Aging Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by Hophead717, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. Hophead717

    Hophead717 Oct 21, 2011 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I'm currently enjoying my first (and only) CW BBB and I'm interested to hear from anyone who has aged this beer. I like it a lot, but I'd like it to be a little less bourbon-forward. Perhaps some age would allow the flavors to better integrate?

    I might trade for some more, but I'd like to hear about your aging stories, if you have any. Thanks!
     
  2. maximum12

    maximum12 Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    This is hands-down my favorite beer to age. I try to buy a case, at least, every year.

    I've had them up to 4 years old with not only no drop-off, but they improve dramatically. This year's version, IMHO, is by far the best fresh since the '08 version. We had a four year vertical in February & bloody hell, all fantastic. The bourbon, however, doesn't fall off very much, but maybe that slight drift would be enough to make your palate happy.

    I don't know what else to say other than to gush more. Ages like a champion.
     
    misterid, Duff27, Gotti311 and 2 others like this.
  3. Hophead717

    Hophead717 Oct 21, 2011 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Related follow-up question: what's the price and availability of BBB off the shelf?
     
  4. maximum12

    maximum12 Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Price is around $11/4 pack.

    Availability is changing. Last year it was really tough to get; the border town closest to the Twin Cities sold out in about 3 hours, so older vintages are much harder to get. Central Waters expanded their barrel aging program significantly last year, so there was a lot more of it this year, & a bunch even made it out of Wisconsin. That said, it's long gone in Minnesota & I'd wager it's mostly gone in Wisconsin other than random out-of-the-way places.

    That said, if that's Nick Punto in your avatar, I'm so happy I never have to watch him try to swing a bat in a Twins uniform again. Though he might be able to pitch for them this year.
     
    Cyclone8 likes this.
  5. Hophead717

    Hophead717 Oct 21, 2011 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I'm in the process of acquiring a four pack based on this knowledge. Thanks for sharing!
     
  6. podunkparte

    podunkparte Nov 14, 2009 Washington

    I think it's Chase Utley
     
    BDEE and Duff27 like this.
  7. maximum12

    maximum12 Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    That would make a lot more sense & be much more palatable.
     
  8. Hophead717

    Hophead717 Oct 21, 2011 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Haha, yup it's Chase!
     
  9. DavoleBomb

    DavoleBomb Mar 29, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I think it is best fresh. I had a '10 not too long ago and it was not nearly as good.
     
  10. bmony26

    bmony26 May 2, 2012 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    You can still find four packs of BBB, BB, and Peruvian Morning in Stevens Point. I picked up a couple more 4 packs of BBB Monday. I don't know if it's because of the close proximity to the Brewery but it's still available here.
     
  11. nickapalooza86

    nickapalooza86 Feb 23, 2010 Wisconsin

    Still a good amount of BBBW in La Crosse aswell.
     
  12. inkdemention

    inkdemention Nov 17, 2012 Nevada
    Beer Trader

    I been told the bbbw is 14.99?
     
  13. BarrytheBear

    BarrytheBear Dec 10, 2007 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    In my experience this year's was the best vintage when fresh. It's drinking really well right out of the gate and I haven't been able to say that about past years.

    As far as aging, for me two years seems about the sweet spot. In my opinion, it starts to fall apart after that.
     
  14. Brehnert

    Brehnert Mar 17, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I picked up a case of Peruvian Morning and BB stout for $90 each. Works out to $15/4 pack. Still not a great price but much better than the $5.50 Philly bottle shops were charging per bottle!
     
  15. pmarlowe

    pmarlowe Nov 27, 2010 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    I've had them up to 4 years, but I don't think it really improves, just slowly oxidizes and takes on more of an old ale character. I think it's best with about 6 months to a year on it, just so some of the sharper notes mellow out and it integrates better, without losing too much of the barrel flavor. YMMV.
     
  16. maximum12

    maximum12 Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Odd, because I hate - HATE - oxidation, & I've never had a whiff of it in any bottle I've every opened. And I've opened a lot of them. :D

    This year's is a bit hotter & harsher than in year's past. I had a couple & the rest are now entombed for drinking sometime late in 2013/early 2014.
     
  17. therobot

    therobot Jun 10, 2010 Minnesota

  18. BeerBuddy2122

    BeerBuddy2122 Dec 15, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Agreed, I would much rather pay $90 a case than pay per bottle...where in PA did you get a case?
     
  19. Brehnert

    Brehnert Mar 17, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Beer Yard in Wayne. Not sure if they had any left tho
     
    BeerBuddy2122 likes this.
  20. pmarlowe

    pmarlowe Nov 27, 2010 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    Vintage? *shrug*. I'll take your word for it, I've only had a handful of >2 year old bottles.
     
  21. maximum12

    maximum12 Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Oh, yeah. I regularly leave the beer alone for a year before we start breaking into them, & have had bottles up to four years old without any oxidation. Always possible for something to go wrong with a couple seals though, especially after shipping. I know I've had some poor experiences with oxidized barleywines through trades that no one else seems to have had any issues with.
     
    pmarlowe likes this.
  22. Number45forever

    Number45forever Jan 6, 2012 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    This is absolutely one of my favorites to age. With 1-2 years on it, this is world class in every way.​
    I'm also sipping on a fresh bottle right now, it's awesome too.​
    How the effing christ is this only like $13 per 4-pack?! I was amazed when a trading partner said that...I was expecting him to say it was like $20. What an insane value. This is a great, great beer...severely underrated.​
     
  23. kdb150

    kdb150 Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania

    This beer was a revelation to me. Picked up a single last year on a whim seeing it on the shelf. I drank it fresh and found it to be slightly hot, but still an unbelievably good beer. I can definitely see this one benefitting greatly from a year or even 2, can't wait to crack one of this year's in 2014 because I think it will rival my current fave, year old Sucaba.
     
  24. Synergy87

    Synergy87 Jan 21, 2012 Wisconsin

    You might like the non bourbon aged version. I personally like the regular barleywine (charlie's y2k catastrophe ale). I love bourbon stouts and barleywines but this one I like the base the best. At least this year I do.
     
  25. mtrutlin

    mtrutlin Apr 4, 2012 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I'm not the biggest fan of fresh CW BBBW but I had a bottle of 2008 BBBW this winter and is was friggin' amazing. One of the best barleywines I've ever had, and I've had quite a few of the "big boys" (King Henry, Arctic Devil, Bligh's, MOAS, BA Behemoth, Sucaba, Hi-Fi Rye, BB Monster 29, etc.)
     
  26. shagens

    shagens Feb 11, 2013 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    I still have a couple of cases of BBBW on hand if any of you out of town folks are looking for a trade. Have PM, BB Stout and Illumination DIPA as well. Send me a BM if interested.
     
    mhenson42 likes this.
  27. mhenson42

    mhenson42 Nov 20, 2011 Texas
    Beer Trader

    ^shagens is a great guy to trade with...
     
  28. shagens

    shagens Feb 11, 2013 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    Thanks bud likewise, I would trade with you again anytime.
     
  29. 4DAloveofSTOUT

    4DAloveofSTOUT Nov 28, 2008 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Dont age this years CW BBBW!!!! Its already perfect fresh. Enjoy it now. Letting it age will not improve that beer. Its was so dang smooth and delicous fresh. I really really really have a hard time believing this beer will get any better over time. When CW made the decision to age all the BA brews for a full year the quality of the beer went up exponentally significant. Central Waters that was a very smart move!!!!
     
  30. 4DAloveofSTOUT

    4DAloveofSTOUT Nov 28, 2008 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Madison WI- 12.99 a 4pk.

    Monroe WI-13.99 a 4pk.

    And its easy to get off the shelf if you get it within the first week of it hitting the shelf. After that, good luck. Might find some at an off the path bottle shops in a little po dunk Wisconsin town...
     
  31. Synergy87

    Synergy87 Jan 21, 2012 Wisconsin

    It's still sitting on alot of shelves in SE-WI. I know a few places it hasn't been touched.... It lingers here for more than people realize.
     
  32. kdb150

    kdb150 Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I have to somewhat disagree here. While yes, this year's is an excellent BBBW fresh, it is a touch bourbon-forward (which I like, but it does hide the base beer), and still has a slight hot ethanol note on the back-end that was more pronounced in previous versions. I think in 6 months these issues will be aged out, but do not think this will need more than a year to hit its peak.

    Either way, it's a great beer.
     
  33. Ol_Johnny_Skippelwicky

    Ol_Johnny_Skippelwicky Feb 13, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    In MN? I haven't seen it for less than $15.
     
  34. maximum12

    maximum12 Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Duude, that post is almost a year old! Price did indeed go up in a lot of stores this year.
     
  35. readbaron

    readbaron May 12, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Don't age it long. Recently had a 4 year vertical, and the old ones had gone down hill (oxidized - lots of bland wet cardboard flavor).
     
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