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Cellar Reviews (2019)

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by jmdrpi, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. stevepat

    stevepat Devotee (489) Mar 12, 2013 California

    Wow sorry about that, it's cbs from founders
    Not sure how I managed to omit that useful bit of information
  2. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,847) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    2008 Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA - stamped bottled 1/17/08 - so just over 11 years old

    poured into snifter at cellar temp. appears a very dark brown, but light still gets through when held up to the light. thin cream colored head that fades quickly. boozy aroma of rich malt - burnt sugar, raisin, fig. hot still, which is kinda crazy, but I guess this beer is 30 to 40 proof so it's never going to totally mellow out. taste still has an underlying earthy hop bitterness, and a touch of oxidation. sticky mouthfeel, medium bodied, mild carbonation.


    liquorpig, Bitterbill, AirBob and 8 others like this.
  3. bayareahustla

    bayareahustla Initiate (151) Jul 13, 2012 California


    Mouthfeel is perfect.
    Dark rich chocolate and bourbon sweetness.
    Really liked this. Drink yalls up!
  4. bayareahustla

    bayareahustla Initiate (151) Jul 13, 2012 California


    This thing is liquid candy now. Might have left it too long.
  5. AirBob

    AirBob Defender (635) Jul 15, 2014 Massachusetts

    Avery Pumpkin - Sept. 2015

    Thin tan head which quickly dissipates to a pencil-thin collar. Translucent, Amber body with tons of floaties.

    Nose is dominated by pumpkin spice, as well as sweet dark fruit and rum. Obviously boozy, but the alcohol notes compliment the other elements of the nose well. Picking up on underlying notes of vanilla too.

    Taste is boozy and sweet. Starts with alcohol and pumpkin spice. Middle of the mouth brings sweeter notes of dark fruit and vanilla - pumpkin spice is still present. An assertive finish with more booze and lingering brown sugar sweetness - like a spiced rum.

    Mouthfeel is robust and a bit syrupy. Low carbonation. Finish still has an assertive bite and slight burn in the back of the throat and chest.

    The booze is not hidden with this beer even with nearly 3.5 years in the cellar. If you enjoy spiced rumr then this is a must-try. Probably won't revisit this one, but glad I got to try it - wish I had let it age for a year or two longer.
  6. TheGent

    TheGent Poo-Bah (1,563) Jun 29, 2010 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    Amazing how dark that beer turned.
    bl00 likes this.
  7. TheGent

    TheGent Poo-Bah (1,563) Jun 29, 2010 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    Glad to see a review on this. I have one left. Haven’t been in a rush to open it and probably still am not.
    AirBob likes this.
  8. BalancingBrooms

    BalancingBrooms Zealot (591) Aug 22, 2013 Louisiana

    Man loved that beer fresh. Did you open one at a year or two?
  9. dlcarst

    dlcarst Initiate (90) Aug 21, 2015 Illinois

    I recently had one fresh and had one a year old. Fresh was too boozy for me, but a year was perfectly balanced for a BA barleywine. Given how much it changed over a year, I don't think I'd age it more than a couple years. I love the 4 pack format, so I'll age them up to 3 years and see what happens.
    bl00 and BalancingBrooms like this.
  10. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,389) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Trader

    A shelf turd I bought today.

    Pours dark but not pitch black,
    Foam and carbonation it doesn't lack,
    Smells sweet and fruity and so very strong,
    Has not been sitting on the shelf too long,
    The flavours are good and didn't oxidate,
    Hurrah hurrah , I didn't buy this too late!
  11. liquorpig

    liquorpig Defender (618) Sep 6, 2008 Massachusetts

    I had a 2012 vintage last year and I found it quite boozy myself. I've got 1 more that I think I'm going to sit on for the foreseeable future.
    TheGent likes this.
  12. CoreyC

    CoreyC Aspirant (203) Mar 16, 2015 Wisconsin

    Interesting - I recently had a 2 y.o. bottle which I thought lost quite a bit from when I had it at 6 months.
  13. CoreyC

    CoreyC Aspirant (203) Mar 16, 2015 Wisconsin

    Interesting - I recently had a 2 y.o. bottle that I thought dropped off quite a bit from when I had it at 6 months. I thought this would hold up/improve but a bit sooner might be better.
  14. liquorpig

    liquorpig Defender (618) Sep 6, 2008 Massachusetts

    2013 Nebraska Fathead BW - 10% abv
    Brownish red appearance. Aroma of plums and dried fruit with whiskey. Little carbonation. Hints of vanilla, dried fruit, malts, sugar with a background of whiskey, which is not overbearing. A little sweetness in the finish with very little warmth from the alcohol. A tad thin. I'm pleased with it. I've got 1 more in the cellar which I'll probably drink later this year. I don't see this improving any more with age.
  15. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (1,974) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Premium Trader

    2012 Parabola. Very little head on the pour. Picking up really nice notes of molasses and black licorice on the nose. Some chocolate-dipped cherries as well. The taste is really nice. Tons of black licorice, maple, lactose, and burnt wood. Roasted malts, dark fruit, and a bit of hickory. Mouthfeel is incredibly creamy and thick. Overall, this has done well, but I prefer it a couple of years younger.

    TheGent, AirBob, CaptainHate and 5 others like this.
  16. TheGent

    TheGent Poo-Bah (1,563) Jun 29, 2010 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

  17. TheGent

    TheGent Poo-Bah (1,563) Jun 29, 2010 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    Wrong thread. Don’t worry though. I reposted to ensure the appropriate amount of likes in the correct thread.
    Number1Framer and Bitterbill like this.
  18. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Zealot (531) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    2007 J. W. Lees Harvest Ale

    4.35/5 rDev +2.6%
    look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

    2007 bottle poured into a DFH tulip. No carbonation over a reddish brown body with floaters at the bottom.

    Smell was of raisins over a boozy sherry aroma. Taste mirrored the smell but had almost no alcohol but this is the first ale I've had that I could taste leather and tobacco that I've heard so much of previously but never experienced. No cardboard or oxidation tastes that I could detect. Mouthfeel was fine as it lingered nicely while not being as thick and oily as other British Barleywines I've had.

    Obviously this is something special. I don't know if 12 years is the optimum cellaring time but it's difficult to imagine how this can be improved on.
    AirBob, ManBearPat, bl00 and 3 others like this.
  19. TheGent

    TheGent Poo-Bah (1,563) Jun 29, 2010 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    Dogfish Head Burton Baton (3/11/2016)

    From last night:

    Look: This beer pours a murky, opaque, dark amber / light brown color. A khaki colored head settles from a couple fingers to a thin layer atop the glass. Minimal lacing. No visible carbonation. A nice enough looking beer in the glass. Looks the part of an English Barleywine.

    Smell: Piney and resinous hop profile intertwined with sweeter and fruitier aromas including dried apricot, raisin, dates. Vanilla and tawny port wine as it warms. Earthy, unsweetened black tea. A big, deep whiff yields some rum soaked fruit cake, almond paste and marzipan. No perceivable alcohol. A beautiful nose.

    Taste: On the tip for the tongue you get sweeter caramel and date flavors. As the beer moves to the sides of the tongue I definitely get some bitterness. It’s subtle at first but it grows on the finish. It’s an herbal bitterness. More caramel sweetness. Sweet bread flavor. Vanilla, dried apricot. The beer finishes semi-dry. It’s easily drinkable for 10% ABV. Very much so.

    Feel: A medium bodied beer with low carbonation. It drinks nicely. A warming feeling on the palate and in the pipes.

    Overall: Based on my notes this beer is similar if not the same as when it was fresh. I don’t know if it improves with age, but it certainly holds up well. The nose is absolutely fantastic. The flavor is clean and well aged with no off flavors or issues. It’s quite drinkable at 10% ABV and I wonder if time has helped that. This is a fantastic beer that one does not need to rush.
  20. stevepat

    stevepat Devotee (489) Mar 12, 2013 California

    2017 750 ml of Against the Grain - Bo & Luke (white ash)

    This is one of my favorite dark beers, brewed with rye, corn, barley, and cherry wood smoked malts. Barreled for a short time in freshly emptied bourbon barrels it takes a stab at the flavors of bourbon in an interesting way.
    This bottle was additionally stuck into a fresh charred white ash barrel for an additional period.
    Here's my full review

    The cliff notes are that all the edges are impressively softened. This is the beer that comes closest, in my experience, to sussing out the flavor of bourbon beyond the burn. There is lots of complex grainy notes, the rye stands out to me but there is a robustness that I think is a result of the corn.
    Faint notes of vanilla belie the barreling and the smoothness is distressing when you notice that little 13% in the lower corner of the label.

    I still have 2 regulars of this from the same year and one with hazelnut and cocoa that I will strive to sip down sooner than later (although this one might be a little ahead in aging considering that it got a second barrel session). This is a sleeper champ to me, easy to get if you are in Louisville and a really unique and wonderful stout. I kind of think of it as a pastry stout for the type of person whose idea of a pastry is bourbon:thinking_face::yum:
  21. bayareahustla

    bayareahustla Initiate (151) Jul 13, 2012 California


    Stupid Stout Batch 3 (2013).

    Time has done this thing wonders. The mouth feel is better than it ever was, the bourbon has toned down nicely. Tons of dark chocolate and bourbon soaked cherries. Yum.
  22. gopens44

    gopens44 Poo-Bah (2,217) Aug 9, 2010 Virginia
    Premium Trader

    Your post inspired me to check in on the remaining bottle from 2010



    As you can see it still has life. Fragrance erupted like the head with huge caramel and a little demon tobacco. Taste has massive fig, raisin and tobacco which does fairly well balancing out the heat, which 9 years did nothing to quiet. I get just a little biscuit and slight cardboardy evidence of oxidation in the aftertaste but otherwise this held up like a beast.
  23. neenerzig

    neenerzig Poo-Bah (2,000) Feb 15, 2006 Ohio

    Somehow, many years ago now, a bomber of Stone Sublimely Self Righteous was pushed to the back of my cellar hiding among the Stone Russian Imperial Stouts I still have aging. Came across if tonight when I was looking some stuff over. Not sure exactly what year this bottle is from, as there's no dates listed anywhere on it. Pured in my tulip glass, it is a very dark brown, almost black color with a dark tan head that's a good inch thick when first poured. Excellent lacing inside my glass. Big roasted malt aroma and eve still a decent piney, earthy hop aroma as well. Big roasted, caramel and a big of chocolate sweet malt taste along with still a decent piney and earthy hop bitterness. Good balance of flavors. Being that this bottle has to be at least 6 or 7 years old at this point I'd estimate, I'm amazed, but being that this is Stone not really surprised, just how well the hop flavors held up here. Stone is still the king of hoppy beers/IPAs as far as I am concerned. Has a crisp, slightly sticky and chewy, medium to full bodied mouthfeel/ This aged very well, esepcially for a stule of beer that is not suppossed to be aged for years and years.

  24. gopens44

    gopens44 Poo-Bah (2,217) Aug 9, 2010 Virginia
    Premium Trader

    Ok, sorry to return so quickly (I’m not really this big of an attention hog) but I feel like I need to make an effort to reduce the average age of my cellar before oxidation renders it all disappointing. Also sensitive to the fact that I am going to the Stone well again, but dangit, in 2009 until about 2013 ish they offered the most ubiquitous cellarable beer collection in my area.

    2011 classic release Old Guardian


    Still a little sharpness in the nose but it’s a sweet candy like spicy thing, quite literally like those spice gumdrops. Behind that is solid date with a hint of cherry. Taste starts out with a blast of out of whack bitterness that introduces the heat up front, which is dulling the deeper character that this has when its say, 5 or 6 years fresher. I try my best to cut through the pungent alcohol taste, as difficult as it is in order to identify the actual taste but all I can really taste is a bit of fig and remnants of caramel. Aftertaste is very reminiscent of a moderately cheap bourbon, as in the same rough, unrefined alcohol taste.

    So ya, we seemed to have exited the sweet spot of this beer, so don’t hang on to it for 8 years.
  25. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (438) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    My only issue with this post is your thinking there’s such thing as too much content for this thread!
  26. garymuchow

    garymuchow Poo-Bah (3,012) Aug 31, 2001 Minnesota

    Trader Joe's Vintage Ale 2011
    Doing a little sweep of the cellar to see what can be cleaned out and came across this. Actually, found a case of 750ml and bombers that need some attention. This bad boy goes first
    Certainly has oxidized some. It's taken on a light fruit quality (as opposed to darker fruits, not less fruit). A bit airy. Nice tan dense head shows carbonation to still be strong.
    Darker fruit in taste with some raisin and plum. Quite dry. Shot of warmth hits the gut.
    Still a standard version of style. Straight ahead but not particularly complex or overly interesting. But for the price a way to engage in this style.
    Bitterbill, bl00 and CaptainHate like this.
  27. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Zealot (531) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    2018 Prairie Artisan Ales Birthday Bomb

    I went to my beer fridge looking for something deliberately aged and pulled this out of a four pack container (note to self: get rid of those damn containers). This must have been something I was given by my dog walking beer drinking relocated friends because I've had Birthday Bomb before and don't like it as much as the regular Bomb! and there's NFW I'd deliberately age one of these because these are balanced enough as is when fresh. Plus as many have mentioned previously, Prairie doesn't give these suckers away. So I thought WTF and decided to not compound my error by letting it sit further.

    I think this was bottled on April 25, 2018; the fourth digit looks like a zero but that can't be right. Anyway as expected, aging hasn't done this any favors. It still looks fine but everything but the peppers, which are still amazingly spicy, has faded in the smell and taste. It's still a positive experience but the flavors just don't pop out as much as when fresh. My mistake.
  28. stevepat

    stevepat Devotee (489) Mar 12, 2013 California

    Stave it For Later Barrel Series: Pretty Willie's Imperial Stout from Against the Grain

    When I picked this up I thought I remembered it being a 2017 bottling but looking at the bottle now I don't see any dating. In any case I purchased this in December 2018 so it's been cellared for a minimum of 3 months.

    Look is deepest black with a thin mocha head
    Smell is bourbon barrel and fig/raisin
    Taste is a wonderful chocolate/vanilla with some bourbony dark fruit through the later end
    Mouthfeel is amazing for a barelled stout, hasn't been thinned badly, doesn't build up too bad
    Overall this is a win, these guys are soooo gimicky at times that I'm always a little skeptical but at this point I'm pretty much 100% on board with any of their stout offerings. And whether this is 3 or 15 months out of the barrel this bad boy is good as ever and I could certainly imagine it aging a bit more without harm. Although I do feel like it's pretty balanced now, no alcohol/barrel heat left, just a touch of roasty malt character, dark fruit making a good showing. So if you're holding on to a few I wouldn't think that years more are needed.
    Bitterbill, CaptainHate and bl00 like this.
  29. BalancingBrooms

    BalancingBrooms Zealot (591) Aug 22, 2013 Louisiana

    Interesting post, surprised theres so much alcohol.
    +1 for proper glassware!