," well... that remains to be seen. I've opened some of them so far, and each beer has not been as good as when I've had them in years past. I haven't had any disasters yet either though. Many of these are "gems" in the sense that they are no longer being produced by the brewer. Not sure which one I'll open tomorrow.
    sulldaddy, brutalfarce, bl00 and 6 others like this.
  4. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Devotee (491) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    @mambossa were you talking about Wine Spot in your first example with Aventinus, because I snagged one there a couple weeks ago. They also had a 2012 North Coast Old Stock Ale Cellar Reserve.

    North Coast will release four packs of Old Stock Ale aged on site to stores sporadically. Warehouse Beverage would get them; not sure if the new owner will continue that practice.
    brutalfarce and mambossa like this.
  5. Ahonky

    Ahonky Initiate (131) Feb 13, 2018 New York

    their exists a SN/Russian River BRUX in my local store. I often wonder if I should buy it.
  6. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (866) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    These should all prove interesting.
  7. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,334) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    The Prize Old Ale used to be one of my standards. I love that beer. I'm not so fond of the Conquest.
  8. Samlover55

    Samlover55 Defender (643) Oct 8, 2015 New York

    I know of such a store in the state which is pretty close to me, where I find aged barleywines all the time, including Brooklyn Monster, Lakefront Beerline reg and BA, Uinta Anniversary, Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot, Lagunitas Gnarleywine, etc.....
    I wonder if we are talking about the same store......
  9. zid

    zid Savant (917) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    Replying to your post in the WBAYDN thread, the Monsters were quite good. Clear with sediment, thin and fruity, relatively easy drinkers. I liked my 2010 better than my 2012 because it had more astringency. Not saying you should wait on your 2010 though, since I'm thinking in terms of individual bottles not "vintages."
    These particular Prize Old Ales really didn't click with me. 3 years ago, I had maybe a 2001(?) and I liked it much more... and I enjoyed them more when I had them going further back than that. In this case, I liked the 1997 more than the 2005. The Conquest was actually my favorite of these three bottles. Felt like a still wine/cider.
    Cable Beverage. If the same, I didn't notice a bunch of what's in your list when there recently.
    EvenMoreJesus likes this.
  10. Samlover55

    Samlover55 Defender (643) Oct 8, 2015 New York

    One and the same.... I've seen all the ones I listed except for Lagunitas my last trip there, beginning of October.....gotta get down on your knees to see them though.
    zid likes this.
  11. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,344) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    B. United, the US Schneider importer, still has 2009-2014 in stock.

    They also still list some of the imported beers in the photo @zid posted above, like the Gale's brands (long of business, of course).

    They've got an impressive looking warehouse up there in Connecticut...
    zid likes this.
  12. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Devotee (432) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana

    There's a thread around here somewhere (too lazy to look for it, honestly) where I was talking about these Aventinus. I opened a 2007 last year, and the flavor was more intense and different than I had expected. I'm not sure that's good or bad, just different. I opened a fresher one (2012 maybe?) and liked it a little more.

    I have only seen a few stores carry them across many states; two that come to mind include one that is in STL and the other in Huntsville, AL. In STL, it's The Wine and Cheese Place, which will ship if anyone is so inclined.
  13. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,243) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    I wonder how that 5 monks has held up, it was one of my favorite gold tops fresh.
    I bought a case of one year "old" ten fidy for $30. What a great day that was.
    7irondave likes this.
  14. zid

    zid Savant (917) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    I have never had that one. I bought one bottle when it was released in 2014 and I've tucked it away until now. Haven't opened it yet. I have it in a group of four 15-20% beers. I normally don't buy a single bottle of something and squirrel it away, but this was an exception.
    SFACRKnight likes this.
  15. zid

    zid Savant (917) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    ... and move boxes and push bottles aside and wipe off dust and ...
    Samlover55 likes this.
  16. Samlover55

    Samlover55 Defender (643) Oct 8, 2015 New York

    All part of the experience of shopping there. The hardest part of going is....... leaving.
    zid likes this.
  17. mambossa

    mambossa Initiate (128) Jun 30, 2015 Ohio

    It was Wine Spot. They took good care of those bottles. Also Hansa Brewing and the import store is across the street from my work, and they have some 2009s there, among other great strange beers you can’t find anywhere else.

    The older ones I have almost take on characteristics of an older wine. To me, it’s definitely a good thing. It’s more condensed, slowly oxidized, and the carbonation is wayyyy softer. The yeast characteristics fade off and blend in. I gotta say those ~10yr old bottles are amazing.
    Beer_Economicus likes this.
  18. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,304) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Are all the vintages only sealed with only a wine cork? Back in 2012, I drank a 2001 bottle that I bought of the shelf at a store, and it was terrible - completely flat and totally oxidized, and undrinkable - I scored it a 1.6 in my review. And looking at other reviews - there are many others like mine.
  19. zid

    zid Savant (917) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    The recent recreations were not corked (if I remember correctly, and later than the bottle you bought), but I doubt those made it to the US. I have occasionally really liked the beer a lot (even in it’s flat, acidic, and old imported state) but it’s not for everyone and the reviews here make that clear. As mentioned, the ones I just drank didn’t do it for me.
  20. chitownfanatic21

    chitownfanatic21 Initiate (180) Sep 25, 2016 Nebraska

    I bought a couple six packs of 2012 SN Bigfoot about 6 months ago in Kansas, only 8.99/6er. I was blown away, drank so well!