Cellar Reviews (2019)

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

  1. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Savant (941) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    2018 Evil Twin / Lervig Big Ass Money Stout 3

    Saw one of these in a local bottle shop last year and just snagged it instantly. Wasn't sure what I'd do with it other than see if some aging would knock the prodigious heat down. Canned on 2/22/2018 I thought why not tonight.

    Still plenty of carbonation with a large brown head over an inky dark brown body. Smell is still boozy but not overpoweringly so backed with chocolate and dark fruit. Taste is still hot (you can still feel it going down) but not ridiculously so and the chocolates, dark fruits and brown sugar are blended very nicely. Mouthfeel is just perfect as the flavors linger.

    Aging this has tamed the beast from the overly hot ass kicker that made me modulate my breathing while sipping to make sure I didn't go into a major coughing jag into something more reasonable. Or maybe I'm more conditioned to these bombs. Either way I wish it was a brutally cold night, or even a crisp autumn evening, but by then it might not be so good. Either way I wish I'd snagged more.
    tzieser, brutalfarce, TheGent and 4 others like this.
  2. ManforallSaisons

    ManforallSaisons Devotee (421) Mar 20, 2008 Belgium

    Cherish what's left.... I opened one of my last 4 pack of a batch brewed in 2010. It's looooong gone. Just a bit of caramel and the merest smidgen of sourness.
    bl00 likes this.
  3. jheimbigner

    jheimbigner Defender (610) Apr 18, 2015 Washington
    Society Trader

    Hill Farmstead Everett || bottled Feb, 2016

    Cellard properly since purchase at Hill Farmstead. Opened close to fridge temp. Poured a nice toffee head that left a nice even lacing. Nose is dominated by umami, secondary roastiness from the malts and coffee bitterness, bakers chocolate comes through as it warms. Taste follows the nose and so similar to fresh for almost a three and a half year old beer. The bitterness from the roasted malts is in the forefront followed by soy and chocolate. The beer finishes so clean leaving just a mild bitterness behind. The viscosity is good - coats the tounge but is not heavy. It is thinner than fresh. The carb is perfect for a porter. Overall, and like always, very impressed with how well Hill farmstead beers cellar. This beer is great fresh, and great now - prime example of a beer to hoard and drink every six months.
  4. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Cantillon Classic Geuze with about 8 1/2 years of bottle age.

    In July of 2011 my wife and I were heading south to visit some friends and family. As we entered Delaware she asked me if I wanted to stop at the Claymont Total Wine. There I found some Cantillon. There were 6 bottles that were so new on the shelf that there was not even a price tag. But that didn’t deter me and I immediately bought 4 bottles, three to have and one to take to my brother-in-law and his wife. That decision also turned out to be a good one since I’ve never seen this beer on the shelves in the US since then. In October of 2011 I popped the cork on one of the bottles and did a review. The second bottle was shared with a beer buddy and the third has been sitting quietly in the basement since then. Tonight I opened that second bottle to try and figure how the beer may have changed.

    At the time of my review the first bottle from this batch had just over 1 year of bottle age and according to the brewer it had a 10 year best by period (bb Sep 2020). So the beer I’m having right now is just over 8 1/2 years old since bottling.

    Here is my initial review from Oct 2011.

    “Poured into a Duvel glass. Bottled 17 September 2010.

    Appearance: As poured the beer is a clear golden color with light carbonation and a 3/8” creamy white head that recedes slowly, leaving a bit of foam clinging to one side of the glass. Sipping produces a sheet of foam on the side that slides back down to the liquid leaving a few legs and scattered tiny speckles of lacing. The head persists as a 1/8” layer of foam for quite a long time.
    Smell: Some of the aromas are detectable as the beer is opened. There is some definite citric zest and tart apple, but there is also some mustiness that almost dominates and has some leather-like character to it.
    Taste: As with the sample I had at the brewery some months ago, the initial impression is one of tartness. Then the flavors of green apples and lemon zest show up as well. There is some of the mustiness almost hidden in the background that mingles with a touch of oak.
    Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied with a nice mix of smoothness and lightly prickly carbonation. The finish is medium long and begins with astringent dryness that slowly turns into just dryness in the back of the mouth and then just fades away.
    Drinkability and Overall Impression: As with earlier examples of this style I’m finding Cantillon’s gueuze very drinkable. As each sip fades I’m ready to take another to see how well balanced and complex the mix of flavors is. My overall impression is that the reputation of this beer, the Brewery, and the head brewer is well deserved.”

    Tonight’s impressions when comparing this last bottle to my review of the one year old bottle from the same batch:

    Decanting into a Duvel glass avoids a lot of sediment and produces a clear golden colored liquid that quickly develops a chill haze. There’s a 1/4” white head that also recedes slowly and persists for a long time. Sipping creates a couple of thick arches and patches of lacing. Over time the patches become smaller and more numerous.

    The aromas are again noticeable as the bottle is opened. Now, however, the leather-like musty character and a bit of oak are much more up front and the citrus and tartness are in the background.

    The flavors seem different than described above. While the citric-apple tartness is still there, the leathery mustiness is much more forward and the two seem to share center stage making them hard to separate. There still seems to be a touch of oak.

    The mouthfeel is much the same as described, medium bodied and lightly prickly. The finish is still very long as the flavors fade but this time the ending seems to have a much more pervasive tartness that tinges the long dry finish in the back of the palate.

    My overall impression is that this beer is still a quite drinkable and enjoyable beer but time has introduced some changes in the aroma/flavor profile. They are still balanced but, not surprisingly with Brett yeast, there’s more leathery mustiness showing. The oak seems to be still much the same as described above, in the background but still showing a bit.
    #204 drtth, Jun 5, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
  5. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,097) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2014 brewed John Barleycorn from Mad River brewing co. Bottled late 2015 after the brewery ages for one year. The brewery has released several vintages of this in celebration of their 30th anniversary, this is the oldest bottled cellar vintage they have put out.

    Pours a deep ruby red, almost looks like a red wine, very thin mocha head that dissipates swiftly. Really beautiful liquid.
    Smell is sherry and sweet cherry with light spiced notes. The cherry aroma is surprisingly strong.
    The taste has a boozy bite coming up front, along with port/sherry notes, old leather library, and a bit of cardboard. Compared to fresh this flavor has definitely lost a bit of vigor, thinned out a bit, and picked up some of that staling/cardboard bit. It is still a pleasant and complex brew but has certainly gotten more vinous and the booze is becoming more prominent.
    The mouthfeel, like the flavor, is a bit thinner than fresh and has a bit of a carbonation bite. Actually like the mouthfeel better at this point, it's very drinkable with little to know build up on the tongue.

    All in all I would say that it's unlikely this thing is getting any better with more time on it. It hasn't gone off it's cliff yet, so it is possible that for some people there is a sweet spot past 5 or so years but for me this isn't quite as good as fresh (which in this context has already been aged 1 year from the end of fermentation by the brewery). It's remarkable to me how much sherry/dessert wine character this beer has taken on. Including in the color which went from a rich toffee color to a straight up cherry red.

    Can't wait to follow this thing forward in time trying the newer vintages and if I can get my act together I'd like to do a blind tasting of all 4 vintages that I have just to see what that tells me
  6. DIM

    DIM Poo-Bah (2,734) Sep 28, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Thanks for sharing this. I remember when Cantillon was relatively easy to find. I still kick myself for not trying more and stocking up when I had the chance. I have one, lone classic gueze left that was bottled in 2009. A gift from my sister brought back from Belgium. I haven't been able to bring myself to open it, but I probably should soon.
  7. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,097) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2015 John Barleycorn Barleywine. Moving forward a year.

    A modest pour yields a deep orange/amber, slightly opaque liquid. Color like a big double IPA. Little to no head and it dissipates quickly.
    Muted aroma of honey and toffee. A holiday spice and brandy whiff on the tail end.
    The taste has a strong tart cherry and port thing upfront. This is overtaken by a somewhat harsh boozey bite and the more dominant spiced caramel and herbal hoppiness. This also drinks a bit like a big boozy double IPA.
    The mouthfeel keeps the DIPA theme alive, it is a noticeably big beer but it is not a heavy beer. The body is light enough for drinking and cuts clean at the end.

    Overall the differences between this and the 2014 are kind of stark. I heard, from an unreliable source and many years ago, that they brewed a different recipe every year (supposedly because their producing of this beer arose out of a homebrew competition?) but I always attributed the rumor to the fact that they used to have a different label made by a different local artist every year. They've gone to a standard label now but I'm more convinced than ever that the recipes might be different. The look of this one is markedly different than the 2014 and not that similar to the 2017, and the taste is different enough even though all that I have were cellared by the brewery.
    I will have to investigate further. This vintage reminds me much more of Bigfoot, the 2014 had a much more vinous nature, and the 2017 makes me think of a more traditional euro style. So who knows.
    TheGent, FonyBones, jmdrpi and 4 others like this.
  8. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,097) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Opened a 2017 and was looking at the bottles, the fresh is 9.2% the 2015 was labeled 10.2%. So it does seem like they are different recipes year to year. weird choice if you ask me but I will check in with the brewery next time i make it in.
    bl00 and Bitterbill like this.
  9. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,258) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2015 Parabola. This might just be my favorite spot for this. Nose is nice black licorice and dark chocolate mixed with bourbon, caramel, vanilla, lactose, and nuts. The taste is so smooth. Caramel sweetness, mild dark licorice, milk chocolate, cherries, raisins, nuts, roasted malts, and oak. Mouthfeel is insanely smooth and creamy. This is just a spectacular beer at 4 years!

    Vitacca, TheGent, Samlover55 and 11 others like this.
  10. BeardedWalrus

    BeardedWalrus Disciple (351) Jun 5, 2018 North Carolina

    2016 edition Barrel Aged Bigfoot.

    Look: ruby red with orangeish hues towards the ends of the glass, forms a fingers worth of head that sticks around even an hour after being poured.

    Smell: Lots of upfront bourbon, with oak, vanilla, and dried fruit notes accompanying. Hops are definitely there, though they've been tamed by both the barrel aging and passage of time.

    Taste: Consistent with the nose, but the hops are much more earthy and noticeable on the tongue. Sweet caramel and a malty backbone support it.

    Feel: Medium, more so than the majority of barrel aged barleywines I've had, with the aftertaste not sticking around too long.

    Overall a great beer, I'm glad I could get ahold of another old bottle as I've only found this once before.
    TheGent, Beersnake1, bl00 and 4 others like this.
  11. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (6,456) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    De Dolle Oerbier - 330ml bottle dated Bottled June 2013, so exactly 6 years old

    I found this dusty bottle on a store shelf a few months ago, so not exactly properly cellared. When I popped the cap the bottle gushed quite a bit. I was worried it may have been infected, but it tastes great. clear, dark brown in color, the foamy overcarbonation at the pour quickly subsides to a still looking glass. lots of raisin and fig in the aroma - which a touch of leather a pipe tobacco. similar flavors in the taste, moderately sweet. medium bodied, lower carbonation as most of it escaped.
  12. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,097) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2016 John Barleycorn from Mad River brewing

    Pours a rich and hazy amber with a hearty off white head that is unusually active while maintaining itself, leaving light lacing.
    The smell is strongly of toffee and caramel,slightly boozy.
    Taste is rich and robusto. Apple and plum notes with an herbal hop bite, caramel in the background. This is a very bright beer for the style
    Mouthfeel is spot on, rich but not syrupy. Very smooth
    Overall this is a really nice barleywine for my preferences. It has some of that hop bite of american barleywines but just enough to balance out the malt. It has some of the darker fruit/port flavors but is ultimately a light/bright drink. Also I am fully convinced they brew a different recipe every year, at some point I'll be back in the taproom AND remember to ask
    kemoarps, TheGent, FonyBones and 4 others like this.
  13. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,258) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Black Butte XXV from 2013. Poured from fridge temp but allowed to warm. Pours jet black with good carbonation. Bubbles throughout and continue for several minutes. Light tan head that lingers. Nose is dominated by molasses and black licorice. Really smooth. Secondary notes of raisin, fig, bread, black currant, and a bit of vanilla. Getting a slight nutmeg after a little warming. Taste is super complex and smooth. Molasses, black licorice, black currant, toffee, raisin, bread, nuts, vanilla, cherries, brandy, and a bit of dirt/earth. Mouthfeel is super viscous and thick. Overall, this has aged perfectly. I would add this to the list of beers that DO get better with age. Super impressed.

    kemoarps, TheGent, JMN44 and 8 others like this.
  14. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,258) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2016 Bourbon County. Cap was cracked without a sound. Almost no head on an aggressive pour. Nose is all Bourbon County. Nothing quite smells like this. Huge bourbon, dark chocolate dipped cherries, roasted malts, maple. The taste is so smooth. No matter how much crap GI gets for it's problems, this is freaking incredible. After 3 years (well, more like 2.5 years), this has mellowed out and the flavors become very focused. Tons of black licorice and bourbon. The chocolate isn't as strong as the nose, nor are the dark fruits. Definitely some roasted woods notes and a touch of lactose. Some vanilla and maybe black currant as well. I might prefer this one with a couple of years on it. Definitely straightens things out and provides nice balance. Mouthfeel is crazy thick and viscous, with almost no carbonation. Amazing.

  15. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Hanssens Oude Gueuze with about 7 1/2 years of age.

    First purchased and reviewed in Nov 11, tonight’s bottle is from the same Lot and was purchased at the same time as the bottle I reviewed. While I’m not sure when this was bottled (it has a Lot number rather than a date) as near as I can guess it probably has a bb date sometime in 2020. So I estimate it should now be in the neighborhood of 7 1/2 to 8 years bottle age.

    Here is my original review.

    "Poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Bottle indicates it is from Lotnr G.
    Appearance: As poured the beer is an almost clear golden peach color with a ½” egg shell white head that soon recedes to 1/8” but then holds there for a good while as it is fed by lots of active, visible carbonation rising through the liquid. Sipping leaves partial rings and small widely scattered speckles of lacing. There is a thin layer of foam that leaves patches and speckles of foam clinging to the sides of the glass throughout the beer.
    Smell: The aroma reminds of apple cider vinegar with definite traces of musty barnyard smells mingling with a touch of oakiness. As the beer warms further there is some horse blanket as well.
    Taste: The flavors here are much as expected from the nose and include tart lemon, some sour green apple, and some musty earthiness tinged with woodiness from the oak. The barnyard and horseblanket dance around in the background and occasionally emerge to let you know they are there.
    Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the medium side of light bodied and gently prickly from the carbonation. The medium long finish begins in tart lemon and acidic sourness but then slides smoothly into a persistent woody dryness with occasional bits of tartness popping out here and there at various places on the palate.
    Drinkability and Overall Impression: This is definitely a sipping beer, not because of the ABV, but because more that a sip at once makes one feel that the flavors may be overwhelming. This is a one glass a night beer because of the intensity of flavors. My overall impression is that this is definitely a world class beer with lots of complexity in the flavor and aroma and that rivals any of the best gueuze I’ve tried to date. I’ll definitely be having more of it."

    Comparing this evening’s beer to my earlier review:

    Decanted into a Duvel glass. Bottle from Lotnr G.

    The color of the beer is still mostly clear golden Peach color but there is no head to speak of beyond a small large bubbled ring around the glass and several whisps of thin form on the surface. Sipping creates a couple of slender arches with widely scattered patches of foam, most of which gradually turn back to liquid. Long before the beer is half gone there’s virtualy no foam at all.

    The aromas are still much as described with the apple cider tartness, except the light earthiness along with some light mustiness and horse blanket are both way in the background.

    The flavors are still pretty much what is described but the apple cider tartness and lemon seem more forward than than they were in 2011. While the horse blanket, barnyard mustiness and touch of oak still show a little bit it is only after the initial tartness/sourness has begun to fade that it shows at all.

    The mouthfeel is much the same but the light prickliness is mostly gone. The finish is all about the cidery, lemony tartness but as it moves towards the back of the palate the light musty, earthy and horse blanket notes emerge way in the background.

    Overall my personal feeling is that this beer has lost or hidden some of its complexity with age. It seems to be much more about just the apple cider/lemony tartness and the Brett doesn't really seem to have increased its impact.
    #215 drtth, Jun 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
    kemoarps, TheGent, FonyBones and 4 others like this.
  16. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,258) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2016 Poterie from the Bruery. I'm loving this with a few years on it. Minimal carbonation, with nice toffee and bourbon on the nose. Also some dark cherries, Belgian yeast, oak, and raisins. Taste is very smooth - alcohol barely detectable. Huge toffee notes. Sweet candy, slightly toasted oak. Cherries, raisin, and maple.

  17. brutalfarce

    brutalfarce Disciple (366) Mar 23, 2018 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    could probably grab a can or 2 see them on occasion, I did not enjoy this beer when I had it maybe I missed something
  18. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Savant (941) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    Or maybe you just don't like it. I see people raving about IPAs and think "great, they're all for you". I haven't heard about a problem with infection so I doubt that was the problem. You have enough other options that I'd hate to see you repeat a not enjoyable experience on my account.
    kemoarps, brutalfarce and ManBearPat like this.
  19. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,258) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    W00tStout 2.0 from 2014. Pours a nice black with very little head. Nose is pecans, molasses, vanilla, black licorice, slightly burnt wood, and blackberries. Taste is fantastic. Strong notes of black licorice, toffee, and molasses. Some dark chocolate, blackberries, cherries, roasted malts, and some port. I have consistently enjoyed W00t with age, and this is no exception. Wonderful thick mouthfeel.

  20. pinballplayer

    pinballplayer Zealot (547) Jul 2, 2014 California
    Society Trader

    I posted about a 1999 Sierra Nevada Celebration I found recently at my local bottle shop for $2.99 in another thread but figured I should post here as well.


    The cap gave a slight hiss upon opening and hinted at more carbonation than I expected for a 20 year old beer. The beer produced a decent head that dissipated quickly and left a nice ring behind. The color is quite dark but even fresh Celebration is pretty dark IIRC. The aroma is sherry, hops and caramel with some cardboard present. The taste follows the nose for the most part and is quite pleasant. Barleywine light isn't a bad description. Amazingly, there's still a hop bite present on the finish after two decades.
  21. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Savant (941) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    2017 Bell's Black Note Stout

    10/05/2017 bottle poured into a DFH tulip. No lack of carbonation for a fluffy tan head over a dark brown body. Smell is of boozy roasty chocolate with a licorice/molasses tinge. Taste mirrors the smell with still packing some alcohol heat on the way down but not at all unpleasant. Mouthfeel is incredibly creamy, moreso than I remember this fresh. I wish I'd bought a four pack at the time because I love what the aging has done so far and would like to experience further points in time. Next time I'll stock up more.
  22. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (6,456) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Another shelf aged beer. 2016 vintage of Ridgeway IRS, but just bought from a store a few months ago

    Pours black, with tan colored head. Fairly good head retention. Very roasty aroma - espresso, bitter cacao. Taste is similar, but not as dry as expected. A touch of dark fruit flavors in there. Thicker bodied, lower carbonation

  23. 4DAloveofSTOUT

    4DAloveofSTOUT Poo-Bah (2,447) Nov 28, 2008 Illinois

    Drank a bottle of Grassroots Brother Soigne bottled 5/28/2015! 4 years and a few moths old.

    Poured out a thick cap of head that quickly dissipated. Smells like blood oranges & limes. Tastes the same without any off flavors. The saison wasn’t overly acidic either; it was quite crisp and refreshing with still adequate carbonation.

    Can’t believe how stable this beer is! I would have thought for sure that the blood orange and lime would be muttled or non existent.
    kemoarps, TheGent, DIM and 5 others like this.
  24. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (6,456) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    2017 Victory Java Cask, almost 2 years old

    Pours jet black, tan colored head. Pungent aroma of bourbon, vanilla, oak. Taste is mainly those flavors, plus bitter roasty espresso. Complex yet all the flavors are well integrated. A little boozy, but expected given the 14% abv. Smooth feel but thick. Overall excellent. I've had several editions of this beer now and it's definitely the overall best stuff Victory has put out.
  25. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,913) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    Batch 2 from 2013. Not cellared by me.

    Here's my less than eloquent review:

    Batch 2, 2013. Going on 6 years old!

    Pours a hazy pale gold with one heck of a nice head of foam, lacing is very good.

    The smell has an awesome Brett presence, oak and some citrus. And tartness.

    All 4 components in the smell are in the taste with the citrus coming through on the milder side. And this sure is dry! Tartness is what I would call, at an easy to cope with level.

    Body is on the lower side of medium and the carbonation is lively but in a good way.

    Yikes! I dig this!

    TheGent, kemoarps, DIM and 4 others like this.
  26. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,913) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    My first beer from Casey.

    Bottled August 25th 2016, corked and caged 750ml bottle.

    Pours a hazy orange yellow with an ample head of foam that leaves some very nice lacing behind.

    The Brett is strong in the smell. Lemon, oak, tart...acetic is one of the tart aromas I get.

    Taste follows the nose. Tartness is like something you'd expect from a Lambic. Lemon is noticeable, oaky woody notes, Brett is there almost in spades. Tasty acetic sourness. Pretty magical.

    Light side of medium bodied, carbonation is up there but not overpowering.

    This is so good, I wish I could have shared the bottle.
    TheGent, kemoarps, toolbrew and 3 others like this.
  27. brutalfarce

    brutalfarce Disciple (366) Mar 23, 2018 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    I'd buy for you haha I know I didn't enjoy it
    kemoarps likes this.
  28. kemoarps

    kemoarps Poo-Bah (1,528) Apr 30, 2008 Washington

    I've got tomorrow off so I figured I'd bust open a little Bigfoot side by side. I've got a 2019 bottle and will be reaching back for a 2011 to compare and contrast the effect of age. I've had Bigfoot both fresh and aged in the past and have loved it both ways, but it's nice to do a little refresher.
    Upon the pour the first thing is that the lacing is apples and oranges. 2011 leaves little cobwebs along the glass while the 2019 has occasional spots but that's it. Head retention also favours the elder as it piles in drifts in the corner while the fresher option leaves a galaxy swirl and a single island.
    The fresher one actually felt like the aroma was pretty mild. Considerably moreso than I expected. I felt it was more green... not vinous per se, but more that direction, while the aged one was definitely richer maltier sweeter more decadent feeling. My gf said it reminded her of like a rich rum cake.
    Interestingly* enough she and I had almost opposite impressions of the flavour. She described the aged version as harsher and sharper on the tongue, while I definitely felt that those descriptors applied more appropriately to the fresh. I think part of that is also just a difference in what we mean by those words, as further exploration of her experience matched the specifics I felt I found, but it was interesting to me just the contrast in general. Anyway, I felt the fresher one was raspier and hit with a sharp bitterness that really showcased the piney hops, while the 2011 had a marked depth and richness to it that I would describe as almost caramel/toffee sweet with a rich decadence that harkens back to her description of deeply soaked rum cake.
    Ultimately she preferred the fresher option while I'm definitely more into the older bottle.
    While she'll drink and enjoy beers on occasion she's not a nerd about it, so it was kind of cool to be able to show her how the same beverage can change over time (she does have some wine background, so that was a good touch point for reference), and to see her kind of explore and compare them, and ultimately enjoy some of the side of the hobby (and specifically a style) that can be overwhelming for neophytes.

    Extremely tangential, but: While I don't HATE the new design, I DO think it's a pretty significant step in the wrong direction as that older bottle just looks so much more... them. Iconic. Creative. Classic. Anyway, neither here nor there.
  29. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (4,169) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota

    Deschutes The Abyss 2010

    One of my first cellaring experiments, this is the oldest I've had an Abyss, previously maxing out about 7-8 years. Curious to see how long they can go.

    The black wax is as crumbly as any I've seen, but the beer still has some life, if the mild head means anything. The taste confirms this. The bourbon is near gone, just a hint in the sinuses, but there's a beautiful mat of sweet malt, probably with an assist of the ghost of molasses the beer was brewed with. Prominent roast on the finish; has a little bit of that unique Mikkeller taste to it.

    Not the world-beater it was fresh, but this is still a good, solid beer that's holding up beautifully.

    TheGent, DIM, strohme2 and 7 others like this.
  30. AirBob

    AirBob Defender (661) Jul 15, 2014 Massachusetts

    2014 Trader Joe's Vintage Ale

    About 1.5 fingers of fluffy off-white head that dissipates to thin off-white film with a pronounce collar. Body is opaque - nearly back with red and brown hues around the edges of the glass when held to the light.

    Nose is dominated by dark fruit and raspberry. Some perceived sweetness that I don't anticipate will carry over to the taste. A bit of earth and leather underlying.

    Taste is very different than the nose. Starts with some earthiness and subtle dark fruit notes. Middle of the mouth is the same, but some subtle ripe red berry cuts through the earthy notes. Finish starts with sweet red fruit, but quickly transitions to dry leather. The latter lingers on the tongue.

    Incredibly drinkable for 9%. Mouthfeel is light for the abv, but in no way thin. Nice balance between sweet and dry.

    This is outstanding and really we'll blanaced. The nose is so rich and surprisingly no oxidation. Frankly, I had low expectations seeing as this is 4+ years, but its better now than my recollection of the vintage fresh. One of the best beers I've pulled from the cellar in recent memory.

    Edit - Here's my review from 2014:

    A - 2.5 fingers of fluffy beige head. Great retention and lacing. Dark, deep brown-red body, almost black. Reminded me of a porter.

    S - Sweet dark fruit. A little booze. Cocoa nibs. Brown sugar. Touch of leather. Belgian yeast (clove and banana).

    T - Tons of sweet dark fruit, more plum and golden raisin. Maybe some dark chocolate. Some coriander?

    M - Medium carb and body. Slightly sticky finish.

    O - A little too sweet for me. Could use a couple of years to mellow out the sweetness and add more earthiness
  31. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Savant (941) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    2012 Schneider Weisse Tap 6 Unser Aventinus

    This is a follow up to a May review of a 2008 vintage, the first time I'd tried this. New bottle bought at same bottle shop and poured into same DFH tulip. Body and head are essentially the same as the 2008 but the smell is much more complex with spice notes overlaying the sherry aroma. The taste confirms the smell as cloves and still a faint banana taste exist in conjunction with the dark fruits and sherry flavor. Mouthfeel is very clean and refreshing.

    I believe this is much more in the primo age window at seven years than eleven. Next I'll try a fresher one to see what shakes out. This is a fun experiment.
    Bitterbill, bl00, TheGent and 5 others like this.
  32. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Zealot (523) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana

    This is similar to my take of old Vs fresh. I seem to recall thinking to myself that the older one had more or less the save flavors, but all of them were more intense, so much so that it didn’t seem nearly so much like it was the same beer. For sure, the fresher was a more favorable drinking experience for me. The older was, while unique to try, not significantly enjoyable. By the end (I split it with my wife), I for sure felt like I was forcing it.
    bl00 and CaptainHate like this.
  33. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Savant (941) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    Your experience has obviously pointed out the right thing for you but Patrick Dawson included this in a few beers he spotlighted in "Vintage Beer" as prime candidates for aging. Accordingly the brewer sets aside cases from each batch to age in the brewery's natural ice cellar for at least three years before dispatching them to distributors, which is how what I've reviewed ended up in my hands. The tasting panel Dawson used found this was their favorite in verticals with marked changes in every increment. The sherry tastes didn't become apparent until year three and then steadily increased until they became the dominant flavor. Again it's what appeals to you.
    Beer_Economicus and bl00 like this.
  34. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Zealot (523) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana


    I probably could have made a more coherent post as well. My definition of new vs old was similar to yours - an 11 year old vs, say, a 7. The flavors were absolutely different and apparent to me, and my preference was the younger for the reasons listed.

    I definitely appreciate that they make these vintages available in this way.
    CaptainHate likes this.
  35. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (2,155) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey

    Ommegang Rosetta - 3 Year Vertical

    I first had Rosetta back in the beginning of 2016 and was really impressed by it. The bottles had a best before date of 5 years on them, so I decided to pull one bottle from my 4-pack (bottled in July 2015) and cellar it. I ended up cellaring a bottle from '16 and '17 as well. Popped all 3 of those bottles this month...

    Bottled July 2015, best before July 2020.

    This was my least favorite of the three. It had oxidized a little bit and was just slightly past its prime. Still enjoyable but it had definitely lost its edge.

    Bottled Oct 2016, best before Oct 2021.

    The 2016 had a lot of the qualities that I loved about the beer the first time around. Complex raisin, cherry and port flavors. Fantastic. My favorite of the three just barely beating out the '17...

    Bottled Feb 2017, best before Feb 2022.

    Huge, creamy head on this one. So much fruit flavor, even more than a fresh bottle. Like eating a cherry Fruit Roll-up. A little cola mixed in. Sweet and a bit cloying, but absolutely delicious.

    The '16 and '17 bottles held up really well. The '15 bottle had started to go downhill. I don't know that aging the bottles were an improvement over freshly bottled versions, but it was a fun experiment. I'd say 3 years max is a good rule for this beer. Cheers!
  36. BeardedWalrus

    BeardedWalrus Disciple (351) Jun 5, 2018 North Carolina

    2015 Double Bastard in the Rye. Pours dulled ruby red, with a solid two fingers of tannish head. Smell is malty, brown sugar, molasses and piney hops. Tastes of malt, oak, vanilla, fresh molasses, ripe dark fruits, and spicy rye notes. Mouthfeel is super sticky and coating, definitely stays on the tongue for a while. While I never had the opportunity to taste this fresh, I would certainly say it has benefited from four years of aging.
    Bitterbill, DIM, TheGent and 2 others like this.
  37. TheGent

    TheGent Poo-Bah (2,081) Jun 29, 2010 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    If you’ve never had it fresh, how do you know it has benefited from aging?!

    Also, sounds tasty. Nice review.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  38. BeardedWalrus

    BeardedWalrus Disciple (351) Jun 5, 2018 North Carolina

    2010 Bells Third Coast ale, pops off with a nice hiss despite the age, definitely a good sign. Pours a somewhat murky amber, something common on unfiltered barleywines, and forms very little head. Nose is rich, heavy raisins and extremely sweet malts. Tastes of earthy hops, sweet caramel and toffee, and a dark fruits mix. Feel is very syrupy, much more so than fresh, and leaves a lingering aftertaste. Aged 9 years this beer has certainly changed, but mostly in feel rather than taste. Certainly a learning experience, as this is my oldest beer so far.
    jmdrpi, Bitterbill, JMN44 and 4 others like this.
  39. BalancingBrooms

    BalancingBrooms Meyvn (1,246) Aug 22, 2013 Illinois

    Love this beer, excited to read your review. I'll have to to open my 18 soon, cheers!
    Bitterbill and Jacobier10 like this.
  40. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,097) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2016 Parabola, 22oz bottle found on the shelf at a store. Excited to get to jump in line with the cellaring on this one.

    Pours a wonderfully rich mahogany/walnut brown with a thin, dense, cocoa colored head.
    Aroma is figgy/pruney and a little boozy. Plum and cacao hides in the folds of the rich wall of smell. I could gladly sniff on this all night.
    Taste has a mellow chocolatey and molasses character up front with some woody/barrel character that hints at bourbon/whiskey without the boozy burn. A rich nuttiness rises in prominence as the beer warms along with a sort of spicy bite (something like cinnamon/ginger/cardamom) that might just be my palate lately because I've been detecting it in a lot of stouts I hadn't noticed it in before. Really mellowed out flavors compared to fresh, much more homogenous and constrained, has a much easier drinking quality to it than the relative in your faceness of the fresh stuff.
    Mouthfeel is nice, a lot of these barreled stouts get a little thinner than my ideal but this is still a nice rich, smooth, full bodied beer.
    I love this beer. I love it fresh, I love it with a year on it, and apparently I love it with 3 years on it. I don't know that I would want to take it much further than this and I will definitely be drinking the 2 bottles of 19 that I have at 1 and 2 years (although I may score some more bottles if I find them on sale again) but even if it's lost a half step this brew is rich and lovely.