Cellar rookie...

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by andrewjraab, Mar 6, 2013.

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  1. andrewjraab

    andrewjraab Crusader (729) Apr 5, 2011 Michigan

    I've just started cellaring in the past year and have a few questions on some of the beers I'm considering cellaring. Can anyone give advice on the following brews and if I should or should not cellar and for how long?

    DFH PAulo santo marron
    DFH burton baton
    Founders backwoods bastard
    Founders curmudgeon
    Founders frangellic mountain brown ( going to drink this soon anyway!)
    Southern tier choklat, crem brûlée, pumpking

    Also I have a few bottles of bolt cutter and plan on trying one in a few years, but I'd also like to save one for a special day say 10 years down the road. Any good rule of thumb for how long or when it's best to age a barley wine?

  2. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Disciple (331) Sep 14, 2011 Missouri

    I've been cellaring a few years now. My advice is not to cellar. None of those beers improve with age. They are okay and hold up but do not improve. I find cellaring is more about collecting beer than improving it with age. If you're okay with collecting beer all the ones you mentioned will work.

    Edit. I can't speak for Bolt Cutter. I have one cellaring though.
  3. Hastur23

    Hastur23 Initiate (110) Mar 3, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    In regards to the the Pumpking; I've noticed that pumpkin ales don't really age well.
    I've tried aging imperial pumpkins ales and even after ~10 months, theres a noticeable decline in the pumpkin flavor as well as the spices. Not terrible but definitely not better.
  4. pmoney

    pmoney Crusader (708) Apr 15, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Palo Santo ages wonderfully! I had a 2008 bottle in 2010 and one in 2011 and they were both outstanding.
  5. Siggy125

    Siggy125 Devotee (452) Nov 10, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    well said. If I consumed beer at the same rate I collect it, there'd be no use for a cellar.
  6. Bay01

    Bay01 Aspirant (278) Nov 19, 2008 Illinois

    Based on your avatar I would get a sixer of Expedition and start tasting it after one year; that is one of the all-time great aging beers.
    brewbicle likes this.
  7. andrewjraab

    andrewjraab Crusader (729) Apr 5, 2011 Michigan

    Funny you say that. I picked upnansixer of expedition today. Thanks for the advice!
  8. andrewjraab

    andrewjraab Crusader (729) Apr 5, 2011 Michigan

    Thanks! I'll lay a few down and try one in a year.
  9. andrewjraab

    andrewjraab Crusader (729) Apr 5, 2011 Michigan

    So have you discovered any in your "collection" that have noticeably improved with age?
  10. Davl22

    Davl22 Disciple (354) Sep 27, 2011 New Hampshire
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I had a vertical of burton in the fall and the 3 year old was amazing, and I just cracked a year old palo tonight and it was still drinking great. I've been cellaring for a few years and there were a bunch of beers I thought would get better that I realized I enjoyed better fresh. Just make sure anything you cellar you have at least 2 bottles. Go crazy and experiment.
  11. vthippie

    vthippie Initiate (146) Dec 18, 2012 Vermont

    Frangelic is probably a BAD idea, Pumpking is probably a BAD idea, everything else seems good. Ultimately the experiment of cellaring is about finding out what YOU like but you can apply some logic and preponderance of evidence to make some educated choices.

    For every beer that is generally considered "cellarable" if you start a thread asking "cellar or drink fresh" or "how long should I age (insert beer here)" you will ultimately get a range of responses so diverse it renders them useless. From drink it fresh to age it into soy sauce and everything in between.

    Bottom line, buy a few of the same beer, try them periodically, take notes so you can compare to your previous tasting and determine how they change and if that change is an improvement or a degradation in your eyes.

    Doing this with a few different styles to get a general idea of what you like and then prepare to be amazed at how similar beers can age radically different. Unfortunately there is no magic number when it comes to aging. We all wish it was as easy as, age barleywines x years, age stouts y years and age old ales z years but it just doesn't work that way.
    andrewjraab likes this.
  12. andrewjraab

    andrewjraab Crusader (729) Apr 5, 2011 Michigan

    Good Insight. Thanks for taking the time to share your expertise.
  13. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Disciple (331) Sep 14, 2011 Missouri

    Stone IRS, curmudgeon, abyss, 2012 devil dancer to name a few. Preferred all with some age.

    Many fall into the holds up with age category though. Just not many that are actually better. Different yes. Still good yes. As good sometimes. Better no. My two cents. Collecting is fun though. I have hundreds of bottles but don't load up anymore.
  14. EyePeeAyBryan

    EyePeeAyBryan Crusader (799) Dec 20, 2011 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    I had a two-year old Burton that didn't taste nearly as good as a freshly bottled one.
  15. WassailWilly

    WassailWilly Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2007 New York

    I have read else where on here that Palo Santo is the bomb aged.. I need to try it
  16. pmoney

    pmoney Crusader (708) Apr 15, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    It really does age incredibly well. In fact, I need to pick up another 4-pack. I've still got a bottle left from the original batch (2008), but otherwise I'm dry!
  17. TheBeerDad

    TheBeerDad Initiate (0) Sep 6, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    I had a batch 6000 from bells just recently, which was a barleywine, and wish I wouldn't have waited nearly 10 years to drink it. My favorite time period for barleywines has been 5 years, just to give you a heads up on that boltcutter.
  18. Localdrinklax

    Localdrinklax Devotee (458) Jul 23, 2010 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    Out of all those beers, I would only age the backwoods bastard and the burton baton. The others have a coffee, chocolate, pumpkin notes, and those will fade over time. Just IMO.
    GRG1313 likes this.
  19. podunkparte

    podunkparte Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2009 Washington

    Yeah, I wouldn't sit on something like Boltcutter for 10 years. I say drink that Boltcutter in the next year or two and in the meantime pick up a couple 6 packs of Bigfoot and age those for 10 years. I had a '95 Bigfoot late last year that was sublime.
  20. andrewjraab

    andrewjraab Crusader (729) Apr 5, 2011 Michigan

    Thanks for the advice. Really excited to see what the baton is like. That is one of my all time favorites.
  21. andrewjraab

    andrewjraab Crusader (729) Apr 5, 2011 Michigan

    I just picked up some big foots with your thoughts in mind. Thanks. I'll try the bolt cutter in 5 years!
  22. xanok

    xanok Disciple (369) Aug 13, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    FYI I have not read the entire thread.

    I generally avoid aging Southern Tier's bigger beers. Their beers don't really have flavors that need to be mellowed or toned down, which is what age will generally do to many beers.

    I would recommend against aging Burton Baton just based on the style alone (DIPA), although I have never aged one.
    Curmudgeon is much better with at least six months on it. Recently drank some that were about a year old and they were outstanding.
    To me Backwoods Bastard is great fresh, but also does well with a year or so on it as well. Can't go wrong either way, but expect the booziness to be toned down a bit with age.
  23. andrewjraab

    andrewjraab Crusader (729) Apr 5, 2011 Michigan

    Another follow up question: have you had any experience aging Hennepin or Three Philosophers from Ommegang?
  24. vthippie

    vthippie Initiate (146) Dec 18, 2012 Vermont

    Nope, not a big fan but I hear a lot of talk about three philosophers aging well so I might give it a go.
  25. podunkparte

    podunkparte Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2009 Washington

    Just a question, but have you tried all of these beers fresh?

    If the answer is no then what is the point of cellaring them? If you don't know what they're like fresh, how do you know you want them to age and develop?

    If the answer is yes, disregard that last part.
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