Beers that age well, and beers that don't

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by 1up, Sep 28, 2013.

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  1. 1up

    1up Initiate (0) Mar 5, 2013 District of Columbia

    I have amassed a huge cellar and it's become a bit daunting to try and figure out which to drink first. So I thought I'd base the decision on which beers are more cellerable and will last longer or change into something nicer. Even some vintages of certain beers are better or worse than other years. IPAs are obvious, though some age better than others so feel free to put those as well if you think they age relatively well or relatively poorly to the style. Some beers just change and are different but not worse or better necessarily.

    Good examples
    -JW Lees Harvest
    -World Wide Stout

    Mediocre examples
    -Boulevard Saison Brett

    Bad Examples
    -New Glarus Coffee Stout
    -BCBS Vanilla

    Changes a lot but not necessarily in a bad way
    -Cantillon beers
    -Dogfish 120
  2. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Initiate (0) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    Beers that improve with age

    Beers that decline with age

    Beers that maintain quality

    Specific beers are all a matter of preference and opinion. Case in point, Bourbon County Vanilla, I think you are absolutely crazy for calling it a bad example. The beer has been stellar from the get-go.

    If you want specifics go with Expedition Stout and Third Coast Old Ale. Both have the legs to go 20 years and beyond.
  3. brureview

    brureview Meyvn (1,260) Jan 20, 2012 Massachusetts

    I haven't had much success with Imperial stouts- except for Goose Island Bourbon County.
    I recently tasted a Ten Fidy canned in 2011. It was not as good as fresh- less smooth.

    I am cellaring a 2012 Parabola, though.
  4. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    Sit on a Stone RIS for 18 months and you'll have a golden egg.
    Bringthebeards likes this.
  5. brureview

    brureview Meyvn (1,260) Jan 20, 2012 Massachusetts

    Will do. I don't cellar my beer at "room temp" which depends on the weather. For 8 months or more it is below 60.
    Can the higher temps ruin the beer? I was surprised that the Ten Fidy didn't taste as good as fresh.
    Interesting, that I got a bad headache and upset stomach after drinking it. The beer or the virus? I think the latter.

    I also have a Firestone Walker anniversary beer from last year which I am cellaring.
  6. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    It's bests to keep it around 50-55F year-round, but for a lot of people that's impractical. I don't think you want too many warm and cool cycles on the beer, but that's probably better than constantly at 68-72F (room temp). Maybe others can chime in here. I'd keep them in the basement year-round if I was you and don't try to cellar anything too long (maybe 3 or 4 years max?)
  7. JasonLovesBeer

    JasonLovesBeer Initiate (0) Mar 27, 2013 British Columbia (Canada)

    The whole point of aging for me is to get different drinking experiences out of the same beer. It's not about the beer being better or worse fresh or old. So aging is completely dependent on how many bottles I get of one release. If I buy 3 bottles of a RIS, I'd probably drink one fresh, one after a year, and the last at 2 years. Or maybe 18 months / 3 years. If I got 6, I'd probably stretch it out a bit further and go to 4 years. Past that seems like a risky proposition.

    Same goes for other styles - barleywines, sour ales, and quads by the same ages as above. Lambics I'd stretch the timeline out as far as my patience will allow - I have Cantillon bottles I hope to take over 10 years, but only ones I have enough stock on to try every year or two to see how they're doing.
    The-Adjunct-Hippie likes this.
  8. brureview

    brureview Meyvn (1,260) Jan 20, 2012 Massachusetts

    Have you ever aged a lager? I have a Bourbon Barrel aged Baltic Porter Lager( 10%) and a Dunkles Dopplebock( 9%)- cellared. Both are excellent fresh- terra incognita cellared.
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