Cellar Reviews (2019)

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

  1. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Zealot (523) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana

    You should try a smaller format at 3 years and see if your agree with your assessment from the bomber. Bombers typically age better, but I would be curious to see your review.

    For my palate, fresh - 1 year seems pretty great. Tastes a lot like aged BCBS st that point. Have not had it at 3 years, personally.
    unlikelyspiderperson likes this.
  2. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,102) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Some day I may, my problem is that it's too expensive to buy more than I wan to drink because it's too damn good. Also, if I'm not mistaken, up until 2016 or 2017 it was only available in large format and is now only (?) available in small format. But I do wish I'd grabbed more of it when I saw it on sale for $9 a bottle, and I won't pass up that deal again

    Also, this is a great deal in my eyes ($20 out the door) and the store owner told me recently that he came to terms with the fact that he had over hoarded some stuff and is going to be dumping some cellar deals throughout the year so I'm looking forward to a whole bunch of nicely cellared offerings in the next few months
    Beer_Economicus likes this.
  3. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Zealot (523) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana

    Make besties with that owner!!!
    unlikelyspiderperson likes this.
  4. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Savant (942) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    Deschutes The Dissident (2018) - Aged with Oregon Marionberries

    4.23/5 rDev +2.2%
    look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

    Poured from a 7/1/2018 550 ml bottle into a DFH tulip. Small frothy white head disappeared quickly over a rich clear ruby body which became yellowish amber when tilted against the sides. Because it's warm, kind of but not obnoxiously so for August, I put the bottle from my cellar fridge at 50-55 into the colder regular fridge and as a result the best qualities stayed hidden until it warmed up. The smell was of sourness and berries. I have no idea what marionberries are like (I just looked up that they're somewhat of an Oregon product) but the berry smell was very inviting. Likewise the taste starts out sour and hits the back of the palate that way before the berry presence takes over. Mouthfeel was a bit thin but still refreshing. This was a good experience.

    Are any of you cellaring this? It seemed very balanced but maybe there's something that might happen subsequently that I could miss out on. This was a one time batch but I can still find bottles for not that much if you think it's worth further aging.
  5. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,102) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    oud bruins should generally age well. I would imagine the berry sweetness will slowly go stale while the tartness comes more and more to center stage. However, the acidity might help preserve the berry flavor well and in my limited experience the darker sours tend to hold up really well
    bl00 and CaptainHate like this.
  6. 4DAloveofSTOUT

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

    2018 Pollyanna Imperial Fun Size (Binny's edition in knob creek barrels)

    this beer is approximately a year old now.

    Appearance: black body with thick cap of dark brown head that aggressively fizzes away.

    Smell: Chocolate, oak, smoke / ash / barrel char, and bourbon.

    The Good- Nice bourbon flavors. Mellow and rich milk chocolates. Hint of vanilla pudding and caramels. Peanuts in the finish. Peat moss smoke. All these flavors play together nicely and balance well.
    The Bad- Soy sauce is definitely present (was not a flavor present when this beer was fresh), also getting a hint of cardboard indicating that significant amount of oxidation is happening.

    Mouthfeel: medium bodied stout. low carbonation levels. No booze. Thin mouthfeel.

    Overall: Get to drinking these bottles if you have any in your cellar. I see this starting to head downhill soonish. I don't taste very much from the adjuncts anymore and oxidation is starting. Though the bourbon notes have mellowed and are really nice.
    bl00, TheGent, cavedave and 5 others like this.
  7. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Savant (942) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    2018 Great Lakes 30th Anniversary Imperial Oyster Stout

    There's no bottling date on this but doing some internet sleuthing reveals it was released on August 16 so it's about a year old. Looking at my review in November I don't think a thing has changed. It's still very chocolate forward in the smell and taste with those rascally oysters hiding in a slight aftertaste of brine. And the roasty malts are still there and then some. But it's kind of a one dimensional imperial stout at a time when craft brewers are regularly hitting them off the screws. Great Lakes has had a problem with their barrel aged offerings which taste great from a keg being underwhelming when bottled. I think this is more of that. Up your game boys other than Oktoberfest and Edmund Fitzgerald.
    bl00, TheGent, cavedave and 3 others like this.
  8. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,102) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I scored a bottle of this on a visit a few months ago and promptly forgot it in an air bnb fridge. So bummed
  9. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Savant (942) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    2018 Lagunitas Willettized Coffee Stout

    This reminds me of something that happened in February: it was cold as fuck in Cleveland and I was flying through Minneapolis to get to San Jose to drive to Santa Cruz. The flight got cancelled because of mechanical problems so Delta, being a quality airline, rescheduled me for the following morning and put me up in a local hotel so Mrs Hate didn't have to fuck around with picking me up in brutal conditions. I had dinner in the hotel's bar and they had Great Lakes Blackout Stout on tap. I ordered one and texted one of my fellow hops kissers in Raleigh, NC, and asked him if that wasn't what we split a growler of when he visited and got so blotto that Mrs H still uses it as a benchmark of overindulgence. He just responded "Dude...". So the tulip I ordered was totally enjoyable.

    But I noticed a waitress walking by with a Jackie O's bottle and asked the bartender "you got Dark Apparition here?" She said hell yeah and told me I'd ordered from an old list. So I ordered one of those and the difference is why Jackie O's is, in my opinion, the best brewery in Ohio. I could smell and taste immediately that there was more richness and complexity in the Dark Apparition.

    That's what I'm tasting tonight versus the Great Lakes Imperial Oyster Stout previously. In every category this is a much better stout. I know that others like the past Lagunitas versions but I can't evaluate this against something I'm unaware of. Perhaps the coffee has faded, although I'm not willing to concede that, but there's still a lot going on. Fortunately I have another bottle (these are extremely affordable) in my cellar to enjoy subsequently.
    bl00, cavedave, Bitterbill and 3 others like this.
  10. liquorpig

    liquorpig Savant (964) Sep 6, 2008 Massachusetts

    2013 - North Coast Brother Thelonious
    Served at 60*. Pours a dark mahogany to brown color with a 1/2" head that slowly dissipates. Aroma of dried fruit, candied sugar, clove and spices. Little to no carbonation. Notes of raisin, dried fruit, some sweetness, malts and clove. Finish is soft but a little thin. I've got one more but I'm not sure it'll improve with more aging.
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  11. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,102) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2018 Sierra Nevada Narwhal
    Just shy of 1 year in the bottle but I just couldn't hold off any longer.
    Still a deep dark brown/black with a thick chocolate head, dissipated surprsingly quickly though.
    Nose has a sharp/spicy cacao bitterness along with some warm roasted malt and charred wood notes.
    Flavor seems thinner and spicier than I remember fresh. I am getting some cola like notes as well as some chocolate and dried berries.
    Mouthfeel is definitely thinner than fresh and is falling a bit short for me. It would be on the lower end of acceptable for a BA stout but this just feels watery to me. Weird
    Overall I am hoping this is just a weird bottle but I fear that something went wrong in my storage (it has been an especially warm summer and the storage space isn't insulated, but warm for us is 75 degrees outside so inside should be a bit cooler) or that something is up generally with my palate. I have been getting a lot of spicy/cola flavors from dark beers lately and have felt sensitive to certain spices/flavors in general. So who knows but I am tempted to increase the pace of consumption of the 5 or 6 bottles I have left of this. I expected it to age much better
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  12. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Savant (942) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    2017 Southern Tier Barrel Works Series: Monstrosus

    4.29/5 rDev -1.2%
    look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

    When I bought this July 2017 22 ouncer, well before I started cellaring things in earnest, the guy at the grocery store said this would be good to age for a while. And here we are!

    Pours a dark brownish color with very little head in the tulip. For whatever reason, the smell is the weak point of this. When first poured after 50 degree cellar temperature I couldn't smell anything significant. I was thinking WTF because, although I don't consider myself anything other than a regular guy when it comes to olfactory sensitivities, I usually detect something worth commenting on. Maybe it's seasonal allergies. When it warmed up some boozy chocolate and vanilla sweetness came to the fore. But the taste, dear God! A very thick malty mashup of sweet flavors (Southern Tier never scrimps on the sweetness) along with incredibly well hid booze and the barrel. A near perfect taste experience. The mouthfeel was up there too, thick but well carbonated too.

    A very pleasant experience (plus somewhat esoteric music is sounding great). Too bad it was so damn expensive or I'd have bought more.
    bl00, TheGent and Bitterbill like this.
  13. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Zealot (523) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana

    I appreciated this post on so many levels.

    If I must (it is a beer forum after all) ignore everything but the beer, then I will: This post reminded me so much of how I view and react to KBS every time I have it. It’s an extremely quality, BA stout with chocolate and coffee. Say what you will about this being an old story, or others being better - I don’t know how anyone can knock KBS as not being in the upper tier. It’s just high quality, and when you smell it, taste it, you immediately know that. Period. If you rate it to style, I don’t see how anyone can’t rate it high, even if you dislike it.
    ManBearPat, bl00 and CaptainHate like this.
  14. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Savant (942) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    Thank you for understanding the essence of my rant; in these highly politicized times to be able to communicate thoughts, even about beer, is somewhat of an accomplishment. I'm glad you brought up KBS because I'm not that big a fan of this year's version; in fact I was wondering if it was a sign of diminishing returns from Founders expanded barrel aging expansion. That said, it's still a quality stout; I'd never be that much of a beer snob to suggest otherwise. But if these were wine vintages, this would be discounted.
    Beer_Economicus likes this.
  15. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Zealot (523) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana

    I do what I can, when I can. :grinning:

    I have been giving this some thought recently. For sure I think there can be issues when breweries scale up their operation. No doubt. So too is it true that when you have only tasted 100 beers, how you viewed each of those 100 at that time will be different than years down the road when you have tried 1000, or 10,000, and thus it is difficult to imagine that there is not bias and inflation in terms of earlier ratings, even if palate preferences have not changed.

    So, what then - if not palate fatigue - causes our ratings to fluctuate so much over time? Especially with different vintages (unless there is a consensus across the community, like what you might see with, say, B4 morning delight vs. B5, where despite B5 being a later iteration where more was made, it was considered the best since B2, which is highly unusual in terms of universal ratings/rankings).

    The answer that I am coming up with is just a different type of palate fatigues, which I would call “exposure.” A beer may still be just as good, but the fact that you have been so over exposed to it has caused it to lose its’ luster, and as a result, even though you do not inherently view it negatively, the fact that you are gravitating away from it is causing cognitive dissonance, and the explanation that you come up with is that it must be worse.

    This is actually how I view some home cooked recipes of mine. We have gone on 3 year droughts for a recipe - simply because we were “over exposed” as it were, and in my mind the food tasted the same every time I made it (delicious, obviously), but my wife like it less and less each time. -And then when I finally made it after years off of taking a break: somehow it is magically delicious again.
    CaptainHate likes this.
  16. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,607) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    DFH Palo Santo Marron bottled 11/21/2011
    Drinking down the cellar continues. Apologies to my tasting group, was saving this for you guys, but we don't get together often enough nowadays and the cellar needs to get rid of the old stuff so...

    Definitely less carb. than fresh, with MUCH less alcohol in the aroma than fresh. It's a good news bad news thing because the raisin/date fruitiness of fresh also is diminished, while the honey and dark caramel sweet are more prominent. Taste is a dynamite blended version of the aroma, with a hint of sherry to it. Glad to say there is no cardboard. My cellar is not good for much, since it is so cool all year, but for cellaring beer and wine it is the tits.

    Hard to pick out individual flavors in the blend. This beer tastes like it was designed to be aged. The flavor has reached something different than fresh, something that shows certain beers turn into greatness when given a bit of time, steady cool temps, and darkness. Less raisin and dates in the taste, but more than expected from the aroma, and tasty part of the blend Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than fresh, for sure, but plenty of thickness and viscosity remain. Finish has more sweet to it than I remember from fresh, less alcohol spice, more caramel and roasty grain notes, but it is clean as a whistle and full of great linger that makes me crave next sip.

    Am drinking down the cellar because many of the beers stored there have turned into things not as good as I'd hoped when storing them. This Palo Santo, however, is an excellent example of a beer that turns a great beer when fresh into an equally great, but different, beer with some age on it. Last of my 11's, but still have more recent vintages to open in future. Cheers!
    #256 cavedave, Aug 16, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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  17. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,102) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Deschutes Cultivateur Provision Saison. Bottle 4-17-17. Found it in a store on the discount shelf and, spoiler alert, I will be returning to clean up their remaining stock.

    Pours a lovely golden pear juice color out of the bottle and puts up a nice dense white head that drops quickly to a thin layer on the surface.
    Aroma is amazingly bright and floral with great hits of pear, apricot, white wine, and funky brett barrel. The first whiff told me I was on the right path.
    The taste is much more vinous and fairly astringent with a little more brett than on the nose. The fruit is there as well but not as prominent as in the smell and more of the tarter aspects than the sweeter ones I got from the smell. Very crisp and refreshing, great on this hot ass central california night.
    The mouthfeel is damn near perfect for me for a saison, super crisp and effervescent.
    Overall I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed this more than expected. Would love a way back machine to try it fresh but was glad to see that the brett hasn't taken over and the fruit flavors are still bright and sunny. Great brew and definitely worth picking up if there's any still in your area.
    bl00, Bitterbill, TheGent and 3 others like this.
  18. TheGent

    TheGent Poo-Bah (2,091) Jun 29, 2010 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Firestone Walker Stickee Monkee 2017

    This is my first time with Stickee Monkee


    Look: The beer pours black. A finger of beige head settles to a thin layer across the top of the glass. The beer is opaque and there is no visible carbonation. A couple spots of lacing but nothing to really speak of. As I drink the beer down the light brings out some ruby and burnt sienna tones.

    Smell: First and foremost, dark, dried fruit. The soft sweetness of dates, followed by a hint of raisin. Vanilla and toasted coconut. Caramel, toffee, fudge. My Mom makes a toffee bar with walnuts for Christmas. The aroma of this beer reminds of that dessert treat. Soft alcohol presence.

    Taste: Mmmm this is so good. It’s not a terribly complex beer, but the flavor profile is banging. Dark, dried fruit, mostly dates with a hint of raisin. Again, caramel and toffee. A marshmallow sweetness. Super smooth. Amazingly so at 12.5%.

    Feel: A super smooth and velvety beer with low - medium carbonation. Some warmth on the finish which nicely complements the flavors noted above. Stickee residual sugar on my lips.

    Overall: I do not have the advantage of comparing this beer to its fresh self (I was fortunate to receive this beer from @JayWhitson ). While I cannot attest to the impact of age on this beer, I can say that this beer was properly cellared. No off flavors. Nice carbonation. Had I stashed these away I’d continue drinking them in the near future, based on this experience. This beer is a real treat. As with virtually every spirit barrel aged beer from FW that I’ve had, the beer and the barrel treatment are nuanced. This beer is no exception. And it lands near the top of my list for BA beers from FW.

    Dark Belgian beers, especially those aged in spirit barrels are some of my favorite beers, so I’m not surprised, based on the style and maker, that I love this beer.

    4.62/5 rDev +2.9%
    look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
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  19. drtth

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

    Rye On Rye X: Sazerac Cocktail

    In July 2016 the Boulevard Rye on Rye release was called Rye On Rye X: Sazerac Cocktail. The Brewery description read as follows:

    “For the second Rye-on-Rye X release, we drew inspiration from the famous New Orleans cocktail, the Sazerac. The official recipe is composed of rye whiskey, absinthe or Herbsaint, a sugar cube and bitters all garnished with a lemon peel. To translate this classic cocktail into a beer, we brewed batches of the base rye beer that received spice additions mimicking bitters as well as lemon peel during the boil. The resulting wort was fermented with our house Scottish ale yeast before being aged in freshly emptied Templeton Rye barrels.”

    While reviewing that first bottle of that Rye on Rye I almost immediately decided to buy another bottle for aging. Tonight’s the night when I do a comparison between my review of that bottle and tonight’s impressions of the same beer with a more than a couple of years of bottle age.

    First, here is my initial review from Apr 2017.
    Appearance: The first pour is into a Corsondonk goblet. The liquid is a hazy reddish brown or mahogany color with a 1" light tan head that recedes slowly to a long lasting cover on the liquid while leaving a nice ring of foam around the sides of the glass. Sipping creates several small scattered patches of lacing.
    Smell: The aromas show lots of rye whisky up front but also include some lemon zest, some caramel and some toasted rye bread. There’s also some light spiciness mingling with some vanilla and oak from the barrels.
    Taste: The flavors are full of complexity with some caramel and brown sugar sweetness. Then there’s the toasted rye bread along with the vanilla and the oak. In addition there’s also some lemon zest against a background of spiciness that has a hint of earthy bitterness.
    Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is on the full side of medium bodied and slightly creamy from the persistent but gentle carbonation. The finish begins as the sweetness and dark rye toast begin to fade, leaving behind a spicy, earthy, woody and almost dry ending that has a bit of lemon zest and a bit of warmth from the otherwise well concealed alcohol.
    Overall: This is an impressively well made beer that I'm enjoying and want more of with its layers and layers of complexity and its well balanced aromas and flavors. It is definitely a sipping beer for a cold winter's evening and the alcohol is a bit dangerous because it is so well concealed. Besides enjoying the beer I intend to revisit it to try and tease out more of its complexity. In addition, I'll soon be getting another bottle to age for a while.

    Now, for tonight’s impressions when comparing my 2nd bottle to my review of the first. As noted, this bottle has been waiting patiently in the basement for well over 2 years.

    Upon being poured into a snifter glass it is obvious that the appearance of the beer is unchanged from my original review. It’s mahogany colored with a light tan head and some scattered small patches of lacing on sipping.

    The aromas seem much as described in 2017 with the rye whisky, caramel and toasted rye bread showing up front against a background of light spices, some vanilla and some oak. But I’m not really picking up any lemon zest.

    Similarly, the flavors are still complex. There’s the caramel and brown sugar sweetness, the toasted rye bread, the vanilla and the oak. Again though there doesn’t seem to be lemon zest mingled in with the spicy and earthy bitterness.

    Mouthfeel is still much the same as described, on the full side of medium bodied and slightly creamy. The finish also seems much the same as described in the original review--the dark rye toast and sweetness start to disappear first, leaving behind the sticky, earthy, woody and semi-dry ending. Again I’m not really picking up any lemon zest in the mix.

    This is still a very complex, enjoyable sipping beer with much the same flavor profile as it had over two years ago. From the stand point of a Sazerac cocktail the lemon zest may be missing, but as a Rye or Rye beer this is still an excellent beer. So I’d recommend that if by chance you ever happen across a bottle that has been reasonably well cared for, give it a try.
    #259 drtth, Aug 28, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2019
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  20. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,262) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2014 Westvleteren 12. This has a nice amount of carbonation. Nice amount of fig, raisin, Belgian yeast, bread, cherries, and wood. Taste is super smooth - toffee, chocolate, raisins, bread, and some burnt wood. Wow. I love this beer at this age.

  21. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,262) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2012 Old Ruffian. Another classic barleywine with a good amount of age. Pours a nice golden brown/red with nice head. Nose is toffee and tons of dark fruit - blackberries, cherries, raisins. Getting some hops coming through. Taste is liquid candy. A nice sweet bomb upfront with toffee, fruit, bread, wheat, and maybe some leather. The back end is quite bitter - the hoppiness coming through. Overall, this has aged nicely. However, as far as American barleywines go for aging, I would still go with Old Guardian or Bigfoot.

  22. TheGent

    TheGent Poo-Bah (2,091) Jun 29, 2010 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Avery Brewing Co (Annual Barrel Series)

    Rumpkin - Batch No. 5 - Bottled 9/9/2015

    Ale brewed with pumpkin and spices aged in rum barrels.

    18% ABV




    Sound: Slight hiss. Definitely diminished, but present. Also, if you put your ear to the glass, a constant pop rock like fizzing sound.

    Look: Decanted as slow as humanely possible. A lot of sediment in the glass. I left a couple fingers in the bottle for now. The color of this beer is stunning. Barely translucent, Ruby-brown/crimson with deep amber hues. Bits of sediment release tons of bubbles. Zero head whatsoever. Gorgeous.

    Smell: Defined by pumpkin spice including nutmeg and some cinnamon. Heavy amount of spiced rum and some cola. Over ripe banana. Banana bread. The sweet alcohol aroma also reminds me of bourbon and rye. There is a warming sensation but it does not smell “hot.”

    Taste: Dense, rum-soaked fruit cake. It’s interesting for me to explain. This beer is less sweet than I remember. But the alcohol is more prominent. So, I like the reduced sweetness, but it seems more fusel. This is not a bad thing for an 18% beer though and I think it’s quite drinkable. A lot of rum wood and a hint of bitterness.

    Feel: Nice feel. Low carbonation but not syrupy or heavy. Light on the palate considering the ABV.

    Overall: Zero off flavors. Nice carbonation. A really enjoyable beer. Has it improved? Well, seems smoother to me, despite my comment about the fusel alcohol, the reduced sweet booze flavor contributes a lot here. If this beer was much sweeter it would feel bigger and boozier to me. But this is purely subjective. It’s also less sweet, which some may not enjoy. In summary, I’m happy that I opened this beer at four years. It’s aged well, and I opened it before it started to fall apart. I’d drink these down now if I had more, which I do not.

    Cheers, cellar dwellers!
  23. strohme2

    strohme2 Meyvn (1,294) Nov 3, 2007 Michigan
    Society Trader

    Wasn’t planning on an official “cellar review” but was so impressed by this bottle I felt obligated to.


    That’s a 2016. Fair warning, I’m a Founder’s homer and probably will remain one even with the selling to Mahou.

    This bottle has been in my fridge for at least a year. I dug deep on this bottle, trying to drink down the stash.
    Still pours a deep and dark black with a generous half inch of khaki head.
    Chocolate, dark and burnt coffee nose. I’m surprised any bit of coffee is still present to be honest. Totally different than fresh but still enjoyable.
    Old coffee first, hints of coconut and marshmallow, Hershey’s, just a touch of heat. Vanilla and bourbon plus oak too.
    Medium body, still chewy.
    Overall, don’t expect a fresh KBS. Things have changed; not for the better or worse. It’s a different drinking experience and that’s what makes cellaring beer enjoyable. Cheers!
    Joe13, Bitterbill, Budlum and 7 others like this.
  24. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,262) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2013 W00tstout, cellared properly since purchase. Still some nice light brown head. Nose is pecans and chocolate. Maybe a hint of oxidation coming through. Lots of black licorice. No barrel. Taste is super smooth. A smoky malt flavors runs throughout, with lactose, chocolate, licorice, toffee, raisins, pecans, cherries, and some oak. This one has aged very nicely - quite different from fresh. I have tried about a dozen of these over the past 5 years, and this is still right up there at the top.

    BenHoppy, Bitterbill, JMN44 and 6 others like this.
  25. TheGent

    TheGent Poo-Bah (2,091) Jun 29, 2010 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    I did not cellar this beer myself, but rather I received it in a trade. Still, I thought I’d share the review for the benefit of anyone concerned with the aging of this beer. Enjoyed this one earlier today.

    Big Sky Brewing

    Ivan the Terrible Imperial Stout (2017)

    Note: I’ve never had the beer fresh.


    Look: Black and opaque with a light brown, densely packed head. No visible carbonation. A curtain of lacing is left behind as the two finger head from the initial pour disappears. As I drink the beer down there is no lacing left.

    Smell: Milk chocolate sweetness and cocoa powder. Earthy and roasty malt aroma. Soft bourbon aroma with some vanilla. Faint meat. As the beer warms up a hint of alcohol shows up, but pleasantly.

    Taste: Up front notes of dark chocolate, milk chocolate and slightly sweetened black coffee. Mid palate the beer turns dry with toasted bread and some pithy citrus bitterness. Delicious.

    Feel: Low carbonation and dry. Smooth and soft feel. Very light on the palate.

    Overall: For 9.5% this beer is insanely drinkable. It’s a really excellent stout. No flavor additions, but chock full of flavor. It was cellared well and is drinking great with no off flavors or issues.
  26. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,927) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    One of my favourite no frills Imperial Stouts out there and it does age gracefully. Prost!
    TheGent and ManBearPat like this.
  27. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,262) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2014 Black Tuesday. Purchased way back when it was released. Can't believe it has been 5 years already. Not much head on an aggressive pour. On the nose, I'm betting more black licorice than fresh. The typical big Bruery smells are coming through - Belgian yeast, dark chocolate, big dark fruits, candy, toffee. Taste has definitely evolved, and in a nice way. Doesn't seem as strong - at least on the back end. Tons of black licorice, molasses, cherries, dark chocolate, whisky, oak, leather, and some nuts. This is really nice.

  28. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,262) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2012 Trois Pistoles. Amazing at 7 years old. Way less head than when fresh. Taste is toffee, wood, Belgian yeast, bread, and a bit of chocolate. I don't think I would let this go any longer, but it's great now.

  29. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,262) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Alesmith Wee Heavy, bottled on April 4, 2013. Nose isn't great. Signs of oxidation - mostly a metallic smell coming through. The taste, however, is really interesting. This has totally transformed into a black licorice heavy beer. Some cherries and toffee come through, but definitely a licorice bomb. Mouthfeel seems much thicker and creamier. Enjoyable, but definitely not similar to fresh.

    TheGent, AirBob, Bitterbill and 4 others like this.
  30. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (6,460) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    2012 Adnams Tally Ho Reserve barleywine

    I'm not sure if this was released from the brewery aged, or whether it spent 7 years on a store shelf, but purchased a few months ago.

    pours a very dark brown color, some lighter highlights. off-white colored head that quickly fades. aroma of toffee, burnt caramel, tobacco. similar flavor, starts a touch sweet but finished drier. medium bodied, a bit sticky, lower carbonation.

    Overall pretty tasty, just not quite as good as some other English classics.
    TheGent, Bitterbill, strohme2 and 4 others like this.
  31. BenHoppy

    BenHoppy Zealot (598) Nov 15, 2017 Michigan

    Last night I cracked open what was nearly a 3 year aged Founders Dirty Bastard that was canned on 9/24/16 and what a delight it was.

    I poured the can into a goblet at room temperature and half the glass was foam, but in a good way as it showed there was plenty of carbonation after 3 years.

    L: Chocolaty prune oil look with a cream foamy head that soon dissipated.

    A: figs, prunes, dates, caramel, chocolate, malt

    T: Super figgy and super date flavored with hints of chocolate and toffee.

    Mouthfeel: super creamy and thinner than fresh.

    O: this beer tasted more like a quad than a scotch ale and was probably the best Dirty Bastard I ever had. The licorice flavor I usually get in this beer had vanished and the fig flavor shined more than ever. This was truly an amazing experience and will be cracking another 3 year vintage real soon. I'll save the last can to see how it tastes at 5 years however I think the 3 year age of this beer is it's peak. I highly suggest aging a Dirty Bastard for 3 years to see how delightful this beer really is.
    TheGent, Bitterbill, strohme2 and 2 others like this.
  32. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,262) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2014 Woolly Bugger from Howe Sound. A nice barleywine. Nose is full of raisin, caramel, bread, wood, and maybe a touch of spice. The taste is insanely good. This has aged perfectly. A big burst of toffee up front, with raisin, cherry, oak, molasses, and a bit of leather and spice. Overall, this is a wonderful experience.

  33. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (4,172) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota

    Weyerbacher Twelve
    Traded for this beer in 2008, along with several other bottles of one of my favorite barleywines of all time. It's been resting quietly since.

    The oldest beer I've self-cellared, at twelve year old this one is finally showing its age.The rye is gone, but the Belgian-esque quality & candied sweetness remain. Honey has shown up & was not noted originally. The mouthfeel has changed markedly & is much, much thinner.

    Overall this is not a shining star in the barleywine firmament that it was ten years ago, or even five years ago, but it's still a good, simple, solid beer. An interesting experiment.
    TheGent, jmdrpi, sulldaddy and 7 others like this.
  34. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,262) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2012 Pugachev's Cobra from Hangar 24. This one is 15.6% ABV (they vary quite a bit from year to year). Nose is sweet bourbon, molasses, licorice, dark fruit, and charred wood. The taste is incredible. Coupled with the insanely thick and creamy mouthfeel, this one just comes across so smooth. Lots of black licorice, toffee, molasses, cherries, wood, milk chocolate, vanilla, and a big dose of bourbon. Wow.

    TheGent, strohme2, Bitterbill and 7 others like this.
  35. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,102) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2018 narwhal from sierra nevada. Just about 1 year old today.

    Still pours a deep dark black with a bit thinner of a cocoa colored head than when fresh.
    Smells strongly of cacao and molasses. not getting the complexity in the nose I did with it fresh.
    Taste is strongly bitter with dark chocolate notes and slightly burnt coffee. also less complex than i remember fresh
    Mouthfeel has also thinned considerably
    Overall I'm pretty surprised as I expected this one to age a bit better. I have a few more in the cellar and fresh is on the shelves so I'll probably check another one in a few weeks and decide if I should drink most of them or if there is something to hold out for
    TheGent, strohme2, Bitterbill and 5 others like this.
  36. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (472) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    Just had one of these guys the other day... appreciate your descriptive review as I don’t do the best with words and beer lol

    I really enjoyed it and would add that the roast I recall from when it’s fresh had subdued (in a good way). I’d also encourage you to hold off on drinking your remaining- iirc this one seems to take a little dive early in the aging process then gets better at the better part of 2 years.
  37. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,102) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    ya I actually got interupted midway through and it sat and got nice and warm and that improved the feel and complexity of the flavor came through much better. I think I need to turn my cellar fridge a little warmer
    Bitterbill and ManBearPat like this.
  38. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,262) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2007 Double Bastard. Nose is candy, molasses, and caramel. The taste is so insanely smooth. It has evolved into a sweet, caramel forward ale. This reminds me of a nice old English barleywine. The hoppiness that was present when fresh has largely disappeared. I love this beer at 12 years, and I have 2 more bottles of this year that I will crack over the next couple of years.


    TheGent, jmdrpi, sulldaddy and 10 others like this.
  39. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,927) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    Doesn't surprise me one bit. Prost!
    bl00 and Beersnake1 like this.
  40. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,262) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2015 Singularity from Driftwood out of British Columbia. This is a BA stout with a horrible label (can't read it very easily!). Nose is dominated by charred wood and roasted malts. A bit of coffee grounds and leather. Taste is a bit bitter. The smooth bourbon is gone and a smoky, burnt wood, and coffee ground mix now dominates. This has definitely gone downhill since fresh - this is one of my favorite BA stouts when fresh.