Cellar Reviews (2019)

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

  1. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,086) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Stone Totalitarian Stout. Looking at my original review I'm sorry but curious that i bought this. I must still be reminiscing on the old RIS from stone. I gave it a 3.8 fresh so lets see what 19 months have done to this beast. Bought from a store that does lots of intentional and well managed cellaring.
    On the pour it is still that big dark beast it has always been with a thick mocha colored head that slowly works down in big soapy bubbles leaving great lacing as it slowly recedes.
    The smell is somewhat thin and bitter, a bit like old coffee. Strong hints at dark fruits as well. There is a heavy booziness to the nose that i didn't get fresh. It's not bad honestly and looking back at my fresh review it's promising.
    The taste carries through an unfortunate ammount of the old bitter coffee flavor. There is a char to it (I see that i described it as a burnt marshmallow flavor my original review and now I can't get that out of my head) and a woodiness. It's dominated by this acrid bitterness that just doesn't work to carry a beer for me. It definitely improves as it warms, more of the raisin and plum notes come up a bit to balance that acridity.
    The mouthfeel is slightly thinner than I remember but still quite serviceable
    Overall I think that the time in waiting hasn't hurt this beer and has maybe helped it a bit. Unfortunately it remains a tremendously pedestrian stout. Nice enough, still not worth the price of admission when it still can't even hang with that trusty ol lagunitas bomber
    TheGent, bl00, strohme2 and 3 others like this.
  2. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,251) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2010 Hel & Verdoemenis from De Molen. Looked like there were some chunks coming out early in the poor. Some crazy head as well. Nose is charred wood - super bitter. Some coffee grinds and a lot of tobacco. Taste is good, but definitely heavy on the charred wood flavors. Some black licorice, dark fruits, coffee grinds, tree sap, soy sauce, and dirt. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, but I can't say that this is better than fresh.

    TheGent, jmdrpi, bl00 and 5 others like this.
  3. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Savant (935) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    2018 Oxbow Barrel Aged Belgian Pale Ale

    4.41/5 rDev +2.8%
    look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

    Picked up this 500 ml bottle in Big Fatty's in White River Junction, Vermont; difficult choice among many outstanding potentials. Bottled in January 2018 and the label said enjoy within 5 years. Obviously I didn't make it that far but it's an unseasonably warm last weekend of September, and first weekend in autumn, and the high alc heavy hitters will just have to wait.

    As soon as I popped the cap lemony funk filled the immediate space. Poured into a DFH tulip a nice large bubbled head topped a golden straw colored body. As it warmed over the cellar fridge temperature white grapes and barrel smell came forward. The taste mirrored the smell with pear tastes emerging. Feel was like drinking a dry sparkling wine.

    I'm not sure what additional aging would have done but if I ever find another of these I'll put it to the test.
    TheGent, bl00, DIM and 2 others like this.
  4. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,251) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Firestone XVII from 2013. Nose is dominated by toffee. Also picking up some bourbon, vanilla, and dark fruit. The taste departs from the nose quite a bit. Getting some toffee, but also lots of chocolate, maple, vanilla, wood, a touch of smokiness, cherries, and some tobacco. Overall, this has aged beautifully.

    TheGent, garymuchow, jmdrpi and 5 others like this.
  5. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,086) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2016 Pugachev's Cobra from Hangar 24

    Cellared by a local bottle shop that has a dedicated cellar and is very good about maintaining conditions.
    Great head, doesn't rise up too much but sticks around and leaves decent lacing.
    Boozy head with strong prune/raisin and lightly stale coffee notes.
    Taste is insanely chocolatey with a solid bourbon burn with a strong undertone of raisin and charred wood.
    Overall I'm definitely on the look out for this one fresh, this is a great beer and I wouldn't be surprised if it's better now than it was fresh but I'd love to know. I could easily see this hanging in there for another year or two but imbalances seem not too far out on the horizon.
    I also hear these guys are going through some shit so I guess snatch em up if you see them around
  6. I_Have_The_Runs

    I_Have_The_Runs Initiate (38) Nov 19, 2018 Illinois

    2015 Bell's Expedition Stout:

    Smell - Dark fruits and berries that includes a bit of plum. Less smoky of a fragrance from went I first had it 2015. Dark chocolate and a very heavy malty scent like burying your nose in a chocolate malt.

    Taste - Wow! That is smooth like a Black Cow with made with chocolate ice cream. Very chocolate forward and coats your mouth like a melted chocolate candy. This is desert in a glass. I am imagining having a dark chocolate french silk cream pie with drink that would totally hits the spot!

    Who cares about the other rating categories...this is one of the best stouts I have every had!
    TheGent, JMN44, Number1Framer and 8 others like this.
  7. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Savant (935) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    2016 Founders Backwoods Bastard

    Kudos to @cavedave for his review last year pointing out how three years just might be the sweet spot for this and preventing me from drinking the last of my 10/05/2016s prematurely. This four pack was initially my entry point into the joys of barrel aging and it's only right to finish it the optimal way. The smells and tastes of the barrel, the licorice and molasses notes and other dark sugars have blended extremely well into an easy drinking sipper. And, as usual, when it warms from the cellar fridge temperature of 50 degrees to room temperature it only gets better. The carbonation and lacing haven't fallen off at all. I honestly can't think of how further aging can improve this because it's perfectly balanced now so what could be gained? Anyway I still have three bottles from 2017 and will see what I missed last year later this year or early next, but I doubt I'll touch the remaining two until this time next year.
    #287 CaptainHate, Oct 6, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  8. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,251) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2013 St. Bernardus Abt 12. Tons of head on a relatively friendly pour. Nose isn't quite as strong as when fresh. Raisins, toffee, spice, bread, honey, and yeast. Taste is super smooth and amazing. Follows the nose very nicely. Rich toffee, a bit of chocolate, molasses, honey, spice, raisins, and a hint of burnt wood. Very happy with this after 6 years. I love aging these, but not for much longer than 6 years.

    TheGent, jmdrpi, Budlum and 5 others like this.
  9. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,251) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2013 Doggie Claws. Absolutely no sound when the cap came off. Zero head. Nose is pine, toffee, spice, and grass. Taste is amazing. Silky smooth. Caramel, cherries, leather, molasses, pine, tree bark. This ages so nicely. I think it could use another five years and it would be spectacular. I will continue to age the other '13 that I have.

  10. toolbrew

    toolbrew Champion (882) Feb 26, 2008 Indiana
    Society Trader

    Upland Sour Reserve April 2017 Batch K-17

    Poured into a tulip minimal head and clear dark golden straw color. Some funk on the nose. Very clean taste, mild acidity, tart finish (slight sweet tart taste). Mouthfeel is light and really coats the mouth. Overall very solid and would seek this out.
  11. strohme2

    strohme2 Meyvn (1,293) Nov 3, 2007 Michigan
    Society Trader


    Was in the mood for something big and non barrel aged, this fits the bill. Bottled 12/21/2016. I’m very excited that Founders is bringing this back later this year.

    I popped it into the freezer from cellar temp for about 15 minutes before I cracked it.

    Pours a solid black with a rich espresso colored head of just under a finger. The head receded but still left a thick crown around the interior. Spotty lacing too.
    Still a huge aroma of heavy roast, molasses and dark dried fruits.
    Heavy roast, dark roast espresso, dark fruits. That’s a given. Digging deeper reveals licorice, a medicinal taste, heavy charred marshmallow, earthy bitterness.
    Feels a little thinner than I remember but absolutely no alcohol heat.
    I have two more bottles. Don’t think I’ll let those sit too much longer but I’ll definitely keep one to compare to the next batch.
    TheGent, garymuchow, james02 and 9 others like this.
  12. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (4,153) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota

    Thanks for the review. I have a bottle of 2012 that I have no idea why I kept, but it's moved out of the cellar & into the fridge for consumption in the near future. Sounds like it held up well over three years, we'll see about seven!
  13. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (459) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    Cracked open a Narwhal bottled 8/23/2018 last night and am convinced this one is heading back in the right direction... had had one about 3-4 months ago and it seemed a little off- don’t exactly know how to describe it. Either way I think I’ll be glad that I have a handful of these left going forward.

    The boozy heat is becoming more subtle and the roastieness has rounded out with the sweetness I recall from it when its fresh.

    Put an order in at my LBS for a case of 2019 yesterday which inspired me to pop open the 18 last night and feel validated now lol.
  14. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,881) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    image upload

    Wow, has this aged nicely! Bourbon still there with its goodness, dark pitted fruits, leaning towards the sherry/port side though not quite there. Amazing at 2 years old. I reckon that it could go a bit further.
  15. garymuchow

    garymuchow Poo-Bah (3,074) Aug 31, 2001 Minnesota


    Greetings. With game 7 I thought I'd partake in this. This isn't as big as the Batch series ones and it hasn't held up as well, as I suppose, in part due to it's size. That being 8.5%. A fair amount of oxidation with an evident cardboard quality. Decent malt complexity and mildly rich flavors. Still holds a bit of chocolate type flavors with some fruit character too. Feels a little thin and the carbonation has decrease - as can be seen with the minimal head, which left very quickly after it was poured.
    Pleasing enough, but time to finish off the 1 remaining bottle I have.
    strohme2, TheGent, jmdrpi and 8 others like this.
  16. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,251) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2015 Trader Joe's Vintage, brewed by Unibroue. This is just past the BB date, but this doesn't mean much given the beer. Nose is toffee, raisin, Belgian yeast, and spice. Taste is awesome. Has mellowed up a bit from fresh, but still that trademark Unibroue flavor. Bread, spice, toffee, chocolate, dark fruit, and a touch of molasses. Super smooth with a really nice aftertaste. This is definitely a great spot for the beer.

    DIM, strohme2, TheGent and 8 others like this.
  17. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,251) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2013 Bourbon County. I have reviewed this year a few times over the past 6 years. This one is still holding up very nicely - I would say more than any other BA stout that I have aged. Thick dark chocolate and bourbon on the nose. Vanilla, marshmallow, and some dark fruit. The taste is so smooth, and the mouthfeel is creamier than ever. Tons of bourbon, toffee, chocolate, vanilla, dark fruit, and some roasted malts. Wonderful stuff.

    DIM, TheGent, garymuchow and 9 others like this.
  18. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,251) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2015 The Historical Ale - Thomas Hardy's in cognac barrels. I have had this every year since it was released. This has only gotten better. The nose is crazy - wonderful notes of toffee, oak, cognac, dark fruit, and nuts. Taste follows the nose. This is really complex and deep-flavored. Toffee, nuts, dark fruit, some leather, and sweet candy.

    DIM, Budlum, TheGent and 9 others like this.
  19. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (4,153) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota

    Founders Imperial Stout from (I think) 12/15/11, so closing in on its eight birthday.

    And after eight years, it isn't surprising that the beer has lost half a step. Softly sweet, mild roast, OK, maybe a full step. I drank most of these years ago & just kept one lonely bottle for fun. Still pretty good, but this time frame is clearly too long.
    DIM, TheGent, Barettes and 6 others like this.
  20. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Savant (935) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    2018 Lagunitas Willettized Coffee Stout

    In August I drank the next to last bottle of this and commented that the coffee hadn't faded. Welp either the colder weather has muted it, even though I consider the start of weather chill to be 100% imperial stout weather when you're not sure if you're channeling Dostoyevsky or Rasputin, or it faded away. Make no doubt about it, this is still very enjoyable but I think it passed its best by date. Oh well, the 2019s should be here soon.
    DIM, Budlum, garymuchow and 3 others like this.
  21. argock

    argock Poo-Bah (3,244) Dec 30, 2006 Virginia

    2013 Founders Imperial Stout, stored out of light in basement at 65-68F, not temp controlled
    12/19/13 stamped on bottle neck

    A: Jet black with no head.

    S: Coffee with lighter roasted notes and even lighter sweeter caramel notes

    T: Black coffee with slight sweet caramel note and minimal ashiness. Smooth and not at all hot on alcohol. Good burst of roast and moderately bitter.

    M: Creamy and smooth with full body and low carbonation.

    O: Delicious and smooth with minimal rough edges. Stellar and hard to believe it is going to improve a lot more. Malt presence is still strong.
    DIM, TheGent, Barettes and 7 others like this.
  22. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (6,367) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Founders Backwoods Bastard dated 10/13/17 so just over 2 years old

    Pours a very dark brown, with tan colored head. Decent head retention. Sweet boozy brown sugar aroma, some dark caramel and vanilla in there too. Similar flavors in the taste, but the finish is a bit drier. Medium bodied, but lower carbonation and mouthfeel is a bit oily, feels like the beer coats the tongue.
    DIM, TheGent, Barettes and 5 others like this.
  23. garymuchow

    garymuchow Poo-Bah (3,074) Aug 31, 2001 Minnesota


    All right. 10 years on this thing I didn't like it much in my original review. The nose is now like candy. The mix of the vanilla, maple, bourbon and wheatwine is like the sweetest candy on a nice barleywine. Really quite nice. A small ring of bubbles forms in time and actually leaves a slight marking. All sorts of floaty stuff too. Boy the vanilla is strong in the taste and there is a candy like quality that is a little less intense than the aroma. Somehow not too rich but the 12% abv hits the gut quickly with a shot of warmth before moving up to the prefrontal cortex with a 'ding'. The alcohol flavors are actually blended in quite nicely, with a bit of rosewater and spiciness, with the later something I noted in the aroma as well. A very complex set of flavors. Seems to kind of lost the initial or original wheatwine flavors with the maple, bourbon, vanilla and alcohol all blending into and interesting mix of complexity. From my reivew I thought the bourbon was too dominant. Age has now worked it's magic to make something better than when I first partook.
    DIM, Budlum, TheGent and 7 others like this.
  24. garymuchow

    garymuchow Poo-Bah (3,074) Aug 31, 2001 Minnesota

    I'm sitting on a couple vintages of these I'm hoping to get to soon. Looks promising.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  25. liquorpig

    liquorpig Defender (681) Sep 6, 2008 Massachusetts

    2013 Goose Island BCBS - I think it's past it's due date if you take into account the current 5 yr. recommendation. No notification on the bottle. Poured out slowly with no head retention. Noticed coagulated lumps at bottom of pour, which were discarded. Inviting aroma. Low carbonation but good flavor, including molasses and bourbon. Nice finish. Definitely a sipper. I've got a couple of more bottles but I don't think I'll sit on them any longer due to the lumpy sediment forming in the bottles.
    #305 liquorpig, Nov 9, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
    CaptainHate, DIM, garymuchow and 7 others like this.
  26. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Zealot (517) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana

    Hey hey hey. This isn’t WBAYD! This is the cellar thread! Tell us what you think :grinning:.
  27. AirBob

    AirBob Defender (660) Jul 15, 2014 Massachusetts

    Allagash Coolship Resurgam - Bottled August 2016

    About 2 fingers of white hear that, over the course of 10 minutes, dissipates to a hefty cap and collar. Hazy golden-orange body. Very fine and hardly visible carbonation.

    The nose is intense and immediately apparent after uncorking the bottle. Plenty of funk, but not overwhelming - funky cheese and musty basement dominate. Tart lemon and slight tropical fruit underlying. I'm picking up on some oaky tannins as well.

    Flavor is intense, but layered and well balanced. Starts slightly tart, citrus fruit, accompanied by white wine. Both rounded out by oaky tannins before being overcome by funk and ripe tropical fruit. Finishes with notes of more intense tart lemon flesh, funk, and ripe tropical fruit.

    Mouthfeel is soft for the style and medium bodied.

    This beer is always a treat, but I really enjoy this vintage at this age. Softer mouthfeel and more balanced then my recollection of the same fresh.
  28. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,086) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Just drank a bottle of Adam from Hair of the Dog. It was labeled 'Batch 95' and their website ends at 'batch 85' and says that's in later 2012 with batches coming out every 3ish weeks so I assume the beer was from 2013, maybe 2014.
    Didn't post it here cause I couldn't figure out the age and I bought it off a shelf just a few weeks ago, assumed it was much fresher than that.
    Long story short, assuming it was 6 or 7 years old, it was well past it's prime. Aroma was very pleasant and robust, taste and mouthfeel were both muted and watery and oxidized. I really want to track down a fresher bottle because I have had this fresh at the brewery and know it's a tops beer. However, seems like 6ish years might be too much.
    DIM, garymuchow, Bitterbill and 3 others like this.
  29. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Savant (935) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    2017 Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout

    4.56/5 rDev -3%
    look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

    The ratings I gave it originally were done in 2017 when I recall being disappointed that I couldn't detect the maple. In the intervening two years either the coffee and chocolate flavors have somewhat faded or my palate has become more discerning because the maple permeates the aroma and the taste. The bourbon and barrel likewise are less prominent although as it warms to room temperature they start to reappear.

    I didn't buy this in 2108 because of mild disappointment in 2017, and from reviews at the time I wasn't the only one feeling that way. Either the aging has worked wonders on this or I was an idiot two years ago. Those aren't mutually exclusive. Anyway this is very enjoyable and I look forward to trying the current year.
    DIM, garymuchow, Bitterbill and 4 others like this.
  30. BeardedWalrus

    BeardedWalrus Disciple (339) Jun 5, 2018 North Carolina

    Thank you for convincing me not pay 30 bucks a bottle for the pre buyout releases.
  31. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,251) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2014 Stickee Monkee. Found this bottle in the back of the cellar. Love this one fresh, so let's see how it has aged. Still a good amount of head on an aggressive pour. Nose has everything it had when fresh. Tons of toffee, chocolate, malts, a touch of dark fruit, raisins, and some vanilla. The taste follows the nose, but definitely a bit subdued compared to fresh. Still vibrant notes of caramel, vanilla, marshmallow, dark chocolate, maple, and a bit of roasted malts. A hint of oxidation is coming through, which sticks around on the aftertaste as a metallic note. Overall, this is still a lovely beer, but probably best enjoyed within 2-3 years.

    DIM, AirBob, garymuchow and 7 others like this.
  32. 4DAloveofSTOUT

    4DAloveofSTOUT Poo-Bah (2,436) Nov 28, 2008 Illinois

    That is such a great beer for the cellar and to drink anytime really! I have one bottle left of 2011 brandy Old Stock that I am popping at 10 year old! I am fairly certain that it will still taste fantastic at 10 years old. Its such a stable beer for the cellar that ages so gracefully.
    Beersnake1 and garymuchow like this.
  33. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,251) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2017 Vindictive II. I get lots of sweet white wine on the nose, along with a layer of typical Black Tuesday. Also getting cherries, yeast, black currant, and some nuts. Taste is really good. Sweet - much more so than the typical Black Tuesday. It's a nice fruity sweetness. Chocolate, sour cherries, grapes, maybe a touch of toffee, and some bread. It's a bit thin on the body, but overall a phenomenal beer with a huge punch of flavor.

  34. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (6,367) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Bells Black Note bottled October 2017 so just over 2 year old

    pours jet black with tan colored head. pretty good head retention. aroma is a touch boozy, vanilla and caramel of the bourbon barrel and some bittersweet chocolate and toasted marshmallow buried in there. taste is similar, with a touch of black cherry. thick silky mouthfeel, fuller bodied.

    when this was fresh I was a bit disappointed considering how much I like Expedition Stout, I thought it was too hot and boozy. but not it's drinking very nice, a joy to drink.
  35. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,251) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Firestone 14 from 2010. After nine years, this is insanely good. I would maybe even say that it's better than fresh - definitely different. The nose is dominated by toffee, but the taste is full of rich dark chocolate, molasses, black licorice, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, and some roasted malts. Very enjoyable.

  36. garymuchow

    garymuchow Poo-Bah (3,074) Aug 31, 2001 Minnesota

    Vintage Ale 2011
    Inspired by Beersnake1 to give my couple of aged Vintage Ale bottles a go, so here we are.
    This one has faded quite a bit. Not particularly oxidized but the flavors are softer and much less intense. Still a nice richness and noting darker fruits. As you can see it still pours nicely. Aroma has faded even more than the taste.
    Re-reading my original review it appears it wasn't necessarily bold the 1st time around either, but I'm sure it's faded some since.
    Not a waste of a cellar, just after 8 years it's not quite the beer it was. As always, still a fair price for a generally expensive style. Just not a top notch version.
    CaptainHate and Bitterbill like this.