August 2018 Cellar Reviews

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by dbrauneis, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (7,213) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Premium Trader

    Birdsong Be-Bop-A-Ree-Bop (Bottled May 2017): 3.63/5.0

    A: Pours an opaque thick viscous jet black in color with moderate amounts of fine active visible carbonation rising along the edges of the glass and faint dark cola brown colored highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense fizzy foamy dark tan head that slowly reduces to a large patch of very thin film covering approximately 85% of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

    S: Just shy of moderate aromas of toasted, roasted, chocolate, and charred malts with minimal amounts of sweetness. Light to moderate aromas of tart rhubarb and leafy herbal + earthy hops. Slightly stronger than moderate aromas of oak, red wine, and tart vinegar.

    T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted, roasted, chocolate, and charred malts with minimal amounts of sweetness. That is followed by just shy of moderate flavors of oak, red wine, and tart vinegar. Finally there are light to moderate flavors of tart rhubarb and light flavors of leafy herbal + earthy hops which along with the charred malts impart a hint of bitterness which fades pretty quickly leaving lingering acidic tartness.

    M: Medium bodied with slightly heavier than moderate amounts of carbonation. Initially slightly thin/watery with a light amounts of acidic prickliness and hints of dryness in the finish.

    O: Sour stouts are one of those styles that in execution either work really well or feel like the different aspects of the flavor/aromas of the ingredients are in conflict with one another. This beer falls into the latter category unfortunately - the charred malts, rhubarb, and red wine just are competing for your attention when drinking it. The alcohol is well hidden and the mouthfeel is quite pleasant but I don't think I would have this one again. Aging for a year really did not make a noticeable change in my thoughts/opinions on this beer.
    A: Pours an opaque thick viscous jet black in color with moderate amounts of fine active visible carbonation rising along the edges of the glass and faint dark cola brown colored highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense fizzy foamy dark tan head that slowly reduces to a large patch of very thin film covering approximately 85% of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

    S: Just shy of moderate aromas of toasted, roasted, chocolate, and charred malts with minimal amounts of sweetness. Light to moderate aromas of tart rhubarb and leafy herbal + earthy hops. Slightly stronger than moderate aromas of oak, red wine, and tart vinegar.

    T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of toasted, roasted, chocolate, and charred malts with minimal amounts of sweetness. That is followed by just shy of moderate flavors of oak, red wine, and tart vinegar. Finally there are light to moderate flavors of tart rhubarb and light flavors of leafy herbal + earthy hops which along with the charred malts impart a hint of bitterness which fades pretty quickly leaving lingering acidic tartness.

    M: Medium bodied with slightly heavier than moderate amounts of carbonation. Initially slightly thin/watery with a light amounts of acidic prickliness and hints of dryness in the finish.

    O: Sour stouts are one of those styles that in execution either work really well or feel like the different aspects of the flavor/aromas of the ingredients are in conflict with one another. This beer falls into the latter category unfortunately - the charred malts, rhubarb, and red wine just are competing for your attention when drinking it. The alcohol is well hidden and the mouthfeel is quite pleasant but I don't think I would have this one again. Aging for a year really did not make a noticeable change in my thoughts/opinions on this beer.
     
  2. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (1,514) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Trader

    2013 Velvet Merkin. Poured from fridge temp. Pours jet black with little head. Nose is amazing. Lots of chocolate, bourbon, maple, roasted malts, and vanilla. Taste follows the nose. Nice dark chocolate dipped in bourbon. Getting some coffee, licorice, dark roasted malts, tree bark, vanilla, and maple. Really smooth. Probably not as good as fresh, but still really tasty after 5 years.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,489) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    A beer journey.

    A little over 3 years ago I bought a fresh case of the Goose Island Sofie which had a best by date a full year out from when it was bottled. This post is about the changes in my last bottle with a bit over three years of bottle age on it. (Full disclosure, I'm not writing this post in real time. The most recent bottle was actually consumed last month and I’m just now getting a write up finished from my notes on multiple bottles.)

    First, a bit of background and context.

    For me, when fresh, the aromas/flavors of Sofie are about the yeast, some lemon zest, some white pepper spiciness and maybe a bit of the oak.

    About 18 months after buying the case (6 mos. beyond the best by date) I opened a cellared bottle to see what was going on. The Brett funk was starting to show with that additional bottle age. While the effect of the Brett was still quite light, a touch of funk was definitely detectable in the aroma when opening the bottle. The flavors also included a very light funkiness. Naturally the hop flavors, which were hard to sort out even in fresh bottles, were not as prominent, but the beer was otherwise still very similar in some ways to the bottles I had within the best by date period.

    Then, about a year ago, six months after opening the first cellared bottle, and two years after buying the case, I opened another cellared bottle. At 2 years of bottle age the Brett had become fairly dominant. The aromas gave it away when the bottle was opened and the pour into a Duvel glass had to be carefully controlled because even under control it created a head over 2" above the liquid. The aromas and flavors were mostly about the Brett with their funkiness and earthy, almost barnyard character. Not surprisingly there was little or no trace of the hops. But there was a just bit of citric tart sweetness in the background.

    Moving on to this year’s bottle, 3 years on from purchase and 2 years past the best by date, there has definitely been a change from last year’s cellared bottle. Last year the Brett mostly dominated both the aromas and flavors. This year, while the aromas still show off some Brett funk it’s more muted and integrated than last year and there’s a lot of nice fruit showing that didn’t didn’t seem to be in there when the beer was fresh. The flavors showing this year included some melon and white grapes and with the earthy Brett funk more in the background there seems to be a bit of oak showing too.

    @TongoRad
     
    #3 drtth, Aug 3, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
    BenHoppy, argock, lookrider and 8 others like this.
  4. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (3,807) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Trader

    Great Lakes Barrel Aged Stout 2015

    The weakest of the series going back to my first sip of this beautiful nectar in 2008. The second bottle I've had in the past month that's been like this: no barrel, with the mouthfeel starting to thin out, & little taste rather than vague sweetness & sharp roast. Given how much I love this beer aged - the 2008 remains one of the best beers I've ever tasted - this year is a disappointment. If you're hanging on to any, I'd suggest trying one sooner rather than later.
     
    argock, garymuchow, Budlum and 4 others like this.
  5. TheGent

    TheGent Meyvn (1,155) Jun 29, 2010 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    Carton Regular Coffee

    Canned on 12/22/2016

    Stored in my basement which hovers at 55-60 all year round.

    Appearance





    Smell

    This beer still smells like a coffee forward beer, but the in your face coffee aroma of the fresh version is no more. The 12% ABV is still well hidden (nonexistent fresh), but it’s noticeable now and contributes to the sweet nose. Sweetened coffee with cream, candy corn, lemon zest, fresh basil, hay and spearmint.

    Taste

    With no exaggeration this beer fresh tastes like a cup of coffee with cream and sugar. It’s a very coffee forward and sweet beer. There are nuances to the coffee, but overall, the beer nails its namesake.

    This can is still coffee forward, but the flavors have faded a lot. What I’m left with is something more focused on the grainy aspect of the beer. Malt/corn. My first reaction to the sweetness said malty characteristics of a märzen/octoberfest beer. You can taste the alcohol, but not in an offensive way.

    Mouthfeel

    Little to no carbonation with a creamy mouthfeel. A warming sensation on the palate and throughout the pipes from the alcohol.

    Drinkability

    This is a very drinkable and enjoyable beer. Do I think it benefits from age? Absolutely not. This beer should be consumed ASAP to fully enjoy the coffee, creamy and sugary notes that it offers.

    This is my last can and was really just a straggler that I didn’t get around to drinking. Did not intentionally age it. It was great fun drinking this beer and seeing how it changed over time. But do yourself a favor and drink it fresh.

    @augiecarton
     
  6. jheimbigner

    jheimbigner Disciple (376) Apr 18, 2015 Washington
    Premium Trader

    Baller Stout 2011 (3.7/5) bottled 2011

    Did not have too high hopes for this guy. Initial pour had a 1 inch Carmel head that quickly disapated. It poured thicker than expected. Nose was soy sauce/umami with a little chocolate/roasted malts. Taste followed the smell. Very one dimensional, mainly soy sauce/umami and a little roasted malt flavor in the back. The soy sauce/umami was not an off putting flavor, but rather quite decent. Mouthfeel was much thicker than expected but not nearly as thick as it would have been fresh, nor what I would expect with Darklord, Darkness, Black Albert, and Beer Geek Brunch being the base beer.

    [​IMG]


     
    #6 jheimbigner, Aug 6, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  7. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (1,514) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Trader

    2013 Sucaba. I love this beer fresh, and it ages really nicely for 3-5 years. This tastes really nice. Definitely still strong with notes of caramel, fig, cherries, bread, nuts, and sweet candy. There is a noticeable difference from fresh, and it's not necessarily easy to pinpoint. Perhaps a little less sweet. Overall, this tastes great and I wouldn't hesitate to age up to 5 years. However, I would not go much beyond.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. garymuchow

    garymuchow Poo-Bah (2,946) Aug 31, 2001 Minnesota

    Bell's Batch 9000
    Quite dark, nearly black and looking close to a RIS. It's been awhile since I last had this. So much so I've forgotten a lot about it. The little smear and ring of a head sure is enduring.
    Real rich with heavy dark fruit. Hinting towards roast but not crossing the line. The fruit is nice.
    Retains a wonderful full mouthfeel. Soft and full without being heavy. This amplifies the wonderful rich fruit character of the flavor. Wow...this is still impressive. For a beer this big (12.5%) the alcohol blends extremely well with the full rich malt character. Good shot of warmth in the gut lets me know it's substantial (and in time the 'ding' to the prefrontal cortex tells me again). But going down it's a full malt, dark fruit (berry and dried fruit mix) and slight perfume mix.
    I wrote this at the end of my original review, " Aging will do this some thing wonderful.". Boy did I call that one right. I like it every bit as much as when I first had it in 2010. I picked up chocolate then and I don't now. But the alcohol blends better than then. I also noted a bourbon quality then, which I don't now too. It seems aging has helped develop the fruit flavors.
    This is one aging project that was a success.
     
  9. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,898) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium

    I'm not surprised that aging it worked. I think that I mentioned the potential for it in my review.
     
    garymuchow likes this.
  10. argock

    argock Poo-Bah (2,751) Dec 30, 2006 Virginia

    2016 Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale
    Lightly aged but curious as it’s about buying time and I couldn’t remember what the flavor was like.
    Very grapy aroma with coriander and nutmeg spices and light medicinal phenols.
    Flavor also a lot of grape fruitiness with layer of tobacco and light but obvious phenols and finishing pretty highly spiced with coriander, nutmeg, and pepper.
    Feel is pretty light and effervescent for the ABV.
    Not bad for an every once in a while try.
     
  11. BenHoppy

    BenHoppy Devotee (465) Nov 15, 2017 Michigan

    Sierra Nevada Narwhal bottled 8-7-17, so aged one year:

    Look was chocolatey, coffee, mocha with creamy bubbly head. Smell was roasted malts and chocolate with thick creamy mouthfeel.

    Now the flavor was the real kicker. I did not like this beer all that much fresh but wow what a difference aged. This beer actually tasted bourbon barrel aged. I read the bottle while drinking, not bourbon barrel aged. But man I swear I can taste bourbon. I also get chocolatey roasted malts, vanilla cream, marshmallow, and slight hint of green pepper which would be attributed to aged coffee beer. Wish it was coffee more so than green pepper but then again maybe that is what attributed to the bourbon flavor. I have 4 more bottles and probably going to drink one sooner than later, maybe 2. I will then age 1 for 18 months and another for 3 but then again maybe I should drink all 4 in the next month as it tastes that good. Glad I aged it.
     
  12. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (1,514) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Trader

    2013 Ten Fidy

    Poured from cellar temp into a tulip. Pours jet black with dark brown head. Nose if full of roasted malts, charred wood, black licorice, coffee grounds, and a bit of tobacco. Taste is super smooth. Creamy, as if it were a taste. Charred wood really comes through. Lots of burnt malts, tobacco, and a bit of dark fruit. Seems to have mellowed out a lot since fresh. Super smooth with a creamy mouthfeel. Overall, I am happy to taste this 5 years after canning, but I would probably go for about 2-3 years.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. argock

    argock Poo-Bah (2,751) Dec 30, 2006 Virginia

    2012 Founders Old Curmudgeon
    04/06/12 although bottling date is smudged
    Fairly clear dark amber with a few floaties
    Aroma of maple, toffee, nougat, light chocolate, and lovely light bourbon character still hanging on
    Flavor is a little short on heft in the malt dept as some of it has fallen out. Still delicious with variety of toffee, bittersweet chocolate, caramel, and again pleasant nicely blended bourbon barrel character. Medium bitterness still comes through in the finish.
    Feel is thinner than when fresher but very drinkable with soft carbonation.
    I would probably drink these guys sooner rather than later as the malt character has fallen off but it is still a lovely cellared beer.