Cellaring Christmas ale

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by ztohtsonie1, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. ztohtsonie1

    ztohtsonie1 Initiate (16) Nov 23, 2018 Colorado
    Trader

    Are there any Christmas Ale's worth cellaring. I was thinking of picking up a st bernardus christmas ale. Would it be worth it to let it sit for a year?
     
  2. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,334) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    I don't recall any Christmas ale that actually benefits from aging, unless of course you're adverse to spices, because there are a few in my opinion, mostly American, that are a little bit on the heavy side. Most of the Belgians are fine, although Corsendonk if I recall has a little too much anise for my tastes. Still, in that case it would take a lot of aging to settle that down, and by that time oxidation would probably have crept in, or just general loss of flavor.

    St. Bernardus is ready to go when sold in my opinion.

    I wouldn't bother specifically aging any Christmas beers because I don't think they'll improve, but that's not to say you can't cellar them - meaning, if you've bought a case of 12 for the holidays and only gone through 8... those 4 will be fine in the cellar until next year. They'll probably be good for two.
     
  3. ztohtsonie1

    ztohtsonie1 Initiate (16) Nov 23, 2018 Colorado
    Trader

    So it would okay If i buy a couple this year and save one or two for next year
     
  4. liquorpig

    liquorpig Zealot (595) Sep 6, 2008 Massachusetts

    I've been cellaring Anchor Steam Christmas Ale for years. Holds up well. I do a vertical tasting with friends every year.
     
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  5. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,334) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Absolutely, put a few away if you want, they won't go bad, but they won't get better either.
     
  6. youradhere

    youradhere Zealot (516) Feb 29, 2008 Washington
    Trader

    Gouden Caroulus (blue label) does a really sweet euro ale type that reminds me of the holidays but is not holiday specific; Anchor Steam (CA) does an actual Christmas ale that does good with 1-3 years on it; any seasonal winter ale that is hop bitter forward and sweet like Sierra Nevada Celebration or Deschutes Jubelale I’ve had great results aging a year or so, and it’s cheaper and less stress to play around with than the special release stuff.

    So long as it is not full of corn/rice or kind of easy drinking to begin with you should have no problem aging. My own indicator for those kind of ageable beers is if I crave a glass of water after the second or third beer. If it is light enough that I can have a 6er it’s not going to do it for me age wise.
     
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  7. Ostpies

    Ostpies Initiate (81) Nov 3, 2015 New Zealand (Aotearoa)

    I have three ready for Christmas; Gordon's, Enghien and St Bernardus.

    I don't recall the dates on the first two but the Bernardus is brand new (just brought it back from the UK). Will report back on whether or not if it could have done with some cellaring.
     
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  8. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,344) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

  9. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,304) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    This x1000! One of my all-time favorite beers. I have been working my way through a case of 2009 vintage, I drink a couple each Christmas. After about 3 years, the initial booze is gone and and the sweetness starts to mellow out. The Helles and Schwarzes versions are just okay.
     
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  10. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (422) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    Surprised that Deschutes Jubelale and Avery Old Jubilee haven’t been mentioned yet... both are great candidates for aging.

    While I haven’t had the Avery much past a year, I popped a 2016 Jubelale the other night and it was absolutely incredible- had a nice fig/raisin flavor and the bite from the hops was rather subdued... sounds crazy, but I really thought it had a lot of the same flavor components of an aged Lee’s Harvest Ale, with the body being much lighter obviously. Highly recommended!
     
  11. SiepJones

    SiepJones Crusader (773) Nov 20, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Brassiere Dupont’s Avec Les Bons Voeux is a good one to age. It’s great right out of the bottle but it’s really nice with about three years in it. I’m not sure I would keep it longer than that.
     
  12. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,202) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Trader

    I've accidentally let a Jubel sit around and yeah, no harm, no foul. (Credit Chic Hearn)
     
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  13. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (422) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    This thread inspired me to grab a 12 pack of Jubelale today... put a 6er aside- fingers crossed that I can resist for the long haul
     
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  14. youradhere

    youradhere Zealot (516) Feb 29, 2008 Washington
    Trader

    Oh yeah, I’ve done Jubelale up to 3 year “verts” for fun just about every year- in my opinion the 3 year mark is as old as I’ll go for aging, anything past that gets too thin.
     
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