Cellar Reviews (2020)

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by TheGent, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Crusader (715) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    2019 Evil Twin Grand Cru Cuvee

    Bought one of these a year ago and promptly couldn't find another one for a while, until I did and then stuck it in my cellar fridge, saw it tonight and thought why not. Although this is still very enjoyable I don't think sitting on it has improved it. Maybe further aging would have improved things but I'm not sure how well these blends between stouts and barleywines do over time. Maybe some of you have some thoughts...

    Anyway I wish Evil Twin would stop doing these one offs that I like and stick with them long enough for verticals.
  2. toolbrew

    toolbrew Defender (627) Feb 26, 2008 Indiana

    2016 Dark Lord - black wax with sparkles

    Poured into an imperial pint glass with almost no head but residual ring. Smell is dark chocolatey malt and old cardboard. Taste is sweet...Sweet I tells ya! Sole chocolate. Wet cardboard taste faded early. Thick mouthfeel. Overall better than expected. Broke it out in honor of DLD that didn’t happen.

    Reserved 6oz for a bbq sauce that turned out well!
  3. dukeandduke

    dukeandduke Meyvn (1,349) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois
    Society Trader

    Many Chicago breweries produce world class Imperial Stouts, but when I tell them some of the Monsters Park / Devils Teeth series match up on par (sometimes slightly better) than our awesome offerings. Fundamental Observation and AleSmith also brew incredible stouts. Never had the one you reviewed, but will look out for similar variants in the future, it sounds awesome.

    I would have to agree with statement. In addition to Greg's departure, GI also brew-masters who left to start their own breweries or work for others. That said, they do have a solid core of people working at the brewery, both brewers and front of house.

    I drink BCS and still like to try pours brewed at their Chicago locations. Born and Raised released last year was the latest local release I liked. I wish they returned to brewing different wilds and sours. I don't visit as much anymore since I don't work nearby anymore. I have only returned once since on Black Friday, but hope to pick up Honker's Ale and maybe one or two other crowlers over the next few weeks.
    Bitterbill, argock and CaptainHate like this.
  4. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Crusader (715) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    2017 KBS

    I went rooting around my cellar fridge and found this which I didn't even know I had (I'm assuming this was a gift from some dog walking friends who photographed my avatar before they relocated to San Diego). Anyway this is better than my previous KBS aged experience, which might be strictly subjective but I'm not detecting any off flavors or smells. It's still probably better consumed fresh but this hasn't been a disappointing experience.
    Bitterbill, argock, TheGent and 6 others like this.
  5. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Crusader (715) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    One of my most unexpected craft pleasures happened at my wife's retirement party at some chain eatery years ago. They had nothing on tap, which put me in a foul mood, but their descriptions of the bottles were at least interesting so I decided to try this farmhouse ale by Goose Island, Sofie. Holy shit, from the first sip the evening turned quickly positive. I'd had Hennepin and Saison Dupont before and that was right up there with them. Whichever brew-master came up with that made a very positive impression on me.
  6. dukeandduke

    dukeandduke Meyvn (1,349) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois
    Society Trader

    Yes, I like Sofie, Madame Rose and Gillian, all three were first released over a decade ago when Greg Hall was there. I wish they would get this out more and or try new offerings. Lolita was the only one I didn't like, but my bottle may have been infected (was like straight vinegar) and would try it again.

    I like Saison Dupont better, but Sofie is still a great offering you can hopefully find locally (it's available in many places in Chicago). If you ever get a chance to hit Chicago, the GI Fulton is a great place to visit in addition to other great Chicago breweries.

    I also prefer draft over bottles / cans.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  7. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (2,111) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    I did a side by side (by side) of Westy 12, Abt 12 and Rochefort 10, when fresh, at 2 years or aging and at 5 years of aging. Just reviewed some of my notes from those tastings after seeing your post here, and I would definitely agree. In my reviews all 3 beers peaked in the 2 year tasting (which was actually around the 27-32 month range depending on the bottle), and had some drop off at the 5 years. Abt 12, in particular, fell off cliff at the 5 year mark. Westy remained strong at 5 years but was definitely past it’s prime in my opinion. For my palate, 2-3 year old Westy 12 is one of the best beers on the planet.
  8. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (2,111) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    Sipping on this 2017 BCBBW.



    Pour looks flat. Carbonation on the lower end but is ok. Aroma is fairly tame, dark fruits and some oaky vanilla from the barrel. Taste follows and again is not super strong at first, although flavors come out as it warms towards room temperature and it develops nicely throughout the drink. Dark fruits, some caramel/toffee notes, slight bitterness and bourbon in the finish. Prominent candied sugar sweetness. Pretty delicious, just make sure you don’t pop the top while it’s too cold.
  9. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,309) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Not from my cellar but enjoying a fine Orval bottled in December of 2016. Picked it up at a place that keeps it in a big walk in. That might explain its similarity to the one I had late last year that was a year old.

    Dry and effervescent. Dusty old barn on the nose and on the tongue
  10. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (2,111) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    Tonight’s beer is a 2015 Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout.



    Pour yields a nice 1 fingers width of tan head, good carbonation. Aroma is huge, pretty big coffee still which is impressive, and barrel notes remain huge. Big chocolate still. Aroma is just great. Taste on the other hand, is a bit odd. It has a tart cherry component, I think it’s infected. Although maybe not because 5 years of infection I would think would complete crush all aspects of this including the carbonation/appearance and aroma, and completely destroy the taste. Weird. Anyways, besides the tart cherry there’s also some bitter black coffee, and oaky bourbon notes on the finish. Once you get past that initial shock it’s actually rather good, but clearly not a peak BCBCS.
    CaptainHate, traction, jmdrpi and 7 others like this.
  11. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,309) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2019 Against the Grain - Bo & Luke.
    A favorite of.mine, not dated but I bought it at the brewery last year and I think they bottle it in June or July. So not quite a year old.

    Nose has big boozy raisins, roasted nuts with just a touch of cardboard on them, and some sweet oaky notes, vanilla and a vague "spiciness" that I associate with bourbon and rum cakes/fruit cakes comes up as it warms

    Taste follows.with prominent bourbon, some dark fruit especially raisin, fig and blue berry. Dark chocolate and a touch of charred walnut/pecan as well.

    Mouthfeel is still great with a little carbonation, rich and thick without getting syrupy.

    Overall still a great beer. I have one left. I'll try to let it get to at least 18 months for science but I don't know when I'll be able to reup and in the BMA with the guy from AtG he said.they might take a year off. Doubt I'll be able to resist the last one until next spring
  12. Pereza987

    Pereza987 Initiate (23) Nov 2, 2014 Florida

    2015 was the year they had infections issues. I wonder if the tart cherry isn’t something arising from that.
  13. argock

    argock Poo-Bah (3,359) Dec 30, 2006 Virginia

    2009 Trader Joe’s/Unibroue Vintage Ale.
    Cellared until 2016 in 60F basement, since then in a 40F fridge.
    Gently decanted into a Chimay chalice

    Dark, dark brown with fluffy persistent off-white, eggshell head with sparse lacing.

    Aroma is strongly spiced of cardamom, nutmeg, and light cinnamon all on a dark fruit fig and globe grape malt backdrop.

    Flavor is also strongly spiced but not overbearingly so with similar Christmas baking spices, light orange peel, fig, dark grape, prune, and touch of anise and light caramel in the finish. Slight alcohol in the aftertaste and the

    Feel is light for the ABV but smooth and moderately carbonated to make it very drinkable.

    Overall, I will have to start collecting these again and holding them back — this one was extremely enjoyable.

    **I really need to get this photo/image sharing thing down — being left behind....
  14. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,346) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Would love to see a photo of this one!
    dukeandduke likes this.
  15. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,346) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2017 Stille Nacht. Quite a bit of head on the pour, which was fairly gentle. Nose is splendid. Apricot, peaches, vanilla, mango, bread, and a nice malty backbone. The taste is awesome. A bit sweet upfront, with a wonderful toffee taste. Some candy and tropical fruits emerge. Again, getting mango and apricots. Now picking up some plum, and some slightly bitter citrus peel. A hint of nutmeg is there as well. This is such a nice beer, and ages beautifully.

  16. brian4beer

    brian4beer Initiate (162) Jan 27, 2013 Indiana


    Obtained in trade sometime back in 2013.

    Pours jet black w some thin brown head and carbonation

    Smell is sweet chocolate and caramel with a touch of cognac and marshmallow.

    Mouthfeel is medium to thick but not chewy like some of today’s stouts. Viscous.

    Taste definitely sweet chocolate and fig w barrel character and hint of cognac.

    Finish is smooth with slight tartness w almost no oxidization.

    Overall this is a wonderful beer and has held up very well. A pleasant surprise indeed.
  17. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,149) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    I had a bottle last year and it was fantastic. Still have 1 bottle left.
  18. sulldaddy

    sulldaddy Poo-Bah (3,658) Apr 6, 2003 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    [​IMG] So I am still really bad at posting pics in thread, but Ive been hitting the cellar a lot during these times and am onto another and remembering to post here.

    2016 Smistletoe at cellar temp into my snifter. Been in the cellar since I got it about 3.5 years ago. Dusty bottle shoulders are evidence.
    The beer pours a copper to rose color with a large fluffy head foaming up at least 5 cm even with gentle pour. the foam did start to slowly rise out of the bottle once I dug the cap out and opened it. Very slow gush and didnt spill anything. Foam fades slowly leaving some scattered lattice and a sturdy surface layer with clingy edging.
    Multiple tiny streams of carbonation rise to the surface and feed the foam floating in my glass.

    Aroma on this one is some tart fruitiness with red cherry and raspberry notes mixing and a little caramel too. I also get darker scent of plum or raisin here, but no real oak or vanilla notes that I hoped for and hops are completely absent in my opinion.
    First sip reveals a thinner body than expected and fairly slick mouthfeel. This beer slides down really easy. The carbonation is very fine and prickly on my palate, which adds some physical character and texture to the beer.
    Flavor is similar to nose, tart cherry and some raspberry and plum again, but I also get some acetic acid bite. This is not too bad and the fruit covers the acidity a bit, but Im not sure Ill drink the entire 22 oz.
    Im a little disappointed that the bottle went a little south, but think some folks would really like this one as it is now. If tart and acidic is your thing find a bottle of this one!
    #298 sulldaddy, May 22, 2020 at 2:48 AM
    Last edited: May 22, 2020 at 2:55 AM
  19. Ernest7

    Ernest7 Initiate (31) Apr 24, 2019 Belgium

    An absolute fabulous baby I am aging since 2010. As a kind of pilgrimage, we visit the brewery in December to pick up Stille Nacht every year.
    Every year, the beer recipe is changed a little bit. No major changes, just always a splendid brew.
    2010 and later versions have evolved into a 'barley wine' with clear hints of apricots, oranges, mandarines, touches of sherry.
    2015 had loads of hops in the beginning. Long time no tasting of this version.
    2017 is low on carbonation; so is 2019. The latter did not stay in the warm room long enough. High aging potential and superb brew. One of my favorits.
  20. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (6,764) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    2010 Arcadia Cereal Killer Barleywine

    12 oz bottle poured into snifter glass. It is clear until all the sediment pours out. No head. Rich aroma of dark caramel, raisin, pipe tobacco. Taste is similar, but not too sweet, earthy finish. Full bodied, with just a bit of carbonation left, but its enough. Unfortunately another beer that is now gone forever.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  21. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,309) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Cheers to that once fine beer. Definitely a key early beer in turning me onto to bigger and maltier beers
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  22. rypkr

    rypkr Savant (932) Nov 19, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Love that beer. So disappointed it gone. Just saw someone else crack one of these in a Facebook group yesterday.
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  23. sulldaddy

    sulldaddy Poo-Bah (3,658) Apr 6, 2003 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    Also an old fav of mine. I had an older bottle a few years ago, but believe it was a 22oz. Definitely one I wish I could have
    unlikelyspiderperson and jmdrpi like this.
  24. putonyourwalkingshoes

    putonyourwalkingshoes Devotee (428) Jul 31, 2013 California

    This was nostalgic seeing this right before Green Flash went into quality decline expanding too much. Those early Green Flash days were pretty solid.
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  25. sulldaddy

    sulldaddy Poo-Bah (3,658) Apr 6, 2003 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    Back to the cellar tonight. 2004 Three Judges Barleywine. Been sitting on this for a while and talking about it several weeks ago on the New England Brewing thread. So cracking through the wax tonight!

    The beer has been at cellar temp for 98% of the past 16 years, but I did move twice so that boxed it up for short drives.
    Pours into my trusty snifter almost completely still with a few scattered beige bubbles foaming and fading to nothing immediately.
    The color is deep mahogany with rich ruby red highlights when I hold it to the light source. Solid cake on the bottom of bottle, but no sediment in my glass.
    Aroma is huge malt, brown sugar, molasses, port wine notes and a good hit of brown sugar. I also get some raisin and red grape, with some good boozy hits as well. No hops, as was expected.
    The first sip reveals a silky smooth textured beer with absolutely no carbonation. Body is a little on the thinner side, but still coats my palate after each sip.

    Flavor is all malt, and very sweet up front with brown sugar and some chocolate. This rolls to rich port hits, raisin, and a mix of brown sugar molassess and a bit of peppery booze on the finish. I also get some heat after each swallow and the lingering dark fruit hangs around.
    No hops anywhere and Im a little surprised that this still is a little on the warm side. Although my initial review also had comments on the heat

    Im really enjoying this sipping beer and think this would be perfect around a fire pit. If anybody else has one of these floating around, Id be glad to take it off your hands!!!!
  26. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Crusader (715) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    2019 Jackie O's Bourbon Barrel Black Maple

    Was looking for a nightcap after the last of my Barrel aged Narwhal Stouts and starting tomorrow it's supposed to be hellishly hot, spotted this and said why not. Poured a dark inky body with a small tan head. Smell is mostly maple sweetness with none of the boozy malty aroma of Jackie O's stouts. At the risk of completely embarrassing myself in a blind tasting if ever put to the test (I'm available Jackie O's), this is much lighter than a stout and deserves being lumped in with Imperial Porters. The sweetness is very prominent and perhaps further aging would balance it more. I wish these were a bit less pricey so I could buy multiple bottles and sit on them forever, like I do with Old Stock Ale, but that's not gonna happen so I'm happy with what I've got.
  27. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,346) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Just wanted to say how much I love seeing all the posts! This thread is clearly gaining momentum - we are already at 8 pages and not even half way through 2020, whereas we only hit 10 pages for all of 2019. Keep them coming!