August 2016 Cellar Reviews

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by argock, Aug 4, 2016.

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  1. argock

    argock Poo-Bah (3,481) Dec 30, 2006 Virginia

    I know July is not a great high ABV beer month, but no thread at all -- shame

    Bells Hell Hath No Fury 10/18/11 Bottled on Date
    A: Minimal dark beige to brown big-bubbled head with no retention and no lacing. A still beer to be sure.
    S: Raisins, fig and fudge are the predominant aromas. I would go dubbel for the style based on aroma alone.
    T: There probably used to be more punch but there is still a decent dark malt fruitiness and vinous quality, although lower than you'd expect for the ABV and the brewery. A lot of raisin, fig/date, and sweet grape flavors with low-to-moderate bitterness. I don't get any licorice or anise flavors like in past iterations (thankfully). No real hop flavor aside from some floral qualities. Not much for yeast flavors/esters either.
    M: Kind of dead with minimal carbonation leaving a wanting body.
    O: Past its prime but drinkable. Malt flavors have faded but there is still pretty good flavor.
    jrnyc likes this.
  2. argock

    argock Poo-Bah (3,481) Dec 30, 2006 Virginia

    Come on -- where are all the Cellar Dwellers?

    DFH Olde School 2011
    A: Burnished amber with absolutely no head but sheets of legs with tilting.

    S: Dark and burned caramel, fairly strong rosy booze (it is 30 proof), and woody notes

    T: Very earthy, herbal, and woody on first taste but through the middle palate much more dark caramel comes through with plum and fig in the late palate and finish. Surprisingly pretty boozy with more of a floral than bitter character. Bitterness is intense even if the hops are mostly herbal and earthy-spicy and background.

    M: Hefty without being syrupy, low carbonation, full+ body.

    O: Not a beer I am going to try too often and I will be sharing with at least 1 if not 2-3 other people the next time I decide to crack one given the strength, booze, and big body. This is still pretty hot -- probably 2-3 more years would be a better time to try.
    jrnyc likes this.
  3. Lazhal

    Lazhal Devotee (466) Mar 13, 2011 Michigan

    2014 Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout. A few months shy of two years old.

    Pours with a slight head, actually more than I expected, and dissipates quickly.

    Aroma is heavy on the coffee and chocolate. Not really getting much else.

    Thin mouth feel, even for a sipper such as this.

    Zero burn, even after swishing on the tongue. Still a good amount of sweetness, but not as much as GI's flagship, as the coffee cuts into it so nicely. I'm trying to get the green pepper thing folks talk about, but it's nowhere to be seen (tasted) and I'm thankful. Loads of chocolate, bourbon, and not nearly enough coffee. I drank a huge black cup just 4-5 hours ago and wonder if it had an effect on my sensitivity.

    Overall, absolutely amazing. Really disappointed this is my last bottle. Maybe it doesn't even need more coffee.
    jrnyc and argock like this.
  4. dutesanch

    dutesanch Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2014 California

    Bourbon County Barleywine 2013. Refrigerated and poured into a snifter.
    Pours very dark brown almost black similar to a stout. Tiny bubbles, head gone, more legs than lacing. Taste is heavy bourbon and oak. Any dark fruit sweetness is gone. Mouthfeel is slick and slightly oily. I miss the dark fruit/ candy like sweetness that these big barley wines can exhibit.
    shnsajax, Raj, jrnyc and 1 other person like this.
  5. darktronica

    darktronica Poo-Bah (2,507) Aug 29, 2014 Indiana
    Society Trader

    Shmaltz He'brew / Terrapin Reunion Ale '12. This had been hiding in my cellar for a long time behind a vertical of the He'brew Jewbilation anniversary beers, and I finally decided to give it a try. Notes below, but overall, it's past its prime, as one might expect from an 8% brown ale with liberal use of additives (cacao nibs, cinnamon, vanilla). Still strong on the malted milkshake flavors, but now featuring a dash of butyric acid that really puts a damper on the proceedings.

    Pours a dark brown with a finger of fluffy bubbles that leave plenty of lacing behind. As one might expect, this is now smelling a bit past its prime... I get some vanilla and malt, but also some mustiness and a wee hint of butyric acid that is pretty off-putting for the style and additives. If I push past the bile, the first flavors I get are chocolate malt balls and almond extract. Quite sweet up front, but this fades to the background with later sips, which start to rediscover the ghost of cinnamon past, alongside a bit of tobacco and leather. Not worth holding onto any longer, but an interesting ageing experiment.
    jrnyc likes this.
  6. eastbayfunkdunk

    eastbayfunkdunk Initiate (0) Jun 10, 2015 Minnesota

    Founders Imperial Sout 2013

    Pours thick and oily with virtually no head.
    Aroma is well balanced between smoke and cocoa.
    The taste starts off with bittersweet cocoa with a backbone of smoke and it finishes with still some hop bitterness, this beer ages wonderfully and it's a mainstay in my cellar
    jrnyc likes this.
  7. CoreyC

    CoreyC Initiate (199) Mar 16, 2015 Wisconsin

    't Smisje Calva Reserva approximately two years old (no bottle dating) per the bottle where I purchased it. Looks like a lot of Dark Belgains, brown with light white head. Smells very nice with dark fruits and prominent Calvados. The taste is tremendous with strong dark stone fruits (raisin, plum, prune) as in other excellent BSDAs which are very much enhanced by the Clavados - excellent flavor. The south feel is nice and sticky. Overall, this is an excellent Belgian Strong Dark Ale, and I'm sure it would have aged nicely for even longer.
    jrnyc likes this.
  8. neurobot01

    neurobot01 Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2014 California

    Quick "vertical" (only two years available... cut me some slack) of FW's Helldorado, 2015 and 2016. Fresh, this is easily my least favorite of the regular Vintage Series beers, below even the much-maligned Velvet Merkin. It's like mildly hoppy, moderately boozy water. This is my first time trying it aged, though, and I have to say, it's much improved. It's still more in the BA American Barleywine camp, compared to say ┬žucaba; however, everything meshes better, and the "lavender-honey notes" promised on the box actually shine through. Unfortunately, it probably still only moves past Velvet Merkin, but that speaks more to the quality of the beers ahead of it (Parabola, ┬žucaba, and Stickee Monkee) than to Helldorado itself. And honestly, it's not far behind those other two BWs with a year on it. From now on, I'll wait a year before opening future vintages.
    pinballplayer likes this.
  9. darktronica

    darktronica Poo-Bah (2,507) Aug 29, 2014 Indiana
    Society Trader

    Drinking a 2013 vintage Schlafly Oak-Aged Barleywine. This is much better than I remember from a previous 2013 bottle enjoyed over a year ago. When served cold, I get some really nice, soft floral notes from the hops, along with orange-blossom honey and caramel. The flavors are subdued, subtle but well balanced. I prefer it that way; as it warms, I start to detect more oak from the barrel and some paper pulp from oxidation. Some more aggressive spice also comes to fore from the barrel-ageing, which is fine but doesn't make up for the other changes to the now-warmed flavor profile.

    This is probably near its peak, based on my experiences and a quick scan of variations in ratings from other reviews noting the vintage.
  10. stakem

    stakem Poo-Bah (5,721) Feb 20, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Cellared beer is mostly what I drink... im just too lazy to create a thread and/or post everytime im drinking.

    This was last night, a ~7 year old HOTD
    Bottleworks X Matt

    Nose of smoked malt inclusion leaning towards slight iodine, woody, solvent, raisony and some cherry emerges as it breathes.

    Taste is medicinal with raisons, earth and wood. Its quite herbal with a strong drying tannic/astringency and a mixed sort of spirit-like alcohol burn. Pretty awesome mild campfire aftertaste.

    Rich in the feel with low carbonation. I never had the bottleworks version fresh, only the later bottlings. Regardless, this one is a much different experience - it is less sweet and doesnt taste old/degraded in any way. Glad I have another to drink in a couple more years.
    DLucky, Beersnake1 and moshea like this.
  11. lateralusbeer

    lateralusbeer Aspirant (224) Feb 7, 2010 North Carolina

    Definitely my favorite wildly available beer to age. Even better, I'll find four packs in slower shops that already have 15-20 months on them.
  12. stakem

    stakem Poo-Bah (5,721) Feb 20, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Not all that long ago I drank the first 5 Bruery anniversary ales and Cuir was among my least favorite of them all. This 100% BA version though is a completely different story.


    Aroma is burnt sugar with a distinct bourbon tang of alcohol about it. Raison, plum, prune, dates, molasses, figs...all those dark sugary things are present with slight woodiness, vanilla and caramel. Taste includes a shockingly pleasant complex layering of all things bourbon meets wood and slight oxidation, mustiness and earth. Vanilla, caramel, toffee and molasses are all well represented along with a slight herbal bitterness to contrast.

    If people are still hating on the Bruery anniversary beetus and want to unload any of these im in. 100% in for acquiring any/all of these that might still be out there in the wild.
    Beersnake1 and maximum12 like this.
  13. Raj

    Raj Disciple (312) Jun 25, 2014 Illinois

    I opened a 2013 bw recently too. Still a great beer but getting past its prime imo. I still got dark fruit and toffee, but definitely muted and less sweet than I remember. Still plenty of barrel and booze. It was a little cloudy- I think I read something about 2013 bottles getting sour, but luckily I didn't get any of that.
  14. moshea

    moshea Initiate (0) Jul 16, 2007 Michigan

    2011 Monster Ale

    After I finish this Monster, I will have 13 2012's, 6 2011's and 2 2008's left. I will miss them when the are gone. This was my favorite big beer when it was available. Delicious, fairly affordable, and very easy to find.

    This 2011 has held up well. There is still a decent amount of carbonation. lacing is light but present. Smell is completely malt forward. Taste is classic English barley wine. Malt is the predominate taste. Raisin and fruit notes are present as well. This was a fairly lightly hopped beer to begin with, but even after 5 years there is still a bit of hops on the finish.

    Thanks for this one Brooklyn!!!! I am hoping to enjoy my dwindling stash for the next 10 years or so.


    AirBob, bread_c and neurobot01 like this.
  15. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,500) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2002 Old Guardian. I'm a huge fan of aged OG and Double Bastard, but I hadn't had one this old. Still carbonated with a nice pop when I took the cap off. Smell was immediate after cracking the cap. Sweet, tons of dark fruit. With 14 years on it, the hops were clearly non-existent (for the most part). It has predictably turned into more of an English barleywine. Very syrupy and definitely some metallic notes coming through. Got a LOT better as it warmed. I think I will stick with a max of 10 years of age on these, as I think this was a bit much. Very fun though!

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