Cellar Reviews (2019)

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

  1. neenerzig

    neenerzig Poo-Bah (2,187) Feb 15, 2006 Ohio

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  2. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Savant (941) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio
    Society

    2015 Bell's Third Coast Old Ale

    Noticed this on tap at a local watering hole and thought "why not?" Bartender told me that the brewery sporadically makes aged kegs available. Poured into a tulip, it had a full rich pale tan head over a dark brownish maroon body; lots of lacing as the head died down. A pet peeve of mine is breweries and bars serving some styles much too cold; my complaints are usually aimed at imperial stouts but this certainly carries over into barleywines. As a result the smell and taste were much more hop forward than I was expecting. As it warmed (I really took my time for exactly this reason) the sweetness and dark fruit tastes became more prominent as expected. I plan on doing a 2018-7 vertical this weekend and will be sure to start with a proper serving temperature. I don't know how long these can be aged but I'm guessing way beyond four years.
     
  3. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (472) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    Agreed big time on temps for certain beers, but that’s almost like expecting them to have multiple coolers... either way I’ve adapted by putting the straight up turbo grip on offerings like this in order to get it to the temp intended more quickly
     
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  4. Bitterbill

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

    Nice! Liquor Shed in Casper currently has 2015 Narwhal on their Growler station. Gotta pick some up tomorrow.
     
  5. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (6,455) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Society

    2009 Trappistes Rochefort 10, been in the cellar since fresh. Dated best by 21.10.14. So just over 10 years old

    pours a very dark brown, almost black, with thick khaki colored head made of larger foamy bubbles. After a few minutes the head condenses down to a think layer of dense foam. great head retention, stays down to the bottom of the glass. not really any lacing. aroma is very heavy on the raisin and plum, with some underlying earthy spice. taste is fairly sweet, which is quite a change from when fresh. medium bodied, creamy smooth mouthfeel, mild carbonation.

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  6. kemoarps

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

    I need to go back and actually organize and everything my 'cellar' (really about a dozen cardboard boxes spread across a half dozen different cupboards and closets)... and make a concerted effort to drink it down.

    Today that effort commenced with a can of 2014 Ten Fidy. It's been a while since I've had this one fresh, and I've not reviewed it on here, so I dont' have a history against which to compare it, so memory, fallible as it may be, will have to suffice.
    I remember really liking this fresh. It had good depth a smooth rich character and a lot of the stouty goodness I love without being too hot (impressive given its namesake).
    It's still a good to very good beer, but I think five years is more than I'd recommend as its ideal age. It's started to mellow muddle some, and similar to a fellow reviewer above, I wouldn't say it's oxidized per se, but the edges have been rounded down enough so as to seem nondistinct. It's drinkable and enjoyable, but I miss some of the emphasis found in younger iterations.

    Much of the 'cellar' is from this same time frame, so this will serve as further motivation to get working through the constituent components before they become less than they may be now. But ultimately that's what this whole ageing thing is about... enjoying and learning!!
     
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  7. BenHoppy

    BenHoppy Zealot (597) Nov 15, 2017 Michigan

    Founders Backwoods Bastard Vertical:
    drinking every bottle room temp into Backwoods Bastard Snifter

    2019 (fresh) bottled 10-21-19: syrupy, licoricey, chocolatey, fizzy thin lacing in looks, aroma is mildly bourbon with some licorice. Taste is horrible, slight club soda, stale bourbon with hints of caramel and licorice with lots of carbonation.
    Overall this is horrible and a hot mess. Not the Backwoods Bastard I remember. I have loved this beer fresh and aged 1 year in the past. This is not the same beer. Not sure if this is due to a bad barrel, has to do with the lawsuit, maybe had to do with the buyout??? Have heard when it was rare and not year round that it would spend 9-15 months in the barrel and now it spends 3 months. Perhaps this is true and you can tell. This used to be my favorite beer and right now I hate it. Screw you Founders is all I can think while I drink this. I remember drinking a 2016 fresh and it was so hot that it felt like drinking bourbon or scotch vs a beer. Not this beer, this beer is a joke. I wanted to have a 5 year vertical but don't see a point in ever buying another 4pk of this as it's not the same beer. Can't wait until I pour that 2016 aged 3 years.

    2018 (aged 1 year) 9-24-18:
    Has a dark cherry, toffee brown appearance with a creamy head. The aroma is bourbon, don't have to search for it, it's there and upfront. I also get dark fruit and caramel toffee. The flavors are a lot like the nose but very figgy and caramelly aIong with figgy pudding and dates and prunes and creamy mouthfeel that is slightly flat. I also remember this particular batch being better fresh so don't think aging benefited it but is ten times better than 2019, that's how bad the 2019 was.

    2017 (aged 2 years) 10-4-17: look is. chocolate with deep cream head then soon dissipates. Aroma is prunes and chocolate. Flavor is very subtle in every aspect and hard to detect but I do get prunes, figs, chocolate, tobacco, and mild bourbon. Mouthfeel is thicker than other years and is smoother and more balanced and bit more of a warming finish. Overall it is better than 2019 but comes up short from 2018. I've had this version fresh and at a year old, didn't see much difference in the 2 but at 2 years seems to be past its prime. But both 2017 fresh and aged 1 year is better than 2018 aged 1 year and 2019 fresh. However 2018 aged 1 year is better than 2017 aged 2 years.

    2016 (3years) 9-22-16: just from looks and aroma you can tell its the jackpot and Founders will never make it this good again so I guess I'll never buy Backwoods Bastard again. The look is hoppy, winterized Christmas foam along with a figgy, chocolatey body of licorice gold.
    The aroma is figgy bourbon and dates.

    Taste is bourbon and more bourbon than other vintages, should be less. Also get chocolate covered figs, prunes, and dates covered in bourbon soaked caramel and toffee with sprinkles of cinnamon and nutmeg. It is a sticky mouthfeel and deliciously creamy and tastes fresher than the fresher vintages.

    As far as best to worse it would be 2016, 2018, 2017, 2019. The 2016 aged well but today's Backwoods Bastard will not. It is now a shell of its former self and yeah never going to get this amazingness ever again that came from 2016. Founders you should be ashamed until you make a Backwoods Bastard as good as 2016.
     
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  8. sulldaddy

    sulldaddy Poo-Bah (3,519) Apr 6, 2003 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    I did this one as part of drink a German bock online tasting day.
    But figured I would post here too.

    Well here we go 19 year old Aventinus. Bottle cap is pretty rusty and makes me wonder about the insides of the bottle, but it has been safe in my cellar since purchase so many years ago.
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    The beer pours a clear mahogany color with no sediment pouring out from the bottle. A dense and creamy head foams up only 1 cm even with a fairly aggressive pour. The head fades to nothing very quickly, even with several active streams of carbonation rising to the surface.

    Aroma is fairly malty up front with some caramel and brown sugar mixing with a bit of a cherry fruity note mixes with a bit of raisin or red grape note too. I get a little anice or black licorice too. Rounding out some spice is very faint clove note. No hop character on this nose and any booze is fairly hidden as well. Nose is mild but interesting, and Im pretty happy with the diversity of the nose for a beer this old. Also not any oxidation or wet cardboard note, so that is a win.

    First sip reveals a pretty light body with very fine, yet gentle carbonation. Texture is a little on the thinner side, but works for the style and is also ok for this aged brew.

    The flavor is malt forward with caramel and brown sugar and a bit of bready or biscuit note. There is also dark fruit with raisin and cherry mixing with cloves and a bit of anice on the finish. There is not any hop character here either, which is fine for the style IMO.

    The finish is actually a good dose of hot cocoa powder and is a little chalky in taste if that makes sense. Booze is hidden and this is an easy to drink brew.

    Im glad I held on this one, and glad I drank it tonight, I don’t think it would get any better with any more time. Im glad its not oxidized and this is quite a treat on a Saturday night.
     
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  9. Beersnake1

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

    2016 Sucaba. Nose is still full of toffee, bourbon, and dark fruit. Very inviting. The taste is incredible. So much more going on with the taste compared to the nose. Lots of toffee (Werthers style), but nice layers of bread, candy, cherries, chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon. This is still amazing - 3 years is just fine for this one. I might like it a bit more than fresh given the evolution and deepness that this one has achieved.

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  10. strohme2

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

    Reminds me...I have a 10 year old Expedition that I'll be opening in February. Batch 10105 I believe. It's the oldest bottle I have in my cellar and I'm curious on what it'll be.
     
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  11. strohme2

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

    Right there with you bud. Backwoods used to be my favorite from Founders, a year on it was bourbon candy. Now, fresh is choppy, fizzy, and pales in comparison to what it used to be. I've stopped buying it.
     
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  12. Bitterbill

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

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    Holy Cow! Tastes just as vibrant as when I had it fresh! Raspberries have not faded...I just knew when I pulled the cork and got a loud pop, that I was in for a treat! Bottled 2015.
     
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  13. kemoarps

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

    Popping into a bottle of World Wide Stout dated 12/11/13 while trying to teach myself A Distant Plain. Less than a week shy of its sixth birthday. Looking back, it appears that I was QUITE impressed with this fresh (that was back in 2012. Ah... simpler times... [also mildly appropriate given the game on the table]). Reading my review, I'm actually somewhat surprised I rated it as well as I did, as the descriptors I use are not necessarily my favourite profiles within the stout family. Maybe tastes change, or maybe it was just that fantastically executed.
    But I digress.

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    Still minimal head, and the body is not the jet black I described in my review, lending more of a dirty dark brown like oversaturated cola.
    Still can tell there's a decent amount of alcohol in there, but 18% (really??!?) drinks more like half that. Some of the same dark fruit suggestions as before, but leaning a little more into the molasses and spice. Smoothe and rich and really tasty. I was a little wary of this one, worrying that my prior fawning over it was largely inexperience, and that 6 years may have been too long, as I've had some disappointing experiments recently with over-aging things. This is really really tasty, though. Maaaaaybe a hint of oxidation at the very end, but I didn't even notice it until I got this far into typing things out, and it could be artifact/imagination anyway. Impressed.
     
  14. liquorpig

    liquorpig Savant (964) Sep 6, 2008 Massachusetts
    Society

    What beer is that? I can't make it out.
     
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  15. Bitterbill

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

    Odell Brazzle. Sour with raspberries.
     
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  16. Beersnake1

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

    2017 CBS. Nose is pretty similar to when fresh, but doesn't smell as sweet. Getting some darker chocolate, bitter notes. Coffee grinds, a bit of leather, and some licorice. Taste is really good. Definitely less sweet, which I actually like. Haven't enjoyed the overly sweet fresh ones as much these days. More depth on this. Bitter chocolate, roasted malts, licorice, vanilla, and some nice dark fruit. The aftertaste has a bit of bread and grass on it. This has aged nicely.

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  17. Beersnake1

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

    2013 Westvleteren 12. Nose is apple, raisin, chocolate, dark fruits, and bread. Taste is amazing. This is a perfect age for this one, at least IMO. Taste is dark fruit, raisins, toffee, Belgian yeast, honey, milk chocolate, and a slight bitterness at the end. Mouthfeel is just perfect.

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  18. Beersnake1

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

    Nice review. I am sitting on one that is almost that age, so I will crack soon. It's such a nice beer when fresh and with a few years on it, but haven't had one this old yet.
     
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  19. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (6,455) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Society

    A bottle of Westvleteren 8 that I brought back from Belgium about a year ago, and in the cellar since. Cap dated with best by 12.07.21, so bottled July 2018 - so almost 1.5 years old

    pours a dark brown, with big foamy khaki colored head. pretty good head retention, eventually fades down to a thin covering, but that stays to the bottom of the glass. aroma is earthy, leathery, some dark rum, burnt sugar, and tobacco. taste has similar flavors, but very dry. medium bodied, carbonation is fairly high when I first start drinking, but it mellows out. now I swirl the yeast from the bottom of the bottle and pour in. the aroma is a bit more estery and herbal. and the taste is a bit more bold and a touch spicy.

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  20. MortenO

    MortenO Initiate (33) Oct 22, 2014 Denmark

    At this age, there's really nothing left of what makes this one of the best beers in the world (if you ask me). And I've had my share of old (10 years) bottles.
    Compare a 10YO Rochefort 10, Westvleteren 12 and Bernardus 12, and you can't tell them apart as they've all gone raisin and plum. Been there, done that. Also tried several vintages (vertical) at Kulminator in Antwerp, Belgium. Same result.

    I find that Gouden Carolus beers in general don't get raisiny and plumy over time, just get mellow (and nice). Had the 2014 Gouden Carolus Cuvee van de Keizer root (red) a few months back and it was absolutely amazing. It had gotten slightly sour in a good way. Mindblowing. The blauw/blue one ages well too, but tend to get a bit too oxidized for my liking after 4-6 years (depending on vintage, sooner for new vintages for some reason).
     
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  21. Beersnake1

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

    2018 Pugachev Royale. It's just over a year old. I don't normally post things on here that aren't at least a few years old, but this one has changed significantly. I tasted it fresh, and it was sharp and quite a mess. At a year, it's simply divine. Bourbon, maple, vanilla, milk chocolate, and brandy on the nose. The taste follows nicely. Marshmallows, bourbon, vanilla, lactose, chocolate, a bit of roasted malts, and some dark fruit. It's complex, but super balanced. At 15% ABV, it's insanely drinkable. This is one of my favorite beers of all time, and a year did wonders for it.

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  22. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Savant (941) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio
    Society

    2017 BCBS 10/14/2017

    4.64/5 rDev -0.4%
    look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

    I can't believe I didn't write a full review two years ago because drinking it was a transcendent experience. I was listening to a disc of small group improv that night and there was a trombone-tuba-woodwinds trio performance that I'd never bothered really listening to before because it previously was just random sounds. I was transfixed by it; it sounded like pure musical genius. Obviously BCBS was the causal factor in producing such an extremely positive reaction.

    That was two years ago and I have no written notes to compare it with. But based upon two years of consuming *many* barrel aged stouts, including subsequent BCBS variants, this is the gold standard against which all should be compared. Regarding the look, maybe some carbonation has been lost in that there wasn't a prodigious head over a dark brown body, but this is still plenty lively. The smell and taste are just wonderful with plenty of flavors like vanilla, caramel, malts and who knows what else just swirling around. There is still some boozy heat but not nearly at the 14.7% level. If anything it seems hidden in the smoothness. The mouthfeel is very thick and chewy, with it adhering to my teeth so that minutes after a sip I'm still tasting it. Just a wonderful experience.
     
  23. kemoarps

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

    Thanks. Yeah, I've been making a concerted effort to drink through my 'cellar' more recently and have had a couple of experiences with otherwise great beers (both fresh and to age) that were definitely past their best by date (Ten Fidy comes to mind of one recently that was really disappointing... I think it was in roughly the same age range). So it was nice to find one that was still going strong and enjoyable.
    It's also always kind of interesting seeing the opinions and impressions from my own reviews from years ago and earlier on in my BA experience.
     
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  24. kemoarps

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

    Speaking of revisiting older brews that I really enjoyed at the time... Lil' B from EviL Twin. Man I remember getting really amped about this one. This might be the first beer I bought into the hype and like SEEKED OUT (SOUGHT OUT? Whatever). Simpler times, for sure.
    Bottle I've got was brewed 03/20/13. My initial review was from May of that year, so it was probably the same packaging as this last one I have. Reading my review from when it was fresh it sounds like the aroma was already giving some soy sauce, but that I enjoyed the flavour and was blown away with the texture, so that's an interesting profile to look at the changes of aging.

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    I'm not getting soy sauce on the nose at all here, but I do get a lot of like sour mash whiskey and maybe a ribbon of chocolate syrup.
    The fresh impression was all chocolate, of various types. There's still some chocolate syrup rich fudgy chocolate in here, but I'm also getting a lot of molasses. Still rich and smoothe, though it's definitely less full than fresh. Slick and oily and still fantastic. Still damn enjoyable and I can see why I was so obsessed with the mouthfeel, especially 6+ years ago.

    Cheers!
     
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  25. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (6,455) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Thanks for the perspective. I do think 10 years was too much for the Rochefort 10.

    I've got 750ml bottles of the 2010 and Gouden Carolus Blue and Chimay Blue waiting to open later this winter at the 10 year mark. Still experimenting