Cellar Reviews (2022)

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by Beersnake1, Jan 1, 2022.

  1. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (3,053) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Welcome to the new thread for 2022! Kicking things off with a 2016 High-Westified coffee stout from Lagunitas. Sent to me by @Roy_Hobbs in BIF #14.

    Poured at fridge temp. Pours black with brown head that quickly dissipates. Nose is chocolate, coffee, some roasted malts, and some rye. It's honestly quite muted compared to fresh. I think the coffee is less dominant?

    Taste is fantastic. The coffee is definitely still there, but is out-competed by great chocolate flavors. Rye, spice, roasted malts, dark fruits, and some charred wood stand out. Really smooth. Sometimes the older coffee stouts turn bad, but this has turned super smooth. The coffee is less dominant, but is still providing a great flavor. Overall, this is very enjoyable and has aged gracefully. Cheers all!

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. BalancingBrooms

    BalancingBrooms Meyvn (1,478) Aug 22, 2013 Illinois
    Trader

    [​IMG]
    Bottled 2/2017, Opened 12/2021 (bottle states enjoy within 5 years)

    Crystal clear pale straw with two finger white head that dissipates quickly. Nose is full of barnyard with white cherry, pears, plum, earth and band-aid. Opens with a nice light bouquet of pale fruits with ripe pear, white cherries, and white nectarines that fades to a nice band-aid dryness and some black pepper. Body is light to medium with similar carbonation. Ends dry with a long but faint band-aid funk. Overall a very nice brett saison with subtle complexities and that lovely type of funk I really enjoy. Wish i was able to try this fresh
     
  3. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Champion (837) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    Dogfish Head Bourbon Barrel Aged World Wide Stout

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    Weather is finally turning winter like so time to break out this cellar dweller bottled on 11/1/2019. Bourbon continues to dominate the smell which at 18.3% isn't exactly a shocker. However the heat in the taste doesn't take your breath away, similar to the experience over a year ago. Rather it's nicely smooth. As you sip you get brown sugar, chocolate and dark fruit tastes. Very nicely balanced. I expect the remaining two bottles to benefit from additional cellar time.
     
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  4. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Meyvn (1,448) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois

    Thank you for opening this 2022 thread @Beersnake1 !

    My first selection is a beer that "expired" in August 2020 per the cork. I rated a fresh draft version last week, really liked it, and will compare below whether the ravages of time impacted this beer deemed 17 months beyond best conditions.

    Brouwerij Verhaeghe Duchesse De Bourgogne

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    Bottle Notes: Unsure when this was purchased, but it was properly cellared until 11/28/21, and refrigerated for the final five plus weeks before opening. Expiration 8/2020 per the cork.

    Appearance: Consistent fresh draft vs. this bottle.

    Aroma: Mostly consistent, the primary difference noted was less tart / vinegar vs. my fresh review notes.

    Taste: Consistent with my review notes, this one is excellent, no ill effects, including no loss of tartness. Really enjoying the first pour (about 8-9 oz).

    Mouthfeel: Feeling an improved experience in terms of more tart than the sweeter draft version, body feel and carbonation consistent between the two versions.

    Overall: This beer is perfectly fine, less sweet more tart, and I actually like the taste better than my OG review notes, though I really would have to compare side by side to determine whether this bottle which expired August 2020 per the brewer is actually better, or whether my review notes were not as precise as they should have been.

    In either event, I am glad I'm enjoying, though will finish the rest later as I don't necessarily want 750ML of tartness to start the day.

    Keep your beers properly cellared and they will serve you well. Happy New Year to All, and looking forward to enjoying and reading of your enjoyment of cellar beers throughout the year!
     
  5. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (7,933) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot, about 3 years old- bottled March 2019

    Pours a dark amber in color, clear with some ruby highlights. Head quickly fades. Big aroma of light brown sugar, a little buttery toffee, a touch of plum. Similar flavors in the taste, sweet but not cloying, slightly boozy. Sticky mouthfeel.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Meyvn (1,448) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois

    The three Chicago annual Barrel Aged stout releases I look forward to most each year are Revolution's Deth Tar / Cafe Deth, Wild Onion's Drago (they are in the burbs) and this one, ranked 4th among all Illinois beers for good reason.

    Haymarket Brewing Clare's Thirsty Ale

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    Can Notes:
    This was canned on January 5, 2021, so one year old, and refrigerated since purchase from the brewery shortly there after. 12 oz, 12% ABV. Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout with Raspberries.

    OG Review Linked Here based on a six month old version of the December 2018 release in May 2019.

    Comparison:
    • Getting the same appearance, prevalent carbonation by sight and feel.
    • Aroma consistent with review notes, wonderful blend of raspberry, bourbon emerges as this warms, smooth, packs enjoyable heat as it warms, but not for the fainthearted.
    • Getting more sweetness than my OG review notes convey, both raspberry and cherry, roast malt present but in a supporting role.
    • Body thinner than many of this style, carbonation holds 1 year in, no noted change.
    Overall, today's one year old version held up very well. Negligible differences noted. Recommendation is to drink this fresh, or refrigerate until you can. Other recommendation is if you haven't had the chance to have one, and like raspberries you will most likely enjoy this very much. It's one of the best balanced and executed fruited BA stouts I've enjoyed over my 7 year craft journey.

    Only one musical accompaniment comes to mind this morning.
     
  7. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Meyvn (1,448) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois

    Hitting a few of the "bombers" in my cellar, this one from Central Waters which continues to brew this in the better (at least single) serving size of 12 oz.

    Central Waters Brewhouse Coffee Stout

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    Bottle Notes:
    22 oz, no date (I believe this is a 2017 or 2018 bottle), 7.4% ABV per brewer online. Made with Fair Trade coffee specially roasted for us by Emy J's. Kept in proper cellar conditions until placing in the refrigerator 12/23/21, pulled this morning and sat for five minutes at room temperature before opening.

    Appearance: Thin dark brown black base, creamy white light tan head evaporates instantly beyond leaving creamy ring above the base rim and a smidgen above the rest. 3.75

    Aroma:
    Nice roast coffee aroma leads, get some bitterness. Next is a pleasant roast malt and bakers chocolate, also hints of maple syrup though none was added to this. Medium to strong in terms of strength, balanced, bitterness balances out sweetness. 4.5

    Taste: Strong dark roast bitter coffee held up very well. Bitter but not too, just right for me. As this warms get light hits of the bakers chocolate and roast malt, but this is mostly coffee. Impressed at how this held up, zero pepper notes. 4.5

    Mouthfeel:
    Very thin, thinner than most CW offerings which are known to be thin. Slightly sweet creaminess pops up every so often, but mostly dark roast and pleasantly bitter coffee. Drinks very light for a 7.4% ABV, faint carbonation throughout, light coffee aftertaste. 4.0

    Overall: This held up very well, no ill effects noted. Bitter and strong coffee as is my preference, nice complementary notes as well. Will definitely seek out a fresh version to compare and contrast, updating this review as warranted, but this one is great. Well done Central Waters! 4.25

    Can't say at this juncture whether age has improved it, but for a coffee stout, which typically degrades over time, this one really held up well.
     
  8. SiepJones

    SiepJones Defender (603) Nov 20, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    [​IMG]

    I’m here today to discuss a beer I did not enjoy. 2017 Spring House Blind Witchery. An Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon barrels that I believe were Buffalo Trace. The flavor profile was meant to be that of a “Salted Chocolate Brownie”. When I first had the beer in 2017 I thought the flavors were fine (Buffalo Trace, Cocoa Nibs, Caramel, and Vanilla Beans) but the beer was way too carbonated.

    My first pour netted a lot of carbonation. With the thinness of the body the beer still feels like a Diet Coke. As it sits the carbonation goes away but then you’re just left with a thin flat-ish beer. The nose is some chocolate and cola which transform into a pungent almost astringent odor. The flavor is an oaky soda, like you oak barrel aged Pepsi for several year then drank it flat at room temperature.

    I had initially hoped that aging would even out the carbonation and their sweet doughy yeast would stand out against the adjunct flavors however none of that is the case here. If you have any left, move along move along.
     
  9. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (3,053) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Great assessment! Sorry to hear that things didn't work out how you would have hoped.
     
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  10. SiepJones

    SiepJones Defender (603) Nov 20, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    Thank you! You live and you learn. I greatly enjoy cellaring/aging beers and love the info I get from this group so I’m happy to share my findings. The good, the bad, and (hopefully not too often) the ugly.
     
  11. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (3,053) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    It's always worth it when you find that gem that ages perfectly. We can't find those without trying!
     
  12. sulldaddy

    sulldaddy Poo-Bah (4,243) Apr 6, 2003 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    Im opening up a 12 oz bottle of Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws tonight. All the barleywine talk in the appreciation thread helped make my choice for tonight. this is a 2010 vintage bottle, so it is 11 years old as I pop the cap.

    Onto my review:
    [​IMG]
    I pour the beer into my snifter and leave about .5oz in the bottle as there is a ton of sediment. The beer pours a deep mahogany color with a dense creamy khaki colored head of 2 cm that fades to a dense surface layer throughout the sampling and leads to dense lattice when I swirl the glass.
    The aroma on this beer is rich and complex, I get some molasses and tobacco notes mixing with white grapes and a little port wine character. I also get an unexpected apricot scent. It is definitely not what I would have thought to find, but I get it with each sniff of my glass. There are also faint whiffs of oxidation, but in the background of these other scents. No hop character really sticks around.
    First sip reveals a medium body with silky smooth texture and very fine carbonation. The carb is soft and caresses my palate with a gentle tingle on the swallow. The beer does leave a sticky residue on my lips on each sip.
    Flavor is toffee and brown sugar with some molasses too, these sweet upfront flavors allow a little bit of that port from the nose, and I also get apricots again here, definitely fruity.Then the finish moves to some slight bitterness. Maybe old citrus rind hops or maybe a hint of black peppery booze. This bite lingers a bit even as the beer dries out my palate.
    This beer drinks easy and I really like the apricot flavor that I keep getting. Im glad I was able to get this from Hair of the Dog and would gladly drink another 2010 vintage of this treat. Well worth an opening now. Go get it!
     
  13. CurtisD

    CurtisD Devotee (423) Aug 16, 2012 Canada (NB)
    Trader

    My first cellar pull for 2022 is a 2013 bottle of Trois Pistoles. Pours without much head, and carbonation is a little muted. Lots of sediment stuck to the bottom of the bottle. Classic aroma of dark fruits and brown sugar. Body is a little thin, but taste matches the aroma. Likely better fresher, I have a lot of 2-3 year old bottles tucked away that I should sample soon. A good beer for a cold night.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Meyvn (1,448) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois

    Concentrating efforts to clear most of the 2015-2019 beers from my refrigerator and cellar this year, pulled out a beer that is no longer made (perhaps one day), but many still may have these stashed away.

    2016 Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale

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    OG Review - 2015 Draft


    Bottle Notes: Bottled 10/18/16, 16.9 oz, 13.6% ABV. Develops in the bottle up to 5 years (2 1/2 months past that mark today). Barleywine Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels, Chicago Made, English Style. oak, charcoal, hints of tobacco and vanilla with signature bourbon character. Enjoy in a snifter.

    Comparison vs. 2015 Draft Version:


    Sight and Smell
    Think I got the colour wrong originally, perhaps the brewpub too dark, as this is a darker copper pour vs. black. Aroma doesn't not seem to have dropped off, nice scents of wine, malt, smooth bourbon and oak after allowing this to warm about 20 minutes after opening.

    Taste and Mouthfeel
    Consistent with the fresh version except didn't detect cherry notes today. About 30 minutes in, nice sweet malt and rose wine leads, a fine smooth bourbon backs well. Well blended, this is an excellent barleywine, and has aged well. Bourbon steps on the gas as I cross the halfway point, delicious, strong like bull. Was drinking with nominal effects until the halfway mark, than the powerful ABV kicks in with a vengeance. Thin persistent small fizzy carbonation bubbles declares I'm alive, and adds depth the the creamy medium to full body.

    Final Thoughts
    Coffee and Barleywine were and remain my favorite two variants. Perhaps one year they will return. Until then, this ranks up the among the better barleywines available. This aged well, and based on my review notes and perceptions from today, this aged 5 1/4 years is as good, perhaps slightly better, than fresh. Really, really glad I opened today. 4.5

    Planning on pulling a 2017 vintage next Monday, to see how the two compare.

    Hope you have an equally enjoyable cellar pull this week.
     
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  15. DIM

    DIM Poo-Bah (3,250) Sep 28, 2006 Pennsylvania
    Society

    I've done an 11 year Bigfoot vertical over the last few weeks. I did it this way because my tolerance is low and palate fatigue is real. I did them in semi-random order to help make the distinct, culminating in a fresh 2022 tonight. I've found that I like them fresh more than I used to, but I think 6-8 years is my sweet spot.

    These were all purchased fresh and cellared in a dark, cool place.



    [​IMG]


    2014. Maybe the sweet spot. Rich toffee and brown sugar, these are wonderfully candy-like, subdued caramel, faint dark fruits, and minimal hop/alcohol burn on the end. Hell yeah


    2018. Some toffee but more caramel. Minimal brown sugar and no dark fruit. Pine has gone to aspirin and pithy grapefruit, a bit bitter and hot at the finish. Not a bad b-wine to spend some time with.


    2012. Falling off a tad. The toffee has a mildly unpleasant, faint char note. Still plenty of rich sweetness, but a bit diminished compared to the '14. The dark fruits have a dried out potpourri quality. The finish is a little muddled, some aspirin and just a touch of cardboard. Still a dang fine b-wine.


    2020. The pithy citrus and sharp toffee are quite strong but the caramel is nice. The lingering bitterness was potent. Enjoying this more than expected.


    2016. Lots of rich toffee and brown sugar, bordering on barleywine candy. Some caramel, not really getting any fruit. Some aspirin and a bit of a booze burn. Not quite what the 2014 was, but I'm splitting hairs. Damn good.


    2021. I didn't expect to like this much, just trying to be thorough. Not quite as bitter as when fresh, still plenty of aspirin, pine, grapefruit rind, and charred caramel. Kind of muddled. Not bad at this point, but just a shadow of what it will become.


    2017. Nice rich caramel up front, layers of toffee and brown sugar join in. Lots of citrus surprisingly, bitter grapefruit and juicy orange. The bitter tingle at the end doesn't manage to crush all that sweetness. This is a touch hot at the very end. Drinking really nice right now.


    2013. Tons of toffee and to a lesser extent brown sugar and caramel comprise the dominating sweetness. There is a charred quality at work here. Hints of raisin underneath. Subdued, lingering leafy hops, faint citrus and low aspirin bitterness. Magnificent.


    2019. Not bad but maybe my least favorite so far. Charred, biting toffee dominates. Aspirin and citrus rind at the finish doesn't overwhelm the toffee. Good, but in a bit of a dumb phase.


    2015. This one's appearance stood out as ugly. Tons of suspended particulate and a murky body, lower than normal carbonation. The flavors are muted. Muddled caramel, sharp, biting toffee, and listless bitterness. Hope this bottle is an anomaly, I have 10 more. Purchased fresh and cellared properly since.


    2022. Never had this fresher, one month and two days after bottling. The hop assault is intense but not fresh and vibrant. Earthy pine and underripe citrus pith almost completely crush hints of caramel and sugar cookie.
     
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  16. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (3,053) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Love this so much! Great tasting notes! One interesting thing that I have found is that not all taste the same fresh. I thought 2021 was less hoppy than 2020 was fresh. Anyway, I might do one of these soon as well. Have some going to 2005.
     
  17. DIM

    DIM Poo-Bah (3,250) Sep 28, 2006 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Nice, I'd love to read your thoughts!
     
  18. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (7,933) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Society

    So an unusual post here both for this thread, and also for myself. The back story I've posted here.

    But anyway, this is a review of a (2015?) bottle of Clausthaler Premium Non-Alcoholic, dated "Enjoy the best taste before end: 04/2016", that has been refrigerated for almost all of that time.

    Before I open it, there was a thin layer of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. When the cap is popped, it gushes a bit of foam up the neck as I pour into the glass, that pushes the sediment up to leave specks on the inside of the bottle. But it still is very clear in the glass, with thin layer of white head that actually stays to the bottom of the glass as I drink. Aroma is quite sweet, but not unpleasant. Grainy, a lot of corn - but dried corn, not cooked corn. Taste is similar, but actually not as sweet as the smell suggests, with a fairly short finish. Thin to medium bodied, the mouthfeel is actually decent, with appropriate level of carbonation. Overall much more drinkable than I expected, no problem finishing it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Meyvn (1,448) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois

    Pulled two more from the cellar. I did not write a formal review for the one enjoyed yesterday, since it was a one off by Revolution using Binny's bottles (Thundertaker released September 2020), but I am happy to report it is nearly identical to the one enjoyed on release day at the Brewpub.

    Today's pour was prompted by a discussion in yesterday's WBAYDN with @DoctorZombies . This may have been a one off as well, though I am not certain and they very well may bring this back.

    Central Waters Peruvian Morning Brand Stout

    [​IMG]

    Bottle Notes:
    2018 Vintage, four pack purchased in August 2019 refrigerated at the Amherst, Wisconsin brewery, properly cellared until refrigerating from November 17, 2021 until this morning. No ABV listed, 11.7% per online search.

    Malt beverage aged in used oak bourbon barrels with coffee added. A bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout made with freshly roasted Emy J's Coffee. This beer is as complex as it gets. Flavors of vanilla, tannins, and coffee meld together to create a flavor as deep as the ravines of the Peruvian Andes.

    Appearance: Dark brown murky base, significant floaters, thin light tan head dissipated near instantly, leaving a thin ring above the base. Light visible carbonation persists throughout the pour. 3.75

    Aroma:
    Getting light vanilla, bourbon, roast coffee and malt in that order. Smells good, strength and perhaps other attributes have possibly faded over time. 4.0

    Taste:
    Enjoying this after the first gulp about 20 minutes after opening. Nice roast coffee leads, roast malt and light vanilla follows, and maple syrup which wasn't added to this beer. As this warms up further, the bourbon emerges slightly, more in strength than in taste over the other components. Enjoyable nonetheless. 4.0

    Mouthfeel: Body light to medium, enhanced by the creamy texture. Overall sweet, but pretty well balanced with the roast coffee and malt offsetting the sweetness. Drinks lighter than the ABV at first, though the strength starts to hit you in the second half, sweet aftertaste for a hot minute. Light carbonation sustains depth throughout the pour. 4.0

    Overall: At a loss at this point to compare to a fresher version, but have enjoyed today's bottle. Really enjoyed the taste, more subdued than the typical Central Waters BA Stout, particularly in the barrel component, but I'm chalking that up to the 3 1/2 years or so cellared. Will revisit this and adjust as necessary if I come across a fresh version down the road. 4.0

    Won't revisit the other three in this thread, may in the event I enter 2023 with any of the remaining three in my cellar.
     
    #19 ChicagoJ, Jan 13, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2022
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  20. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (7,933) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Society

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  21. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (3,053) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2009 Angel's Share from Lost Abbey. I believe this was the first time this was released. I have had many throughout the years, but never a 2009. Pours almost still, like a very old English barleywine. Nose is port, leather, tobacco, and some chocolate. some black licorice emerges over time. The taste is super nice. Seriously, this tastes like a very old Thomas Hardy's. Old leather, tobacco, sherry, dark chocolate, toffee, oak, and some interesting dark fruit. Super interesting and VERY different from fresh. I would not let this go any further though.

    [​IMG]
     
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  22. Redrover

    Redrover Poo-Bah (3,591) Jan 18, 2003 Wisconsin
    Society

    I had a 2019 Bourbon County Midnight Orange last night. I had forgot I had this one and am kind of mad at myself as this was one of my favorites when first released.

    The base beer was still awesome, lots of heavily roasted (almost charred) malts, dark fruit, & bakers chocolate. The orange had almost completely faded away.

    I would be interested to hear if anyone else has had one of these recently.
     
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  23. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (3,053) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2014 Mother of all Storms from Pelican. It is still tasting great. Pours almost still. No head. The nose is incredible. Has nice toffee notes, along with sherry, figs, dates, bourbon, and some chocolate. Also getting a strong molasses note.

    The taste is super smooth. Toffee, molasses, licorice, oloroso sherry, bourbon, chocolate, figs, plums, and cherries. The lack of carbonation just amplifies these flavors. It has evolved quite a bit from when fresh - it's almost more intense and the toffee has faded just a bit. Very enjoyable!

    [​IMG]
     
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  24. DIM

    DIM Poo-Bah (3,250) Sep 28, 2006 Pennsylvania
    Society

    It's been over 11 years since I had my only bottle. Got a few coming soon, can't wait!
     
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  25. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (3,053) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    You are in for a treat! It's nice to know they age so nicely as well.
     
  26. SiepJones

    SiepJones Defender (603) Nov 20, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    2017 Bells Expedition Stout. Pours like motor oil. My pour was vigorous but the head is minimal, just a small lacing around the ring of my glass. Aromas of Licorice and Chocolate. Flavor is Dark Chocolate with Roast and Char. Just a touch of bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth with minimal carbonation. This beer is drinking very well and I feel as though this may be its decline. If you have bottles drink them soon.

    [​IMG]
     
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  27. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Champion (837) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    2019 Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout

    [​IMG]

    Canned on 5/17/2019. When I first found this I picked up a single, liked it a LOT, and picked up a sixer to cellar, of which this is the fifth. Like an idiot I didn't update my tasting notes but in my initial encounter with this thought it tasted a bit young. No problem with that now! In fact the bourbon barrel taste might be stronger than what I first remember. The flavors are well melded now into a very pleasant concoction. The funny thing is I don't even like pecans that much; maybe I should drink bourbon with them. Maybe aging this another year is a mistake but that's why we fearlessly experiment.

    I was very disappointed to find out this is no longer brewed, at least for canned distribution. WTF Stone? I look at their current website: no Bastards, no Cortex Wreckers (Old Guardian) and now this? I am doomed to be disappointed.
     
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  28. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (2,328) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    The best thread on BA is back for another year! And almost done with a full page already, can’t believe I almost didn’t get it on page 1!

    Fun little experiment today courtesy of the wonderful HoTD cellar program. A side by side comparing Fred batch 1 (vintage 1997) to Fred batch 102 (vintage 2021). I’ve only had Fred once before, many years ago and I believe relatively fresh at that time. Honestly I thought it was kind of a mess, and I wasn’t a fan. That being said when I saw batch 1 available on the HotD cellar store I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try the original vintage.

    Side note, as you can see from the bottle labels the description changed over time. Based on the description, particularly of the hops which you can read below, my assumption is the recipe has also changed over time. I’m fairness, it has been almost 25 years.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These don’t even look remotely like the same beer, carbonation-wise which is expected, but the color is also completely different. Never would guess they are the same beer based off the pour. The fresh batch is dark golden; only slightly hazy, with a big dense almost creamy appearing head that lingers forever and has fantastic lacing. The batch 1 is also very hazy but essentially translucent, has almost no carbonation based on the pour just a couple bubbles. Color of the batch 1 is a nice mahogany brown, like a barleywine.

    Aroma of the fresh batch is huge fruity eaters; apple, peach; some balancing spicy phenolics. Pretty big candied sugar, decent amount of caramel. Really great aroma here with a nice complexity and balance. Aroma of the batch 1 is remarkably muted. Just some cardboard , likely oxidation, mild generic sweetness. Just not much there.

    For the taste the fresh batch is a lovely mix of sweetness and clean american hip bitterness. It drinks like a barleywine but with a more pale malt bill. Great mix of fruity esters, candied sugar, and a bit of spice. This is a really impressive beer. Taste of the batch 1 is just so bizarre, i mean clearly it’s from the age but it’s not like the typical astringent bitter oxidation. It honestly has a marshmallow character which is just so strange. It’s like marshmallow, overripe fruit, and simple syrup. It’s really one of the most interesting and unique beers I’ve ever had. Although i described it in a strange way and it is strange, it’s actually quite good and it’s definitely not a “too old to drink and ruined from oxidation”, far from it actually.

    Mouthfeel of the 2021 is full bodied with appropriately high carbonation, yet still smooth and wildly drinkable. Mouthfeel on the batch 1 is medium body, essentially no carbonation; some limitations in drinkability.

    Overall, the batch 102 (2021) is a phenomenal beer. It tastes nothing like batch 1 and also, as least in comparison to my original review, nothing like my first experience with the beer (batch 92, i actually commented at that time that I was concerned it may have been an off batch). The batch 1 is like nothing I have ever had before, I actually enjoyed it quite a bit and this is certainly worth a try particularly if you are a cellared beer fan.

    Batch 1 (1997):
    A: 3.75
    S: 2.75
    T: 4
    M/D: 3.75
    O: 3.75


    Batch 102 (2021)
    A: 4.75
    S: 4.5
    T: 4.75
    M/D: 4.75
    O: 4.5

    [​IMG]
     
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  29. DIM

    DIM Poo-Bah (3,250) Sep 28, 2006 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Awesome side-by-side, thanks for posting! I've been going back and forth considering those early Fred and Adam for sale online. My beer budget has been out of hand lately...
     
    #29 DIM, Jan 16, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2022
  30. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (3,053) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Fantastic side-by-side! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
     
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  31. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Meyvn (1,448) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois

    Really enjoyed your side by side writeup of Hair of the Dog Fred @zac16125 , looking forward as always to your reviews throughout the year!

    Returning to compare my 2017 BCB Barleywine vs. the 2016 bottle I enjoyed last Monday.

    Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale (2017)

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    Bottle Notes:
    16.9 oz bottled 10/10/17 @ 10:21, refrigerated (not cellared) since purchase. 14.4% ABV.

    Comparison with the 2016 bottle enjoyed last Monday

    Appearance: Consistent with the 2016 bottle enjoyed last Monday.

    Aroma: Malt, some barrel, smells oxidized vs. the unimpacted 2016 bottle.

    Taste: No oxidation, but the wine, oak and barrel noted last week has been replaced by cherry, front and center, with oak and slight bourbon following, 30-45 minutes at room temperature. No wine either, disappointing.

    Mouthfeel: Consistent, ABV and strength also consistent, the primary change remains with taste.

    Overall: While this is still an enjoyable beer, I'd rate this 0.75 - 1.0 lower in the aroma, taste and overall rankings if this was my initial review. At a loss as to whether this is just a difference between batch, or if refrigeration vs. cellaring played a role. Going to save the rest for desert later today.

    Musical accompaniment
     
  32. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (3,053) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Thanks for the review. I have one of these to open soon. Curious if I get the same result! Cheers!
     
    ChicagoJ likes this.
  33. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (3,053) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    2018 Bourbon County Vanilla Stout. Originally reviewed in early 2019, and I gave it a VERY high score (4.76). Looking forward how this one has evolved. Poured at just under fridge temp. Almost no head - maybe a slight tan layer. Black as night. The vanilla is still VERY strong, as it was fresh. Milk chocolate, marshmallow, brown sugar, and bourbon. A nice layer of dark fruit. The taste is super smooth. More dark fruit coming through now - cherries and blackberries. Vanilla is very strong. Coconut, molasses, bourbon, and some black licorice. Amazing, and just as good as it was fresh. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy. Love it!

    [​IMG]
     
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  34. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,937) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Stefon - Perennial and Solemn Oath. Dark rye farmhouse ale with brettanomyces.
    Brewed in September of 2014, I've passed this one up at the upscale bottle shop for a while and thought he'd finally sold out long ago. But the owner used lockdown as a chance to dig out his cellar and put a bunch of stuff that's probably pushing it age wise on clearance and this one popped back up and I bit.

    It's a slow gusher after I pop the cap and pours with a prodigious sienna head over a cherry wood colored body. Really pretty honestly, reminds me of a darker red hued Orval.

    The nose is large and encompassing, walls of old wood and a dried cherry/generic dried fruit base note support an odd, but not exactly off putting, flurry of banana and spicy bubblegum. A menagerie of esters I suppose. It's definitely unique and intriguing but the dustiness of age is already apparent.

    The taste follows the nose, in a way, with cherry/dark berry notes laid lightly over a spicy tannic quality that peters out into a dusty, stale, pale malt note.

    I'm glad I tried this, if only to remind myself to jump on interesting beers when I see them. I can detect the bones of a beer that I would have really enjoyed 5 or 6 years ago. Heck, it may have only gone over the hill really in the last 2 years. But over the hill it seems, the malt flavors are stale and getting less pleasant as it warms. The Brett is just a sort of dryness that amplifies the stale flavor of the malt, like a layer of dust.

    Oh well, it's a fun exploration none the less and I will definitely keep my eyes out for any other rye saisons I encounter.

    Happy hunting cellar dwellers!
     
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  35. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Meyvn (1,448) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois

    This beer one new to m,e so no basis of comparison with a fresh version.

    Saugatuck Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Cosmopolitan Milk Stout 2018

    [​IMG]

    Bottle Notes:
    Not sure when or where I purchased. This was properly cellared upon purchase, until I moved to the refrigerator on 9/3/21, where it remained until now. 36 IBUs, 10.5% ABV, 12 oz bottled 10/29/18. As always, we guarantee our beers for 6 months from purchase date. Cellar at your own risk. Limited release, 3 Bites in Every Sip.

    Appearance: Dark brown black base, creamy tan head lingers for a minute before leaving a bubbly ring above the base and light cover above a portion. 4.0

    Aroma:
    Let this sit for 20 minutes before diving in. Getting all three Neapolitan taste components, strawberry leads followed by chocolate fudge and a faint vanilla. As this warms further, a pleasant smooth bourbon aroma emerges. Sweet overall, but not cloying, flavors held up well over time. 4.25

    Taste: Consistent with the aroma, strawberry leads followed by chocolate fudge. The barrel plays a supporting role, letting the flavors shine but also adding some gravitas and complements well. Getting oak as well. Feels a bit faded in terms of strength and freshness compared to the aroma, but that is to be expected. 4.0

    Mouthfeel:
    Thin to medium body, flavor sweetness balanced by the bourbon. Drinks much lighter than the ABV, this at 1/3 of the way in. Light dryness, clean finish. 3.5

    Overall:
    This is a solid balanced "pastry stout", aged intentionally to bring more balance and it delivered. The balance fit my taste preference, and I'm glad I aged and opened today. Would try a fresh version down the road, at least a sample, to compare and contrast, and determine whether this is balanced without the 3 1/4 years in the cellar. 4.0

    Last planned cellar beer until I return home next month, unless I come across a cellar pour in Vegas.

    Cheers!
     
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  36. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,937) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Have you ever had the base version of that beer? It was way ahead of the pastry trend and subdued by modern standards as I recall. I'd be curious if it feels like they amped it up to prep it for the barrels
     
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  37. TWStandley

    TWStandley Crusader (723) Jan 15, 2008 Massachusetts
    Trader

    Todays cold weather has me reaching in the cellar for a beer. I usually don’t age adjunct stouts but somehow this one snuck by me. 2018 vintage.

    taste is still pretty solid - coffee has faded but vanilla and cinnamon are still popping. Mouthfeel a bit thinner than I remembered.

    definetely better fresh, but this is still pretty darn good.

    cheers

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  38. liquorpig

    liquorpig Meyvn (1,142) Sep 6, 2008 Massachusetts
    Society

    2013 Slumbrew Yankee Swap. A yearly drop around the xmas holiday. Unfortunately this brewery is no longer. This is one of the gems they put out. Old ale that clocks in at 12%. Nice sipper during the cold winter months. Poured into an oversized Duvel snifter/tulip glass from cellar temp. of 55*. Dark brown appearance. Head quickly dissipates. Aroma of dark fruit, rum and maple syrup. Taste dominated by maple syrup, followed by fig and dark fruit. The rum and oak barrel is in the background, not overpowering. Feel is a little thin, but with enough carbonation. Nice finish. A dangerously easy drinker. I've got a 2014 in the cellar that I’m thinking of keeping for a few more years since this one is aging nicely.


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  39. liquorpig

    liquorpig Meyvn (1,142) Sep 6, 2008 Massachusetts
    Society

    2012 Firestone Sucaba - What more can I say. One of my favorite barleywines. Unfortunately they don't ship to my state anymore. Cracked this one open over the holidays. Candied sugar and dark fruit dominate the taste. Nice mouth feel and finish. I'd love to know how long I can sit on these since I've got some newer vintages in the cellar.

    [​IMG]
     
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  40. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (3,053) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I came here to review an old Firestone beer, and look what I see! It's a Firestone Walker party! Cheers to you, @liquorpig!

    I'm sipping on a 2014 Stickee Monkee. Pours with little head. Nose is definitely Stickee Monkee! Tons of toffee, dark fruits, malts, and barrel. What a nose! It hasn't lost a thing over 7-8 years. The taste follows the nose nicely. Sweet toffee, bourbon, chocolate, malts, fresh bread, plums, raisins, and molasses. Dang, this has aged beautifully. I don't really get any sense of oxidation. I wholeheartedly agree with @liquorpig that FW beers can really sit for a long time without going downhill. It's good news for those with bottles in the cellar.

    Now, the question that we all ask. Is it better than fresh? Tough call actually. It's definitely different (although not as much as some beers) - perhaps a bit smoother. The toffee tends to be quite dominant when fresh, but it mingles with lots of other flavors on the taste here. Regardless, I love it fresh and I love it with age. Win-win!

    [​IMG]
     
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