1. Join us for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest on Sat, Sept 17 in Portland, Maine. Limited tickets still available: beeradvocate.com/belgian
    Dismiss Notice

Anyone trying for Westy next week?

Discussion in 'New England' started by LiquidCourage, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. jomobono

    jomobono Mar 12, 2012 Massachusetts
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I got three Westies from The Festival order and I was going to drink one now. A good BA friend of mine told me yes, in general the rule is have one now and have one later but he said this beer is so much more better aged to not even bother with opening one up now. Especially since I only have three and who knows if I'll be able to get more.
  2. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    This is the great misconception with aging - that a beer gets better. It doesn't - it only gets different. Without the baseline to compare it to, one would never know whether they prefer it fresh or with age. And given the risks of a beer aging poorly, if you only have one, always go fresh IMO.

    Now, that said, Westy 12 might be an exception given how widely praised the beer is with age and how widely neutral people tend to be on it when fresh. But I'd still go fresh for my first time...
    messrock and Knifestyles like this.
  3. geocool

    geocool Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    Yes yes, and IPA's don't get worse after sitting on the shelf for six months, they just get different.

    This argument aside, you and knifestyles completely missed my point which is that if a person only has one bottle, who the hell are you to tell him he has to drink it fresh? Wanting to try it aged is equally valid, and with this beer in particular I would argue a much better idea.
  4. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    Nobody is telling him to do anything. I even just said that aging a single bottle of Westy 12 is not unreasonable. Only giving a bit of suggested guidance based on experience...
  5. geocool

    geocool Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    No, AReno00 effectively told him he has to try at least one fresh, and you did not disagree. I disagree.
  6. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    Then we agree to disagree I suppose. I don't want to speak for him, but he seemed to be posing a good thought provoking question.

    I guess for me it just comes down to the fact that fresh, there is a near-100% chance the beer is 'good'. Waiting 3 years, your odds are significantly less than that. Aging is an inexact science, and even perfect conditions causes beers to go wonky all the time. (And lots of people cellar in less than perfect conditions) If you only have one, why take the chance that it tastes like crap?
  7. AReno00

    AReno00 Apr 2, 2009 Massachusetts

    I didn't tell him to do anything. It just seems weird to hold on to a beer for a specific arbitrary time period (he said he was waiting a year) without having an idea where it started.
  8. geocool

    geocool Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    What makes the most sense is to drink it at the point in time when he thinks it will be best. There is way too much emphasis on freshness in these forums. Most Belgian beers improve with age, this one in particular. The fresh IPA debate is merely annoying, but the fact that I'm the only one on here arguing that most Belgian beers improve with age is what's weird. Absurd, even.
  9. Knifestyles

    Knifestyles Jun 7, 2005 New York

    You keep using that word..."improve".....that's what's really absurd.

    Who decides what's "improvement" vs. "change"? You?

    For someone with an Obama avatar, I'd imagine you'd understand the difference better than anyone....
  10. geocool

    geocool Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

  11. AReno00

    AReno00 Apr 2, 2009 Massachusetts

    How will he know when it's best without trying it first? Because someone on the internet told him it will be better in a year?
  12. geocool

    geocool Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    How will he know when it's best if he does try it first? There are a limited number of bottles. You do your research, get lots of opinions, weigh them, learn about cellaring, learn about serving temperature, learn about glassware, and try to have the best possible experience. Not everybody has to be a mad scientist experimenter tasting one fresh and another one a year later (though I'd recommend a minimum of three years) and pretending that their memory and palate is soooo good that they can draw comparisons between the two. It is fun to do for sure, but not worth it for this beer IMHO.
  13. evilc

    evilc Jan 27, 2012 California

    Buy 4. Keep one in the garage and subject it to 100F heat, freeze one, one in the fridge, and one in the cellar.
  14. templar316

    templar316 Apr 6, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Other then the one I can't wait to drink, I'm planning to age the rest for years. There's no lack of evidence that they will get better with age.
  15. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I have one that's already two years aged. I'm toying with the idea of picking up a gift pack tomorrow, splitting it with a friend and trying one from the gift pack "fresh." (They're already a year aged in the gift pack correct?)
  16. Jagen

    Jagen Oct 1, 2012 Illinois

    I am tempted to go get a gift pack but I really don't want to wait outside for 3 hours to do it...I have no idea how much the local store is getting or when the line will start to form
  17. brikelly

    brikelly Apr 11, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    4 people waiting outside CBC in Belmont as of 8am according to FB. They are giving out tickets when they open at 10 which have to be used at 12.12 today to buy the case.
  18. Longstaff

    Longstaff May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    I thought they had a list and if you were on the list you were guaranteed a brick?
  19. PackieMcHopHead

    PackieMcHopHead Oct 1, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I have to say, I had some at the Festival back in April, and while I wanted to be impressed, I just wasn't. I wrote about it at the time on my blog here. http://ow.ly/g2tIz I'd like to try it again, but I'm not gonna take part in the hysteria today. Good luck to all!
  20. tehzachatak

    tehzachatak Sep 19, 2010 Massachusetts

    They did a combination. They had a list of anyone who'd asked about it/etc. beforehand, and sounds like just about everyone from that list got the opportunity to reserve one, but they also had an additional 80 bricks on sale today, first come first serve for the tickets at 10. AFAIK, the people with the tickets still have to be there at 12:12.
  21. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    See, I mean no offense at all here, but this is precisely the crux of the problem. These bricks have not been "aged" for a year, they have been sitting around in various boats and trucks and warehouses in god knows what conditions. (And they're typically not very good conditions in beer warehouses)

    Now, is a year in subpar conditions going to completely ruin a 1 year old quad? No, not likely. But is it going to "age it", or "improve it", or be anything close to what happens when you properly cellar? No, absolutely not. In fact, it's a really poor start if you want to cellar the beer going forward. The key to good cellaring is graceful aging. A variable 75 degrees for a year is not graceful.
  22. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    If that's the case, I'm not sure I want to spend $85 on something that's been sitting in a warehouse for a year. Has anyone tried these yet?
  23. Jnorton00

    Jnorton00 Apr 13, 2007 Massachusetts

    They did and the rest are the left over bricks of people who didn't call back to confirm or declined to purchase theirs I think.
  24. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    Well, my theory is all the people saying "this just doesn't taste quite as good as the traditional Westy 12 bottles I have had in the past" are noticing the subtle effects of imperfect storage conditions. But I certainly have no proof to that, and I certainly don't think the bricks would be drinking poorly right now. I would just personally be concerned about aging them.
  25. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Hmm. Well I'm definitely not aging them. I already have a 12 that's not from the gift pack that's two years old. I was going to drink these "fresh."

    I wonder if anyone's in line yet?
  26. Psychmusic

    Psychmusic Jun 22, 2012 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    my theory is that people saying "this just doesn't taste quite as good as the traditional Westy 12 bottles I have had in the past" are noticing the subtle effects of a rare and hard to come by beer suddenly becoming more widely available...

    In reality you're probably much more correct than I am, but I guarantee the availability plays a part. Cognitive dissonance- you've got to feel like your trip to Belgium to try a beer plus two years of storing it carefully was worth it whereas you can easily acknowledge that the brick you picked up at a local store wasn't all that great.
  27. Patrick

    Patrick Aug 13, 2007 Massachusetts

    This thread is overrated.
    jomobono and tehzachatak like this.
  28. jomobono

    jomobono Mar 12, 2012 Massachusetts
    Subscriber Beer Trader

  29. CADMixes

    CADMixes Feb 29, 2012 Massachusetts

    wdarcy77 likes this.
  30. celticfutblclub

    celticfutblclub Aug 10, 2010 Massachusetts

    That guy is sooooooo edgy.
  31. jomobono

    jomobono Mar 12, 2012 Massachusetts
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Yeah that was a bit off.
  32. xanok

    xanok Aug 13, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    What states in New England did this make it too?
  33. jomobono

    jomobono Mar 12, 2012 Massachusetts
    Subscriber Beer Trader

  34. geocool

    geocool Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    So you think it's possible that "improper storage" can affect a beer in such a way that it still wouldn't be "drinking poorly right now," but that its potential for ageing gracefully in the future under proper cellar conditions would be harmed? Do you have anything to back up this theory?
  35. geocool

    geocool Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    Man, just the picture at the top showing the beer in an American Shaker Pint glass tells me this guy doesn't know what he's talking about, and that's before I've read a single word. He can have all the St. Bernardus, Baby Tree, Allagash FOUR, and Sixth Glass he wants if it means more of the best for me.
  36. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    Yes, unequivocally, 100%. I've personally read a lot and done a ton of aging experiments on various beers and have my own well-informed personal conclusions, but you really don't need to look any further than the science behind it for an in-depth explanation. I don't have a great link handy, but there is a lot of info out there. It's well known that above ideal temps speeds up the aging process, and it does so in a less than optimal manner.

    Now, you can't ever "undo" the aging process, so if Bottle A has been aged perfectly after 1 year and Bottle B has been aged poorly after 1 year, then Bottle A is going to taste better. 1 year may not be long enough for a significant impact, but by year 3, a perfectly aged Bottle A is going to be 'perfect', whereas a questionably aged Bottle B could be anywhere (even if it aged perfectly for years 2 and 3, it started at a less optimal spot after year 1). Aging is mostly chemistry, with a healthy dose of luck.

    For a similar example, think of an IPA. We all agree (I hope) that keeping an IPA cold keeps the hops in tact longer. Well, if you drink a 3 month old IPA that has been in a fridge the entire time, and a 3 month old IPA that spent its first 6 weeks at room temp and the last 6 in a fridge, would you expect the two IPA's to taste the same?
  37. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    Say what you will about him, but he's one of the most well informed beer authors alive today. He writes books, writes articles for Beer Advocate magazine, moderates beer panels, etc... He's not just some random Joe Schmoe with a blog...
  38. tehzachatak

    tehzachatak Sep 19, 2010 Massachusetts

    Not that I know ANYTHING else about this site, etc, but as I think you will see if you visit ANY other page on the site, that's a standard image across the site, and the particular place you are referencing is a banner that goes across the top for every single article on the site. It has nothing to do with the Westy 12 article, and it certainly is not supposed to be a representation of the Westy 12 in an ideal glass.
  39. geocool

    geocool Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    The article did not make me want to visit any other page. But it looks like you are right, and I am busted! Still, crappy site design, and it reflects on him because that's his name right at the top "Andy Crouch's BeerScribe.Com."
  40. geocool

    geocool Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    Still not at all clear that if the beer is OK after the "improper storage" period that it will somehow deteriorate more quickly afterwards during proper storage. With the IPA example, what you need to measure is not if the two IPA's taste the same, but if the delta between them has increased during the time from week 6 to week 12. I would think the delta would get smaller as the good IPA ages and "catches up" to the other one, though it will never catch up completely.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.