Do you think old ipa's can be good?

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by DarkDragon999, Jun 8, 2013.

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  1. DarkDragon999

    DarkDragon999 Aspirant (285) Feb 13, 2013 Rhode Island

    I know the general consensus is old ipa = bad but I just had an ipa that was bottled Sept '12 and it tasted fine to me. Granted I'm not an ipa expert but I tasted the hops and it didnt seem like they had faded.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  2. Brodie91

    Brodie91 Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2012 New York

    Absolutely. Hops will definitely fade with time but the beer will still be fine.
    devlishdamsel likes this.
  3. HighWine

    HighWine Initiate (146) Dec 11, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I think you answered your own question.
    mcrago and Roguer like this.
  4. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,365) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I think the general idea is that the hops will fade to the point where your money will be better spent on a fresher one, even if it's by a different brewer. But, if someone was to put one in my hand that was 9 months old I'd still be able to get some enjoyment out of it and there would still be some hop character left. I guess 'bad' is just a relative term with these things.
  5. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,535) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I think if you like malty brews an older IPA would be just that.
  6. Lledd

    Lledd Initiate (0) Apr 23, 2013 Massachusetts

    I don't think 9 months makes it "old", just not fresh. The flavor profile will change, with hops fading and malt flavors coming forward. If you hate that, then yes it's bad. If you like it, it's good. I'm aging a couple 120's because I love the malt in that beer.
    dianimal likes this.
  7. Dennoman

    Dennoman Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2011 Belgium

    If the beer is squarely and solely designed around the hops, then it's going to be no good when it's older. If it has a decent malt backbone, you're probably still gold. You'd likely be looking at DIPA or TIPA then mind, since I don't know a whole lot of brewers that can balance the malts off well at lower ABV. I find that people overuse the term "balance" in the IPA world as a euphemism for "bland".
  8. Lledd

    Lledd Initiate (0) Apr 23, 2013 Massachusetts

    Yes, You're totally right.

    When I use balance for an IPA/DIPA I mean the malt can carry the hops. I love when a nice sweet malt blends the citrusy flavor. MMMM it's like hoppy beer candy. See: Cisco Island Reserve Double India Pale Ale

    That beer deserves so much attention that it isn't getting.
  9. Dennoman

    Dennoman Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2011 Belgium

    Hey sure, it exists. It's why Heady Topper does it for me. Not just fruity juicy hops, but a nice kick of sweet malts that carry it.
    doopiedoopiedoo likes this.
  10. cyclonece09

    cyclonece09 Meyvn (1,100) Aug 5, 2008 Maryland

    Most all beers are good. Just some beers are better fresh than after a few months. Some are better with age. In general, drink an IPA young, but an old IPA is still not necessarily a "bad" beer.
    surfcaster and Roguer like this.
  11. KS1297

    KS1297 Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2013 Wisconsin

    How many times do we have to go over this topic? IPA's are notorious for rapid flavor deterioration. If they are not consumed within the freshness window of approximately 45 minutes of the time of packaging, you are dealing with a malt bomb at best, and an awful drainpour at worst.
  12. bifrost17

    bifrost17 Initiate (0) Dec 16, 2011 Washington

    I opened up an 8 day old Enjoy By last night. Clearly it had gone over the cliff and was no longer fresh. I had no option except pouring it down the drain.
  13. jmgrub

    jmgrub Initiate (0) Nov 20, 2010 California

    Yeah, I drink 3 week old IPAs on the regular.
  14. KS1297

    KS1297 Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2013 Wisconsin

    Don't dwell on it man. You had to do what you had to do.
  15. jman005

    jman005 Aspirant (258) Jan 21, 2013 Kentucky

    I personally dislike old IPA, but maybe it is just because I love tasting the hops. Old IPAs just taste like malt bombs.
    creal92 likes this.
  16. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (3,003) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    Good? Of course. As intended? Maybe not. It depends on just how hoppy it was to begin with.

    Classic example: take an aged Belgian strong ale or Tripel. These are beers that can have notable hop profiles 1 or 2 years after bottling. Sure, they're nothing like an IPA, but if the hops still stand out after a year, and you still enjoy it, then there really isn't a question about whether or not they "could" still be good.

    Since taste is subjective, you might even find you prefer "aged" IPAs. I doubt it (and I'm not going to start cellaring DIPAs), but you never know. It WILL change, and maybe you'll find it about the same level of enjoyment, or better, or worse.

    Tangentially: I just bought some Double Trouble that's about 2 months old. I expect it to still be really, really good, even if I'd prefer it to be fresher.
    utopiajane likes this.
  17. Rohkey

    Rohkey Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2013 Michigan

    Had a Duvel Tripel Hop from 2012 earlier in the month, tasted fine to me :stuck_out_tongue:
    Roguer likes this.
  18. KS1297

    KS1297 Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2013 Wisconsin

    three weeks old huh? so basically you prever barleywines? :grinning:
    jmgrub likes this.
  19. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,554) Mar 18, 2010 California

    Sure they can.
  20. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (526) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    It's really sad that no-one makes an authentic IPA any more. Bottled Bass was aged for more than 12 months in the 19th century.
    infuturity83 and PaulyB83 like this.
  21. pitweasel

    pitweasel Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2007 New York

    Can they be good? Sure. Personally, I'm skeptical that a nine month old IPA wouldn't suffer from any faded or subdued characteristics. If the beer in question is one that's released regularly, I'd suggest drinking a relatively fresh one in the same sitting as a nine month old bottle to see if your opinion remains the same. But again, "faded" and "bad" are two different things.
    HillbillyBlood likes this.
  22. marquis

    marquis Crusader (775) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    Apparently they now have to be drunk two days before they are brewed :slight_smile:
    HillbillyBlood, alucard6679 and Oisin like this.
  23. mrcraft

    mrcraft Poo-Bah (1,776) Dec 15, 2012 California
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    One time I misplaced a bottle of AleSmith IPA with other bottles I was aging. When I discovered my mistake, I found that it was over 6 months past the enjoy by date on the bottle. I thought it was going to be horrible. It wasn't bad at all.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  24. PaulyB83

    PaulyB83 Crusader (790) Sep 1, 2013 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    I've got some Zombie Dust aging away in my tall ship was we speak. Just hope the crew can make it through the winter.
    hoppytobehere likes this.
  25. surfcaster

    surfcaster Champion (825) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    A buddy of mine found a keg of Founders Harvest ale that was 6 mos old that had been misplaced among some stouts he was holding on to. It was tragic. At a beer fest, he brought two awesome special beers and was asked to bring a "mystery beer." He would never sell the Harvest so he put it out as "mystery." It wasn't the bright magical beer we are enjoying now but almost everyone really liked it. This beer should probably be the least likely IPA to have much left in it a year later.

    I love fresh IPAs and am glad that reputable businesses strive for a fresh selection but we make to much about it here.
  26. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,535) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Depends on the IPA I think. I've had 3 month old HT that was as good as the day it was canned, and two month old Flower Power that was disgusting. Style counts I think, light fruity grapefruit bombs seem to fade faster, maybe even down to the individual hops.
    papat444 likes this.
  27. papat444

    papat444 Initiate (0) Dec 28, 2006 Quebec (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    I actually like DIPAs with a little age on them. Satisfies my sweet tooth!
  28. Flibber

    Flibber Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2013 United Kingdom (England)

    I think Worthington's White Shield is better when it's been around for a few months. You can age it for long periods as well, but I've not done that.
  29. de1m0nte

    de1m0nte Initiate (67) May 23, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I just drank a Mikkeller single hop simcoe and their 10 hop IPAs the other day with a bottling date on the cap to be sometime in March of 2012. Wasn't incredibly impressed with the taste. both tasted somewhat the same, with large malt characters and very little hops aroma and taste.
  30. alucard6679

    alucard6679 Aspirant (271) Jul 29, 2012 Arizona

    I think at least part of the whole "fresh is the only option" mentality is a psychological reaction to spending way too much time on the BA forums. There was a time when I paid no attention whatsoever to when an IPA was brewed, and I enjoyed the hell out of all of them. Now I find myself checking every bottle when I shop, and occasionally I wonder why the hell I even bother when I got so much enjoyment out of it before I decided that it was a big deal. Oh well, I'm drinking a Union Jack that was bottled 3 weeks ago and its pretty legit, cheers
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  31. bound4er

    bound4er Champion (812) Jul 4, 2007 Wisconsin

    Some - had a New Glarus IIPA last night that was bottled in April that tastes fantastic.
  32. creepinjeeper

    creepinjeeper Crusader (743) Nov 8, 2012 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    Had a couple of Hopslam and Sucks sitting in the fridge for a good six months . . . still tasted good. I guess it depends on where and how you keep 'em.
  33. BrettHead

    BrettHead Devotee (479) Sep 18, 2010 Nebraska

    No, they cannot. :grinning:
  34. RDMII

    RDMII Disciple (371) Apr 11, 2010 Georgia

    Every beer and every palate is different. Not being a hop head, I love Hopslam at 1.5 years and Maharaja at 2+ years. They turn into gold, but I can see where a fresher hopped, lower ABV beer would fall apart. Interestingly enough I did a Weyerbacher anniversary vertical not long ago, their Eleven, a triple IPA going on eight years old was astrigent and bitter like nothing else I've ever had. It got poured after 2ozs. The hops definitely held up pretty well in that bottle.
  35. JasonLovesBeer

    JasonLovesBeer Initiate (0) Mar 27, 2013 British Columbia (Canada)

    Every beer is a little different, but I think it's pretty common for a DIPA / imperial IPA to be at it's technical peak at the 3 - 6 week mark, because like a stew or soup, a little time for the ingredients to mingle can help.

    The thing about drinking "old" IPA's is that it may be a good or ho-hum experience depending on what else the beer has to offer - if it's got some nice malts going on, it will probably be super tasty. If not, it might be kinda boring. I'm thinking of Dogfish Head Burton Baton, which is more or less an IPA and is great for aging.
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