April 2018 Cellar Reviews

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by jmdrpi, Apr 4, 2018.

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  1. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,695) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Bells Third Coast Old Ale - bottled 10/03/15, so about 2.5 years old

    dark mahogany colored, clear when held to the light. cream colored head that fades. aroma is a bit boozy, some dark fruit and earthy woody hops. tastes of caramel, raisin, a touch of plum. starts sweet but finishes dry with some alcohol heat. medium bodied, a bit sticky.

  2. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (428) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    Had some Old Rasputin’s last night... last time I opened one from ‘the cellar’ I was kinda disappointed so I’m glad to report that my palate must have been off that day.

    3/7/2017- nice, tan head that held tight; lots of dark fruit flavor, roasty; boozy heat had mellowed slightly compared to a freshie; quite tasty overall.

    2/6/2016- same appearance as the ‘17; chocolatey goodness seems to have emerged, balancing out the dark fruit flavors quite nicely; boozy heat not nearly as noticeable; very very good.
  3. AirBob

    AirBob Defender (633) Jul 15, 2014 Massachusetts

    La Fin Du Monde - Best Before 10/10/17

    I believe this has a two or three year shelf life so this is 2.5 to 3.5 years old.

    About two fingers of dense white head. Fairly active, but decent retention - about half a finger remaining several minutes after pouring. Body is translucent with slow moving carbonation visible when held to the light. Golden with copper hues.

    Nose brings pear, honey, bready yeast. Cloves and phenols underlying. A hint of what I'm perceiving as tart white grape.

    Taste brings subtle notes of banana and clove throughout. A bit of pear and honey to start - sweet. Middle of the mouth is dry and phenolic - more spice as it warms. Finish brings brown sugar that lingers on the tongue, as well as grain. A touch of booze emerges as it warms. Sweet and sticky finish. finish.M carbonation. Full bodied.

    I didn't intend to age this - bought a 4 pack to have on hand for a friend that loves triples. Guess i didn't host dinner enoigh.... Anyways, this aged well - can't say I like it better or worse than when within the BB date, but it certainly holds up well. Still a world class triple - especially for one with a twist off.
  4. Lazhal

    Lazhal Devotee (449) Mar 13, 2011 Michigan

    Something about spicy stouts has started to resonate with me. Did not like them for the longest time. I suppose I'm glad to have started to enjoy another take on the stout.

    Chili peppers and bourbon dominate the nose. Can still get the sweet maple, despite dominating chili pepper. Hint of cacao nibs. Really nice as it warms. This beer is the least bourbon county like bourbon county beer there is. Seems to have barely aged a day compared to fresh! This one should definitely hold out for the standard 5 years posted on the label and likely longer.


    Prop 16 - Bottled Sep 2016
  5. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,011) May 13, 2011 North Carolina

    Orval Trappist Ale - Bottled On 04/06/2015 Best Before 04/06/2020
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Happy late Orval day! This bottle is exactly 3 years old to the day

    A- Pours a medium amber color with a full three fingers worth of off-white head that retains very well forming craggy nooks on its way down to a full sheet of bubbly surface foam. Semi-resilient sudsy lacing.

    S- Crisp, musty Brett aroma with some earthy hop undertones. The usual notes of green olive with some underlying sweet malt. Herbal and bright.

    T- So dry and surprisingly clean after examining the aroma so deeply. The Brett flavor is there but more mild than in the nose and is accompanied by some hop bitterness. Slight crusty flavor from the malt. Excellent Brett taste in the finish.

    M- Very lively with plenty of spritz from the medium-high carbonation. Body is on the lighter side.

    O- I can't believe this beer is 3 years old as it displays zero oxidative quality. Definitely grabbing the 2016 I saw on the shelf the other day and letting it go until it hits the 4-year mark. This beer borders on perfection.
  6. liquorpig

    liquorpig Defender (608) Sep 6, 2008 Massachusetts

    2011 - BCBS, 14.5%abv
    This one got lost in the cellar. I believe there's a 5 year recommended window for BCBS, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Poured with very little head retention. About an ounce of sediment was poured out. Nice aroma, very little carbonation. Taste and mouthfeel both great. Alcohol warmth has mellowed out. Surprised this tasted as good as it did due to it's age.
    #6 liquorpig, Apr 7, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
  7. TheGent

    TheGent Meyvn (1,442) Jun 29, 2010 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    Port Brewing Older Viscosity Vintage 2014A

    A: A black stout with no visible carbonation and no light passing through. After an aggressive pour, the light brown head dissipates into a thin ring around the edge of the glass. Barely any sticky lacing as I drink the beer.

    S: Dark chocolate and espresso coffee dominate, followed a hint of oak. These dry aromas are balanced nicely by sweet vanilla, coconut, and dark dried fruit including raisin, date and dark chocolate covered raspberry jelly. A pinch of cinnamon. Booze comes through pleasantly and warm as cherry cordial. This does not smell like an overly sweet beer or a overly woody beer.

    T: This is an espresso coffee and semi sweet chocolate forward stout with enough vanilla and coconut to let you know that it’s been aged in a bourbon barrel. The dark fruit aromas mentioned above really come through on the palate as the beer warms up.

    M: Flat and aqueous.

    D: At 12% ABV this bourbon barrel aged stout is highly drinkable. The alcohol adds to both the aroma and flavor profile with out being unpleasant or distracting. This is not the thickest, most barrel forward BBA stout out there. But that’s what makes the beer so great. The array of flavors, most notably the dark fruit, raspberry and cherry flavors and delectable, and pair heavenly with the coffee and chocolate.

    This beer has been stored in my basement that hovers around 60 degrees all year round, without being moved at all. Zero oxidation or off flavors. Safe to say that time has done this beer well. If I had any more, which unfortunately I do not, I would drink them right now.
  8. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Zealot (501) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    2017 KBS

    Having a 2017 after a year (time flies when you drink excellent beer) and the chocolate flavor has faded slightly but the barrel taste and alcohol burn are still present along with the coffee. This probably isn't a long term item to cellar but there's no urgency to consume the remaining four.
    jrnyc, garymuchow, landrewg and 6 others like this.
  9. darktronica

    darktronica Poo-Bah (1,900) Aug 29, 2014 Indiana
    Premium Trader

    I'll follow up @liquorpig with a 2013 BCBS:


    I haven't been supporting Goose Island for a while now, but I had this and a single 2014 BCBS left down in the cellar. This is the oldest I've had from this release and was also the original vintage that introduced me to BCBS, as I was living in southern California and it was quite scarce there at the time. The pour was low on head and carbonation, but the classic flavors are all still there. However, it wasn't as intense and full of flavor as it once was; perhaps some of that is the age, and perhaps the rest is in my head. In the last five years since this bottle has been in my keep, a lot of other brewers have been catching up and doing great things with bourbon barrels. This is still good, excellent even, but maybe it's lost some of its magic.
    jrnyc, garymuchow, landrewg and 9 others like this.
  10. BenHoppy

    BenHoppy Zealot (521) Nov 15, 2017 Michigan

    Rinkuskiai Before After Triple Bock with bottling date L. 07110, so believe that means 3-7-2010???

    Cellared at 40 degrees and poured into snifter:

    L: amber copper caramel scotch appearances

    A: Belgian yeast and German malts, tad bit fruity but zero alcohol burn

    F: still has carbonation and is soft and heavy slow sipper

    T: like a triple bock should be and is less harsh than most bocks I've had. At 12% aged 8 years this is a real treasure with flavors of Belgian yeast, Belgian sugar, malted bread, and caramel

    O: delicious and has 3.21 average rating. My take is this is not good fresh but aged 8 years I found it to be quite smooth for a 12% triple bock.
  11. Superheatnsubcool

    Superheatnsubcool Aspirant (299) May 31, 2016 Washington


    Sierra Nevada Narwhal “Vertical”

    2015 BA Narwhal
    2016 Narwhal
    2017 Narwhal

    2017 Narwhal pkgd 08-31-17. Tasted on 04-07-18.

    A: Pours a deep brown/black with a tan head that dissipates and leaves decent lacing.
    S: Dark roast coffee, cocoa, cream, some herbal hops in the background.
    T: Roast-forward, some sweetness from a pleasant hint of oxidation.
    M: Medium carb, slightly on the syrupy side.
    O: This vintage is tasty, but might be in a bit of an awkward stage. I really liked it fresh, when the fruity hops were prominent and it came off like a Cascadian Dark Ale.

    2016 Narwhal pkgd 09-20-16. Tasted on 04-07-18.

    Appears same as 2017. Nose has more black cherry, dark fruit to it. Taste is sublime. All flavors are nicely integrated. The roasty notes are still there, but mellowed. Some dark fruit oxidation. Absolutely delicious.

    2015 BA Narwhal, 12.9% abv

    Appears the same as the other vintages. Nose is very different, with vanilla, oak, leather and dark fruit. Taste is subdued roastiness with sweet hints of raisin and caramelized sugar. Feel is more viscous than the non-BA versions. The label says “Barrel aging is a strange science; it mellows some characteristics of the original beer while intensifying others. Narwhal’s aggressive roastiness has calmed, but the rich, chocolate-like malt backbone is brought to the fore.” I think that’s pretty spot-on. I don’t see much benefit to letting this age much more than another year or so, it’s in a good place right now.

    If you have any 2016 Narwhal, it is drinking wonderfully right now. Crack one open and let me know if you agree.

    #11 Superheatnsubcool, Apr 8, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
  12. rypkr

    rypkr Champion (814) Nov 19, 2011 Pennsylvania


    2016 high westified drinking gracefully.

    On the pour it appears frothier and thicker than a short year ago.

    Nose remains largely untouched and pleasently wreaking of rye and oak. mild chocolate and no coffee, but I never got much of the latter on the nose even fresh.

    Taste and feel have changed. It's dryer and more roasty than fresh. Oakey tannins are very present that didn't jump out before. Fortunately there is no green pepper taste that many coffee beers develop with age. It tastes much, much more like the barrel than it did fresh. Perceived alcohol presence has not changed, it's not what i consider hot but it's definitely still spicy between the abv and rye barrel treatment.

    Overall still one of my favorite mass produced barrel aged stouts ever and a shame that willetized didn't quite live up to its level.
  13. AirBob

    AirBob Defender (633) Jul 15, 2014 Massachusetts

    Founders Imperial Stout - April 2014

    About 1/2 finger of dense, dark brown cocoa colored head. Reduces to a thin cap and well-structured collar. Nose brings notes of cocoa, vanilla extract, Sherry. Slightly smokey and slightly oxidized. Taste brings the same with a dry (for the style) and bitter finish. Sherry, vanilla, and bitter chocolate are dominate. Definitely picking up on some wet cardboard, but it doesn't detract from everything else. Moderate carbonation for the style - not as creamy as I recall when fresh.

    Still an excellent imperial stout, but I'll be drinking the last bottle of this vintage in my cellar soon.
  14. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (1,935) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Premium Trader

    1986 J.W. Lees Harvest Ale. As expected, the cap was a bit difficult to get off and made absolutely no sound. Zero carbonation on this one. Pours a beautiful dark brown. Nose is caramel, fig, sherry, nuts, and maybe a touch of soy sauce. The taste is incredible. Super smooth - no off flavors. Creamy caramel, cherries, apple, fig, nuts, and sweet malts. This has held up well, although it's a completely different beast from what you get today. This is definitely on par with a 1985 Thomas Hardy's that I had recently.

  15. youradhere

    youradhere Zealot (516) Feb 29, 2008 Washington

    Good to hear- and I agree about it not being he same. I figure most beer in this class starts out being brewed originally with some of what I call “sloppy magic” (that’s what she said), in that as the processes for these special release beers are optimized in the effort to scale, much of that “magic sloppiness” in the early brewing/experiment process is lost, which makes sense to me at least why it seems that you can somehow tell the original potential of earlier Thomas Hardy and JW Lees was much greater than the more recent years releases. The newer years seem to get progressively dialed back on their “extra brewing sugars” (aka mash/sparge inefficiencies) that are economically removed through “improved brewhous process”. Sorry just felt like waxing philosophical :slight_smile:
    bl00 and Beersnake1 like this.
  16. BenHoppy

    BenHoppy Zealot (521) Nov 15, 2017 Michigan

    Loving the art work on the bottle
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  17. TheGent

    TheGent Meyvn (1,442) Jun 29, 2010 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project

    Nightmare on Brett - Dark Sour Ale Aged in Leopold Bros Whiskey Barrels

    July 2015 - Batch 6

    S: Milk chocolate, vanilla, coconut, oak, sweet tart candies, tart cherry, powdery, musty. The sweet and sour notes come together as chocolate covered strawberry. I’m also getting some watermelon. The aroma certainly has some sweetness to it that is not as prominent in the flavor of the beer, but nowhere near overpowering. It is complex and highly enjoyable.

    A: Dark brown with a light brown head that disappears. No visible carbonation and no lacing.

    T: Right on the tip of the tongue is a flash of milk chocolate/cherry cordial sweetness. This immediately shifts to waves upon waves of acidic sour notes on the back, with just a faint hint of dark malt sweetness. This beer is super tart. Like biting into a lemon. Really hits the jowls. The taste is no where near as complex as the smell. I’m not getting any noticeable barrel treatment.

    M: Moderately carbonated and medium bodied.

    D: I do not find this beer all that drinkable in the strictest sense of the word because I found that there was not enough sweetness to it. The complex aroma left me wanting more and did not translate to the flavor. The barrel influence, while strong on the aroma is lacking in the flavor. There’s nothing wrong with the beer. I just found it to be lacking barrel character, which I think would have provided more complexity and drinkability. The best thing about this beer is the way it smells.
  18. garymuchow

    garymuchow Poo-Bah (2,993) Aug 31, 2001 Minnesota

    '09-'10 Founders Imperial Stout
    Opened bottle with a nice pop. That was unexpected. First impression is it is past prime, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a few worthy attributes. Poured slow and rich. Head took a bit to show but a dark thin layer eventually showed. Not much but kinda' neat to watch it appear.
    Still rich with a dark fruit and some sweetness. Meandering towards a molasses then soy sauce qualities, but not there yet. Losing some fruit, but not quite oxidized at this point. Kinda' flat in the mouthfeel but still an obviously bigger beer with a heavier experience.
    As it warmed and opened up the soft and smooth roast and richer dark fruits started to show. Almost no carbonation does take away some. Ultimately that is the biggest impact of aging.
    Unfortunately I've held a few beers past prime. This is one, not horribly so...but now you all know, I suppose.
  19. Lahey

    Lahey Disciple (386) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    What he said. I'm having a third coast from the same date. Mine didn't have any head as I poured carefully to keep the sediment seperated. Not much carbonation. A little oxidized, but good raisin caramel malty delight. I think I liked it more 6 months ago, but still tasty.
  20. garymuchow

    garymuchow Poo-Bah (2,993) Aug 31, 2001 Minnesota

    2011 Brooklyn Monster Ale
    This is one of the few beers I'm really pleased I cellared. I definitely am enjoying this more than when it was fresher. Even with some oxidation in the aroma and flavor, the blending of the flavors, in particular, has developed very nicely. Smooth and rich but not sweet. Soft feel. Maybe a tad thin, but still nice, nonetheless. I'd say it's the blending of the flavor, No bite or sharpness. Some caramel with a complex blend of dried fruit. Really nice.
    Opened with a noticeable escape of gas and poured with a small head. Color is a bit muddy but dark reds to browns show in the light and it's pretty clear.
    I think I have one or two more of these. I think I'll hit them soon as this was truly enjoyable.
  21. Lazhal

    Lazhal Devotee (449) Mar 13, 2011 Michigan

    Had a draft 2016 Samichlaus earlier this week. Didn't take any tasting notes and I've never had any past experience with this beer...but I sure as hell enjoyed this one.

    I will likely be purchasing some bottles in the future, maybe even enough for some long term experiments!
  22. Lahey

    Lahey Disciple (386) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    2016 central waters bourbon barrel stout is tasting nice. The dark fruit, barrel and coffee/chocolate flavors all play well off each other. The barrel is very present but not hot. Very enjoyable beer. I bought 2 packs of them, I'm tempted to go back for the third and last.
    CaptainHate, landrewg and Bitterbill like this.
  23. garymuchow

    garymuchow Poo-Bah (2,993) Aug 31, 2001 Minnesota

    Founder's 2020 KBS
    No gas escaping upon opening. Poured thick and almost syrupy with a small very dark smear of a head only showing after the bottle was completely empty.
    Initial aroma hit was like chocolate and graham cracker. That was kinda nice. In time the vanilla and bourbon show. The bourbon has tempered a ton. In fact it's almost background to the rich dried fruit and soft roast of the malt for the initial takes- but in time bourbon appears and becomes the character of drink. The vanilla is softer in the flavor than the aroma. A much less intense drink overall. With almost no carbonation it loses some softness to the feel and it runs quickly through. Soft alcohol flavors.
    Overall a more mellow version of the fresh one. Doesn't change it's overall profile all that much with aging.
  24. toolbrew

    toolbrew Zealot (573) Feb 26, 2008 Indiana

    I may avoid KBS in two years...
  25. Lahey

    Lahey Disciple (386) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    I had my last hopslam yesterday. Does a 3 month old ipa count as cellared?:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
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  26. garymuchow

    garymuchow Poo-Bah (2,993) Aug 31, 2001 Minnesota

    to late to correct - 2010
  27. garymuchow

    garymuchow Poo-Bah (2,993) Aug 31, 2001 Minnesota

    2009 New Belgium Trippel
    Surprised how well this held up. Still looked quite good. Full white head. Clear gold body. Aroma had faded some. This has certainly oxidized and in the aroma it was most noticed as that sort of card board quality was prominent.
    In the flavor it had blended with the grain. As I tried to identify the interesting complexity the best I could come up with is a fruit filled pastry. Not sweet but still with a grain/dough foundation and a fruit, like plum filling mixed with a vanilla taste. Still little shots of cardboard showed taking away the fun. This was surprisingly enjoyable and interesting. Ended up being quite easy to drink. Smooth and full enough feel. Much better than I expected but still definitely past its prime.
  28. garymuchow

    garymuchow Poo-Bah (2,993) Aug 31, 2001 Minnesota

    Actually I have found some of the better DIPA's hold up well with some age including hopslam and abrasive. Not to diminish how good they are fresh - which is often outstanding.
    landrewg and Lahey like this.
  29. CoreyC

    CoreyC Initiate (194) Mar 16, 2015 Wisconsin

    My favorite for aging. I like it at any age, but every time I've compared, older is better.
    landrewg likes this.
  30. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (428) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    Read one time somewhere in a land far far away that Myrcenary from Odell can be aged so I went ahead and tucked a few away...

    This one was just over a year old. Didn’t seem like much changed- although the booze-y heat was a bit subdued compared to fresh. Hops might have been a little stale, but really I found the profile to be a nice combo of pine, citrus, and floral that still had some pop.

    Overall my take away is that Odell’s canning line is otherworldly and there must have only been like 2 PPB of DO in this can. I will certainly not hold back on stashing these guys going forward.
  31. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (1,935) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Premium Trader

    2013 Stille Nacht from De Dolle. Comes in at 12%. This is very distinct from the fresh versions. Lots of nice caramel, dark fruit, and bread on the nose. Taste is amazing. To me, this is better than fresh. Wonderful caramel notes, with molasses, vanilla, nuts, bread, cherry, figs, and maybe a bit of port. Great beer!

  32. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,695) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    2016 Delirium Noctornum, 750 ml bottle

    Very dark brown in color, thick cream colored head. Some chunks of yeast float around then settle. Herbal earthy yeast aroma and dark bready malt. Taste is similar, but not sweet. A little nutty. Medium bodied, extremely smooth mouthfeel

  33. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,468) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    Funny I don't usually come here now that I am not so into cellaring beer, but our annual stout tasting had 2011 - 2017 BCBS for this year's vertical and the 2011, which was so good fresh, and every year since, is on the way out. Sounds like yours fared better, but our experience was similar in the pour, had a greatly diminished nose, and a sort of muted and blended taste composed of the deep roasty and strong barrel notes, but shadows of former glory. Not much to add except there was no soy sauce and it was far from unpleasant.. Favorite of the night for me was the 15, and the 12 was second, holding up beyond well IMO.
  34. rypkr

    rypkr Champion (814) Nov 19, 2011 Pennsylvania

    2013 old stock ale

    Pours much thinner, murkier and darker than I remember. Smells of the same dark fruit it always has, plums and cherries and even apricots.

    Taste and feel are less potent and syrupy than when fresh. It almost seems to have lost flavor as it's not a cloying bomb that it was fresh. Zero oxidation detectable, this guy could have gone a lot, lot longer.

    I have one more 2013 in the cellar. I was worried they were past their prime but couldn't be more wrong. The other one isn't going to be touched anytime soon. This is definitely an A+ candidate for cellaring, I'm definitely going to invest in some recent bottles to put away long term.

  35. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,695) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    It can definitely go longer - I recently reviewed bottles from 2010 and 2012:

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  36. BenHoppy

    BenHoppy Zealot (521) Nov 15, 2017 Michigan

    Cracked open a bottle of Raspberry Sundae, the Sierra Nevada's collaboration brew with Bruery.

    As much as this was sweet fresh, that sweetness went away. This beer was much more copper like than reddish and looked like tea.

    The smell was faint alcohol but a bit woody and fruity.

    The taste was amazing, much better than fresh and a real treat for a night cap. The first sip is barrel wood, not so much like bourbon but more picking up wood barrel from where it was distilled. Raspberry flavors is there but very much in the background. Slight cocoa and vanilla but was more like tea mixed with vodka that was distilled in wooden barrels but really good vodka as it was super balanced and delicious.

    If anything it reminded me of a sahti. I had one sahti before and this very much reminded me of it. There is also some hops that go on display but the real winner is the wood. I don't remember it having a woody flavor before but it's there now. If you have some lying around still I highly suggest cracking it open....truly wish I had another.
  37. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Zealot (501) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    Wow, that Raspberry Sundae got roundly trashed on the Beercamp release thread (FTR I thought it was ok albeit a bit sweet, but not unexpected for a Bruery collab) so I'm glad for you that the aging had a positive impact. Again, as much as I like the concept of Beercamp, it's frustrating with results like this that it was a one-time offering.
    Beer_Economicus and BenHoppy like this.
  38. dlcarst

    dlcarst Initiate (89) Aug 21, 2015 Illinois

    Agree, I really wanted to have a few extra of the Fullers collab.
  39. BenHoppy

    BenHoppy Zealot (521) Nov 15, 2017 Michigan

    Have 2 Fullers and never touched them....vintage was the key word for me not to drink it fresh. I also have 1 Avery/SN barley wine. Had 2 of these fresh and really enjoyed them fresh but found a single 6 months later so I decided to age it.
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  40. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Zealot (501) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    2017 Great Lakes Brewing Co. Barrel Aged Tripel Dog Dare

    3.65/5 rDev -9.4%
    look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

    I picked this pint and six ounces bottle, #1002, at the brewery last summer when it was offered with great fanfare. I'd had some barrel aged Rackhouse ale on tap which tasted great and I decided to ignore the people who said that Great Lakes barrel aged beers don't do well in bottles and cellared it for a night like tonight.

    Welp those people were right. This isn't bad but it's just too thin for what I expect from a well done trippel. I'm not picking up any complex flavors and there's a disturbingly bitter aftertaste. Just not the experience I was hoping for.
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