Aging BCBS variants

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by M777, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. M777

    M777 Initiate (42) Nov 13, 2015 Illinois

    The longest I’ve let flavored variants sit would be around 8 months. How long can they sit on the shelf without loosing flavors? I’m not trying to age for flavor improvement, just have quite a bit of stuff in the cellar and think it will be a while until get to them and would rather save them for future enjoyment. Many thanks in advance.
    GreenBayBA likes this.
  2. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,608) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Premium Trader

    i had a 2015, 2016 and 2017 last christmas and the 2016 was prefered by pretty much all. All were solid, it was just a tad bit more mellow.
  3. M777

    M777 Initiate (42) Nov 13, 2015 Illinois

    Thanks, which variants were they?
  4. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,608) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Premium Trader

    Straight up stout. I didn't start getting the variants until last year. I just found some coffee from like 2014 that I didn't know I had, it is probably void of any coffee, but will find out this month
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  5. Sweatshirt

    Sweatshirt Disciple (320) Jan 27, 2014 New Hampshire

    If you aren't aging for flavor changes keep them as cold as you can.
  6. M777

    M777 Initiate (42) Nov 13, 2015 Illinois

    It's my understanding that since 2016 BCBS has been pasteurized and won't change much when cellared (I mostly age the regular to offset the hotness of the younger BCBS).
  7. SFACRKnight

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

    This is bullshit. Oxidation will continue to happen regardless of the presence of live yeast. If anything there would be more DO since there are no yeast to scavenge said oxygen.
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  8. LarryV

    LarryV Meyvn (1,030) Jun 13, 2001 Massachusetts

    I just had a bottle of 2015 BCBS that I had given a friend originally and she aged it in her basement and brought it over on my birthday. She took the first sip and said, "I don't think I like this beer.". I tried it and it was terrible, very sour tasting. It ended up being a drain pour. I seem to recall that they had some problems with infected batches back then. Anyways, it was a real disappointment.
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  9. Sweatshirt

    Sweatshirt Disciple (320) Jan 27, 2014 New Hampshire

    The flavorings will absolutely fade. Pasteurization will inhibit some beer aging reactions it won't halt all.
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  10. Highbrow

    Highbrow Devotee (420) Jan 7, 2011 California

    my humble opinion. the question is probably too generalized to answer concisely. my experience just with regular BCBS, each individual bottling date (with-in a particular release year) has differed. i've had my fair share of variants, mostly since 2013. again humble opinion, i don't feel like there would be a solid opinion that all the variants, (year in & year out), age this way or that. 1 might benefit a bit from age while the other doesn't. i do feel that the flavors change subtly. being honest though, the subtle changes have been just that to me, subtle. maybe subtly better (more to my liking) maybe subtly less to my liking. truth be told, the risk of something less favorable occurring seems quite a bit higher than the hope something magical occurs over time from sitting on them. jmho
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  11. Donco

    Donco Devotee (437) Aug 12, 2013 Pennsylvania

    This year's coffee barleywine bottle says "one year". The wheatwine says "five years"
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  12. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,633) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Since they don't condition in the bottle, I doubt you'll get any improvement if that's what your looking for. With coffee and other variants I do think the flavors mellow a bit, whether that's good or bad depends on the person. I still subscribe to keep my beers cold and dark and I drink them when I really want one, but beers do oxidize as well too no matter what you do to them. I used to think pre pasteurization that 3-4 years was really a sweet spot, with these newer 500 ml bottles i can't really get enough to worry about that. It's a bottle here one there, so I just drink them when I want one.
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  13. jrnyc

    jrnyc Meyvn (1,319) Mar 21, 2010 New York
    Premium Trader

    That bottle was infected, 2015 was the year of infection.
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  14. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,104) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Premium Trader

    Aging BA beers with add-junks such as coffee, fruit, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, etc will result in some of the add-junks falling off in flavor within a year, which will effectively unmask other flavors - sometimes favorably though that's subjective. Coffee seems to fall off quickest and most noticeably, revealing the other flavors. Barring infection or coffee yielding green pepper taste, your variants will still make for good drinking for a year or two, and may improve depending on your tastes.
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  15. Thirstygoat

    Thirstygoat Zealot (588) Nov 22, 2012 Illinois

    I still have 2012 Coffee and an original Bramble Rye in the cellar. What am I waiting for? Hell if I know.
  16. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,633) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    I believe I’d drink them , oxidized bc tastes like cardboard it would be a shame to lose them.
  17. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Devotee (432) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana

    I'm curious how old you've had an "oxidized BC" where it tasted like cardboard. People still drink them back to 2009 with very few issues, but based on your posts I'm guessing that the bottle you had is not older than 2012. In which case It is more likely that you had a bad bottle or an off-palate day rather than the beer actually being that oxidized.
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  18. AdmiralOzone

    AdmiralOzone Poo-Bah (1,527) Jun 26, 2014 Minnesota
    Premium Trader

    Got quite a few variants this year. Five of us shared one each: regular, vanilla, and orange. All tasted great and I'm only aging any because I'm not gonna drink them all back to back. The Wheatwine I opened yesterday needs some time IMO, as it's a bit "hot" from the barrel.
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  19. Lahey

    Lahey Disciple (386) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    If you have multiple bottles of each variant, drink one of each over the next couple weeks to get an idea of how strong the flavorings are. If one flavor is overpowering or a hot beer, drink them last to let that flavor/heat fade a little. Nice thing is these stouts have an outstanding base, so somewhat faded additives shouldn't hurt much.
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  20. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Meyvn (1,389) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Premium Trader

    I would age them if you want, see how it matures etc. Usually the bottle indicates what can age or for how long etc. I have some regular sitting for 2 years but that is not a variant. My choice is to consume them fresh unless I have numerous of the same then I drink when I get the urge, if some flavor falls off not a big deal, still tasty.
  21. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,104) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Premium Trader

    Yeah - the only reason I would take an expensive/rare beer and intentionally age it past a year is for a vertical. I might go slightly past a year if I just can't get through it any faster. I wasted seven BA Fidy's by letting them age past 6 months. They didn't go bad, but the coffee fell off substantially and it lost the boldness that makes it BA Fidy.

    I don't see that happening with most of the BC variants, but still if you're not going for a vertical - which presumes they'll bring that variant back, it might be a good idea to enjoy them before they get into their terrible twos. Risk of flavor going south increases with age, though one could argue that subjectively nice things can happen too.
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  22. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Meyvn (1,389) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Premium Trader

    Agree on the BA Fidy, I had a can for around 1 year and it was not great to me. My fresh one was so good and the aged one was lackluster at best.
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  23. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,633) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Once they started to pasturize the beers, aging becomes more an effort to spread out the bottles than improve the product. At least for me, there was a time I had a shitload of BC Coffee in 12 oz bottles and some of those hit two years old are were still as good as they were fresh. I wasn't trying to do anything but spread them out because Coffee was such a hard get especially in volume. KBS IMO is much better fresh to maybe 6 months or so, it's still great with age on it but the sharp edges are a bit lost.
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  24. CoreyC

    CoreyC Initiate (193) Mar 16, 2015 Wisconsin

    Not a this year's variant, but the Barleywine in the past ages tremendously. I would think the Wheatwine would age similarly well. The "flavored" variants of the stout will lose adjunct flavors over time. I'll drink all of my variants (besides Wheatwine) within a year.
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  25. M777

    M777 Initiate (42) Nov 13, 2015 Illinois

    It had to be one of the infected bottles. Drank a 2015 in sept that was absolutely delicious.
  26. M777

    M777 Initiate (42) Nov 13, 2015 Illinois

    Thanks everyone, will drink the coffee barleywines and wheat within the first 6 months to one year. Will sit on bramble, Vanilla, and regular for longer.
    #26 M777, Nov 26, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  27. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Devotee (432) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana

    BC 13 and 14 are the best BA stout I have ever had. And I'm talking about co dining them RIGHT NOW. This 4-5 year point for them is absolutely phenomenal. BC 15 is also doing very well, but I think it will be better next year.

    Most beers age poorly, but BC can be intentionally aged with amazing results. No one should ever have oxidation issues for BC until they get to at least 6+ unless there is an issue with the bottle cap or perhaps stored very poorly.

    Yes I know some will prefer fresh over aged, but preference is different than "oxidized" and, as the poster above stated, "tastes like card board."

    With BC, it's just not a gamble.

    I have yet to see anyone say negative things about the pasteurized BC beers in terms of cellaring, other than that (perhaps) they may age slower. All that means is that there might be fewer oxidation issues. Yet to see anyone report poor aging results, however.
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  28. SFACRKnight

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

    This isnt calling you out, but building off your post.
    I think the myth that pasteurized beer doesn't change should be addressed at some point. The only portion of the "conditioning" affected by pasteurization would be yeast related. This includes oxygen scavenging, diacetyl and acetylaldehyde processing, as well as fusel alcohols being broken down. The oxidation process still occurs in a pasteurized beer, and would logically do so at a more pronounced rate as there are no live yeast to help. Also, laying a beer down to lose its "heat" would do nothing without yeast as well. It's the yeast that process the fusels and reduce the boozy aspects of the beer. So while aging a pasteurized beer won't net the changes it used to, everyone needs to understand that these beers will still change over time. I have a 4 year vert of BA yeti I have waiting to check for changes in that beer.
  29. Jlabs

    Jlabs Savant (945) Nov 11, 2013 New York

    recently had OG Backyard Rye (2013 I think) and it tasted great!..less sweet than I remember but plenty of bourbon character and zero alcohol burn
    brutalfarce likes this.
  30. djkman

    djkman Aspirant (245) Jun 18, 2012 New Jersey

    Wether this belongs here or not.... this weekend I enjoyed a 2014 BCBS from their last keg ... and it tasted grrrreat in my humble opinion....

    brutalfarce likes this.
  31. wilymobastardo

    wilymobastardo Disciple (342) Jan 12, 2015 California
    Premium Trader

    Had a 3 year-old Coffee and it was definitely underwhelming. Regular and Barleywine were fine at that age (not necessarily better).
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  32. Lazhal

    Lazhal Devotee (448) Mar 13, 2011 Michigan

    I have been trying to determine if there are differences between bottle dates for reg BCBS for about four years now. Naturally there has got to be some minor differences. The differences in barrels, age of barrels, ABV, have to have some impact.

    To me the primary factor comes down to my palate. That's because I've experienced dramatic flavor differences in bottles with the same bottle date and from the same case. Granted I drink an absolute ton of BCBS, so naturally it is more likely to happen to me.

    The huge flavor swings have all but caused me to give up trying to determine if I can really tell the different between different bottle dates. So far for 2018, I thought the 14.7 version was a bit more fruit forward than the 15.2 version, but who knows...could just be what I ate those days.
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  33. Highbrow

    Highbrow Devotee (420) Jan 7, 2011 California

    for me, i've definitely tasted varying levels of barrel oak & char in varied bottled dates of 2012 & 2014 vintages. i've also experienced some variance with-in same vintage, same bottled date too, but have written that off as you said, palate &/or where in a specific batch a bottle may have been filled.

    the way i went about determining the differences in the 2014 version was there was plenty available locally & an unprecedented amount of restock (for here). i didn't write down anything specific but figured out - the original release date we got was always brighter and more vibrant than 1 of the later dates (i believe i had 3 dates from that year). the later bottling date always had a drier heavier barrel wood influence on it. every bottle i remember opening, this was discernible compared to every 1st bottled date i drank. i don't believe that's a "me" &/or palate nuances type of thing. the difference was consistent (for me).