Aging SN Celebration?

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by GetMeAnIPA, Apr 10, 2013.

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  1. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Zealot (557) Mar 28, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    I drank a good amount of celebration this year and came across so many people and Internet comments in which people say they age it or at least buy a lot and drink it until the new release. I try to buy my IPAs fresh and drink them sooner rather than later.

    I recently stopped into a Bevmo for a cold 12er and saw they still had Celebration available, so of course I bought it. The beer is drinking very well with very little if any drop off in flavor or quality. Plus, both my friend's and my 12er had a few bottles with floates and seemed to have a darker more hazy color than the fresh bottles I had.

    So my question is kinda two fold. 1, is Celeberation still good with some age, like 6 months or more? 2nd question is, if celebration, that uses fresh hops, still has a great hop presence 3 - 4 months after bottling am I making a big deal about drinking IPAs fresh over nothing and IPAs retain their hop profile much longer than I have them credit for?
  2. mpayne5

    mpayne5 Zealot (510) Aug 18, 2011 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    I had Celebration on tap last night and there was a touch of hops with an overload of malts. It has faded IMO and I don't want to know what an aged Celebration ale would taste like.
  3. dar482

    dar482 Poo-Bah (3,475) Mar 9, 2007 New York
    Beer Trader

    For me, the general rule is that a beer may only get better with age. With IPAs, that rule is basically reversed. I couldn't imagine why aging it would make any sense. Oxidation, loss of aroma and hops, etc. etc.

    The only thing I could think of is bourbon barrel aged IPAs. Though for me, that just means that it has a bit of longevity, but not that I should leave it for a long time. I'll drink a Burton Baton that's months old, but Sculpin or Sucks? I'm not buying that if it's 2 months ago. Drink fresh.
  4. j47paco

    j47paco Initiate (98) Dec 19, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    ISO: Celeberation
    Hermthegerm likes this.
  5. ChanChan

    ChanChan Devotee (469) Dec 12, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    I would age it!! I would have no problem drinking this at a few years old!!
  6. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    Aged Celebration is definitely better than aged Torpedo...but I would choose not to drink either.
  7. yamar68

    yamar68 Initiate (0) Apr 1, 2011 Minnesota

    It peaks right around the 25 year mark IMO.

  8. BlindSalimander

    BlindSalimander Initiate (93) Aug 16, 2010 Texas

    I bought a 12er in late November and only drank 5. Took the other 7 out of the fridge for Opening Day here last Friday and man they were good. Not the same beer as right from the brewery but still tasty.
  9. flayedandskinned

    flayedandskinned Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    There are a couple of cases of Celebration at the Fairfield Bevmo.
  10. flayedandskinned

    flayedandskinned Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    That's because there is not much flavor to start with.
  11. Schmittymack

    Schmittymack Defender (631) Sep 3, 2008 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I popped one an '11 a couple weeks ago and it's still mighty tasty. Still has some of a hop bite, too, even if it's not as much. I drink most fresh and put one or two down every year.
    caSSino likes this.
  12. StJamesGate

    StJamesGate Poo-Bah (3,450) Oct 8, 2007 New York
    Beer Trader

    Celebration is a little miracle - the hops just don't fade fast like every other IPA, and I don't know why.

    I know people who do verticals with 2- and 3-year-old Celebration.

    2011's is still drinking nice now. Not the same hop freshness, obviously, but by no means the malt bomb that you'd expect.
    caSSino likes this.
  13. pjs234

    pjs234 Zealot (544) Jun 29, 2008 Connecticut

    I had one on tap that was about 8 months old. Still was drinking strong
  14. fredmugs

    fredmugs Poo-Bah (1,524) Aug 11, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Same here. Unfortunately I bought 12er of both and a Red Hoptober that are still sitting around my house. I keep buying more beer and trying to do the Last In, First Out thing as much as I can.
  15. beercanman

    beercanman Initiate (0) Dec 17, 2012 Ohio

    I holds up fairly well. They have clearance six packs at a store near me for 3.99. I bought one a week or so ago and it is still good. I threw one in the cellar to see what it would do at a year.
  16. Jnorton00

    Jnorton00 Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2007 Massachusetts

    It's not very good fresh so I can't imagine age would help it any.
  17. dan027

    dan027 Initiate (0) Mar 28, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I found one tucked in the back of my fridge last week. I popped it open and it was definitely different. It was visibly darker in color and the taste was changing -- hops were beginning to fade and becoming maltier. It wasn't bad at all, it's almost like it was morphing into a barley wine, kind of cool actually. I wish I had more, I'd like to see what more time would do to this.
  18. thecommish101831

    thecommish101831 Initiate (0) Jun 29, 2010 District of Columbia

    I have them dating back to 06. 08 and 09 are drinking great now
    forrestbetts and Premo88 like this.
  19. Premo88

    Premo88 Meyvn (1,393) Jun 6, 2010 Texas

    I can't say I would age it, but I had my first Celebration about two weeks ago, and it was fantastic. There was definite sediment floating in it (not much), and I figure I was drinking it much later than most BAs would want to ... but it was yummy.

    I might buy some more if I can find it around town.
  20. brewlagoon

    brewlagoon Initiate (0) Apr 10, 2013 Connecticut

    I have some that are as far back as 2008 and they have been very good to me. I have had older also and I feel they are great to age. It is going to be a different experience then when you crack open a fresh one. I haven't found a celebration I didn't like. to age or not to age, I guess is the question. I go for ageing. I buy a 12 pk every year drink 6 and age 6. There is no right or wrong answer here. It is what YOU like. Not everyone else. Cheers!!
  21. SWILL916

    SWILL916 Initiate (0) Apr 7, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I just did a 25 year vertical tasting of Celebration 1988 to 2012, a few weeks ago. we did this as a fund raiser for the Gold Country Brewers Assn. in Sacramento CA. the beer was donated to our home brew club to help us raise money. we charged $30. to 8 invited guests to attend.

    It does age very well, after about 2years it has lost most of the hops and after 6 years or so you can taste no hops and it starts to drink like an old ale. a few beers from the mid 90's did not fair that well but were not undrinkable, the best beer in my opinion was 1989. it was sweet, oxidized but in a good way giving a nice mellow flavor of a light cigar smoke, and the carbonation was almost gone. granted all of these beers were stored at celler temp from the time they were purchaced. overall it was a great time and if given the chance i would glady do it again.

    you can find the write up about the event here along with some photos:
  22. caSSino

    caSSino Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2009 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Just drank a 2011 tonight still a soild beer despite differing from a fresh version a bit.
  23. Kopfschuss

    Kopfschuss Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2009 Oregon

    Before reading this thread, I was looking at the draught list at Apex here in Portland and saw they had 05-12 on draught right now. I am tempted to venture over there for a few, but am more excited about the Waldo release tonight over at a different bar.
  24. forrestbetts

    forrestbetts Initiate (67) Nov 29, 2007 Illinois

    I buy a sixer and have one every Christmas or so. I have back to 06 or 07 now and I think they drink fine. Please keep in mind these stay in my fridge @ 40 degrees or so...
  25. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    If you like Bigfoot with a few years on it, you will prolly like Cele too w/ a few years.

    I think Celebration retains its hop character longer compared to many, because its all/mainly non proprietary C hops.

    The relatively newer hop variations seem to lose their edge mighty quick. Citra, Simcoe, Nelson, Galaxy, Amarillo etc. . . delicious, but a smaller window to enjoy them within.
  26. BalancingBrooms

    BalancingBrooms Disciple (343) Aug 22, 2013 Louisiana

    thought id revive this and add my 2 cents.

    2013 still has the classic SN pine citrus hop presence, faded of course. malt seems less sweet oddly (from what others have said, maybe needs more time) and the body feels thinner, almost slightly watery. carbonation as you can see is still good. overall reminds me a a toned down bigfoot. like an american table barley wine if that was a thing.

    worth keeping it around? meh, ill keep my last 2013 bottle around to see what happens
    #26 BalancingBrooms, Apr 10, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
  27. crazycatcouple

    crazycatcouple Initiate (0) Mar 26, 2015 Arizona

    with cellar space as limited as it is, i think i'd rather keep the spot for something i hope will improve with time. however the above post describing it as almost a sessiony bigfoot has me intrigued....
    BalancingBrooms likes this.
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