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January 2013 Cellar Reviews

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by argock, Jan 3, 2013.

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  1. argock

    argock Poo-Bah (2,770) Dec 30, 2006 Virginia

    2008 Ommegang Three Philosophers. 2008 on neck label. Stored at 60-65F. Served at 55F in a Chimay goblet.

    I had been waiting for a while to try this beer. It is one of my first cellared beers. It did not disappoint.

    The appearance is excellent with a 1-2 finger light beige cola-like head with some last and some random lace formations. The aroma is light but also presents some plum and tart stone fruit aromas. The flavor is exceptional with plum, fig/date, tobacco, and a tart character which is not exactly cerry but provides a dryness that makes this beer incredibly drinkable for its strength. I really enjoyed this beer. I will try the 2009 tomorrow night and see which I like better to decide on further aging versus enough. I have had fresh and it is pretty hot -- there is minimal to no perceptible alcohol -- mainly belly-warming. An extraordinary aged beer that I encourage others to put away. Not sure how the 12 oz capped bottles will to do over time. The corked and caged though -- extremely good.
  2. clegolfski

    clegolfski Aspirant (299) Jul 13, 2008 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Bell's The Oracle '11 vs '12
    Had stashed a bottle from last year but only recently came across this year's release. The "fresh" one wasn't really fresh but had a distinct difference. The '11 was aged under fairly consistent temps in the 60 degree range in a basement.

    Dated 8-12-11 - Started with this one. The initial taste was pretty rough I dont know if oniony is the right word but it was off. Gradually it rounded out to a really deep sweet carmelly taste. The hops were limited and and the nutty maltiness really showed up.

    My memory (very suspect, I know) was of a similar experience with a really fresh (within two weeks) bottle last year. It started with an almost overwhelming off-putting flavor but that nuttiness really came out to play.

    8-10-12 - Even with several months on it the hops were big players. Bright and floral followed by the reminiscent nut malt. The added layer of complexity was very enjoyable and I strongly preferred the fresh bottle. I enjoyed the few months on it over my memory of the super fresh one.

    I think it comes down to taste (like many things). The year made a very district difference and I understand the description of a DIPA with age resembling a barleywine. I found both enjoyable and think that a little bit of time can give malty DIPAs an excellent balance point between malts and hops. Of course that can vary between beers and batches.
  3. drgarage

    drgarage Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2008 California

    Melange 3 Batch 1 (2010): Delicious, but still (!) hot and boozy. Loads of bourbon and barrel character. Almost tasted like a fine bourbon was one of the three in the melange. Still, dangerously drinkable and highly recommended.
  4. Number45forever

    Number45forever Initiate (0) Jan 6, 2012 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    Cross posted, I had this in the December thread:

    Had a Bourbon County Vanilla over New Year's...it was my first time having it.

    It was great, but I hardly got any vanilla whatsoever. It was like a slightly smoother, slightly sweeter version of regular BCBS. Very good stuff, just no "vanilla" boost over the normal version, if you ask me. It also seemed a tad bit thinner than standard BCBS.

    I wonder how it tasted fresh, I can only imagine this with more of a vanilla presence. The bottle I had was AWESOME, I'd never turn it down. But, for the hassel of getting BCBVS, I don't see it being worth the chase at the moment (as opposed to the "ease" of getting similar vintage of normal BCBS).

    Or, did I get a subpar bottle? Anyone else have one recently?
  5. SteelersX

    SteelersX Disciple (371) Jan 30, 2011 New York
    Beer Trader

    I get lots of vanilla flavor
    These comments boggle my brain
    Desaparecido likes this.
  6. jedwards

    jedwards Initiate (2) Feb 3, 2009 California

    BCBVS seems to have a lot of bottle (or environmental) variation specifically as regards the vanilla flavor. We opened a bottle in mid-October that still had a very prominent vanilla flavor, but it was stored in a wine fridge since release.
  7. stxSS07

    stxSS07 Initiate (0) Nov 23, 2010 Illinois

    Same. I've had it twice in the past 4 months and both bottles lacked any kind of "stand out" vanilla flavor that I don't already get from regular BCBS.

    Good, but not worth the hassle.
  8. argock

    argock Poo-Bah (2,770) Dec 30, 2006 Virginia

    2009 Ommegang Three Philosophers. 2009 on neck label. Stored at 60-65F. Served at 55F in a Chimay goblet.

    I actually think this is a little more lively and better than the 2008 I had last night. The malt flavors are a little more sharp and there are more plum, raisin, rum raisin, nutty, and toasted bread flavors than the 2008. There is more tartness and it's just an all-around more defined beer. This is a really enjoyable malt-fest of a beer. I will try the 2010 over the weekend and report back. I am overall really impressed with this beer. I will be stocking up on this beer for future enjoyment no doubt.
    JEdmund likes this.
  9. fortsambo

    fortsambo Initiate (132) Feb 14, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Interesting, I've had it twice in the past few months as well and the vanilla was very prominent. Must be bottle variation?
    Desaparecido and patFC320 like this.
  10. patFC320

    patFC320 Initiate (0) Mar 18, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Agree with Sambo. The bottles we have shared have been very prominent and the best Variant of BCBS
  11. Corkpuller

    Corkpuller Initiate (0) Dec 6, 2011 Pennsylvania

    2010 Old Ho. Epic.
    2010 Fuller's Vintage. Near Epic. The dryness and lowish alcohol make it too drinkable.
    dagimp likes this.
  12. ithacabaron

    ithacabaron Zealot (563) Jul 16, 2003 California

    Glad to hear this is doing nice with some short-term aging; I have a 2003-2005 vertical of TP which I nearly cracked open this Xmas. Then I decided it would be more fun to taste each of the beers on their ten-year anniversaries. We'll see what's in store!
  13. ccrida

    ccrida Poo-Bah (3,033) May 26, 2006 Oregon

    Allagash Odyssey
    Jan 2008 bottling
    A lovely cellar cellar selection, all the soft round edges I look for in well aged strong ale, but still delivers the nicely defined curves of the original beauty. Oak and malt very nicely integrated while maintaining balance over time, which is a rarity. Still has a brightness, of cured dark stone fruits. Juicy. This rivals wines in finesse and freshness I've recently had from the same vintage. I'm extremely impress, this dramatically has shifted my view on Allagash. Phenomenal really, I'd wish I shared it, random old bottle I had really no expectations of...
  14. nimbleprop

    nimbleprop Initiate (178) Apr 4, 2008 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    Did some cellar clearing over the weekend:
    Stone 07-07-07 - Tasted like cherry lifesavers. A little medicinal. Not bad, but I'm glad it was my last bottle.
    Stone 08-08-08 - 100% infected. Half the bottle gushed out upon opening. The flavors weren't bad though. Reminded me of an Imperial Orval.
    Stone 09-09-09 - Dried chocolate powder.
    Avery Fourteen - Nice, raisins and orange without a ton of oxidation. Couldn't help but feel like maybe I caught this 6-12 months past the sweet spot.
    Surly Four - Drinking stupendously. Mellow, sweet, coffee still there, not boozy at all. This is ready to be popped.
  15. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (3,546) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Interesting. Had Surly Four at a tasting a couple weekends back & everyone agreed it had crested the hill. Still pretty good, but you could taste the beginnings of the espresso leaning into ash. IMHO in 3-6 months this is going to have lost whatever charm it sill retains.

    I'd say anybody with a Surly Four ought to be drinking sooner rather than later. Like, say, tonight.
  16. dc55110

    dc55110 Aspirant (282) Oct 24, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    The one we opened up in August I thought was still pretty damn good. The espresso had mellowed, but just seemed to be a lighter roast.
  17. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (3,546) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Could certainly be differences in how they were stored; this one came fairly recently in a trade.

    The one I had a year ago was sublime.
  18. dc55110

    dc55110 Aspirant (282) Oct 24, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    You were there, I thought I remembered you enjoying it.
  19. jedwards

    jedwards Initiate (2) Feb 3, 2009 California

    Had a 1998 Harvey's Elizabethan Ale a couple nights ago (capped bottle) -- slight carbonation, hazy pour (does anyone have a working hypothesis for why old beer transitions from transparent to translucent? I find it fascinating), nice sherry nose, fell down pretty hard in the taste -- not cardboardy or soy saucy, just sort of... lacking. Not a lot of flavor at all. Mouthfeel was thin and somewhat watery. I believe this bottle was recently found on a store shelf, so storage was probably nonideal.
  20. 4DAloveofSTOUT

    4DAloveofSTOUT Poo-Bah (2,303) Nov 28, 2008 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Surly Four - Drinking stupendously. Mellow, sweet, coffee still there, not boozy at all. This is ready to be popped.[/quote]

    I have been very fortunate to drink 4 bottles of Surly Four through out 2012. I gotta say... I absolutely love that beer! It just so damn good. I honestly cant think of another non barrel aged beer that has aged so gracefully. I really think Surly MUST brew that beer again.
  21. Gosox8787

    Gosox8787 Meyvn (1,048) Jan 24, 2009 New Hampshire

    Drank a batch 2 (2011) Parabola this weekend for some of the games.

    Definitely some oxidation present at this point, but not distractingly so. Still some booze that hasn't completely mellowed out. Bourbon isn't as big and forward as it was fresh, but really nice caramel and coconut tones throughout. Very chocolately as well. Maybe a bit on the way downhill, but still very nice at this point.
  22. allforbetterbeer

    allforbetterbeer Savant (953) Sep 26, 2009 Colorado

    2011 Lips of Faith Le Terroir by New Belgium. Obviously the juicy hop flavors faded in freshness, but amazingly their character was still prominent after almost 2 years in the bottle (stored at or below 54 degrees for the duration of my possession). The acidity and sourness increased to push this beer into the legitimately sour category. That being said this wasn't ever that sour and still isn't (which for this beer is a good thing). The brett-driven complexity only got better. The barrel characteristics were there in feel but not directly taste-able. My intention was to see if when the hops were gone if this beer would turn into something better/equal to the very excellent original. The "wild" characteristics of this beer improved I think, but the fresh juicy hops faded greatly and didn't leave as much behind as I had hoped (in the way of sweet sugary notes sometimes found in long-aged hoppy barley-wines). I think I should have left it for at least another year or two. It was still fantastic and that was my last bottle.
  23. headylamar

    headylamar Initiate (165) Feb 11, 2010 New Jersey

    drank a 2010 Oak Aged Yeti last night. SO smooth! I've tried the Yeti variants fresh (regular, chocolate, espresso, oak) with different experiences (espresso was a bit too bitter), but this is the first time pulling one from the cellar. I don't recall what I thought of this fresh, but I can't imagine it was better than what i enjoyed last night. This beer is drinking wonderfully. At 8ish% abv, i didn't want to let this sit too long in the cellar. Glad I brought it out last night - it went down easy.
  24. benetoh

    benetoh Initiate (181) Feb 2, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Unibroue Terrible, best before 11/11/2013

    Have not had one of these in a while, but all of the alcohol burn I remember is gone. Alot of dark fruits, raison, and a little prune. All the complexity I like about Unibroue. Definitely let it warmup before drinking.This one is kind of hard to describe because of how well blended everything is.

    Not sure what to do with the other bottle I have that is slightly younger; its pretty awesome right now.
  25. youradhere

    youradhere Devotee (490) Feb 29, 2008 Washington
    Beer Trader


    Don't think too hard, its just what popped in my head when I saw your screen name
    Mandark and sbrotschul like this.
  26. templar316

    templar316 Initiate (0) Apr 6, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Brewdog Tokyo: kicking for a couple years. The alcohol is well hidden. the dark fruit and jasmine prominent by far the best I've had from brewdog. 1/15/21 date
  27. rowingbrewer

    rowingbrewer Champion (849) May 28, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Vertical epic ale 07-07-07
    Beer pours a golden to slightly orangey color, although the is a lot of sediment withe a gentle pour none comes out. There is a nice white finder of head on the beer that lasts as carbonation continually bubbles out of this beer. The smell is slightly metallic with a hint of caramel and bread, accompanied by a small amount of triple spiciness. The flavor follows through though the metallic flavor is more pronounced than in the nose. The mouthfeel is slightly fuller than expected but with good carbonation. Overall not as bad as it could have even but this was not great by any means. Probably should have been consumed 5+ years ago
  28. Brew33

    Brew33 Crusader (746) Oct 24, 2007 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    2009 Allagash Interlude cellared at 55 degrees on it's side in my wine fridge. Served via lambic basket (I use this for all c&c bottles that I store on their side).

    Boy, I really thought this beer would age gracefully but it just didn't. Gusher! Cardboard, wet grass, dirty diaper brett aromas. The flavors are very vinous. Red wine, tannic, slightly astringent. I seem to be getting the a lot of sweet malt in this one. Maybe my tastes have changed and I've drank too many sours since having had this last. Thin side of medium in body, plenty of carbonation, gets better as it warms but it's still a little bit of a mess. The Brett character is in full force though.

    I would suggest drinking this one with less age. I enjoyed this vintage fresh and at 1 year, at 3+ years it's a little bit of a mess.
  29. claaark13

    claaark13 Zealot (504) Nov 29, 2007 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    2011 Hunahpu's, into a HF tulip, cellar temp, courtesy of kingkong.

    Pitch black pour, nice head that slowly comes, then a good retention of lacing. Sweet roasts malt integrated with cocoa in the aroma. There is enough cinnamon there to notice, but nothing too crazy. Tastes almost identical to the aroma, cocoa comes out more on the finish though than may be evident in the aroma. There is something in the finish that is probably the faded chilies.

    Overall, very very good. There are some similarities to MZ at this age, so I can see why people don't want to let it go too long. I'd love to have a few bottles of this to finish up over this winter.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  30. DStoked

    DStoked Aspirant (257) Sep 28, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    2009 Brooklyn Black OPS

    Casual drinking atmosphere so no detailed tasting notes, but it was oh-so-smooth and delicious. No alcohol burn to speak of.
  31. DStoked

    DStoked Aspirant (257) Sep 28, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Duvel dated "best by 04/2011"

    Waaaay better fresh. Still very effervescent, a lot of green apple/vinegar in the smell and taste, and harsh peppery bitterness. Probably won't make it to the bottom of this one :/
  32. nickapalooza86

    nickapalooza86 Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2010 Wisconsin

    North Coast Old Stock Ale 2011, I loved it fresh but I bought a ton so saved some for a couple years,

    Dark Fruit has taken a back seat to Caramel and Toffee... And thank god because this is amazing if you have a 2011 pull it out and give it a go, it is top notch that for sure
  33. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,223) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Cool to read that. Thanks. I have a bottle that I'm now tempted to open.
  34. Hoppenheimer

    Hoppenheimer Initiate (0) Mar 18, 2011 Kentucky

    Ten Fidy - dated 11/24/11. My first Ten Fidy of any age. Poured from a can, obviously, into a Founders snifter.

    Motor oil pour, like chocolate syrup. Paper thin head, cinnamon colored, already excited; even the sound of the pour is sexy.

    No lacing, no light permeates. Tons of chocolate, vanilla, roast malt, dried dates on the nose up front. Cocoa nibs, more chocolate, toffee, coffee upon further inhalation. First sip is magical. Mouth-feel is slick and decadent. A little vanilla fills out the back end, even some fruitiness, like caramel apple and watermelon (?) in the carbonation. Yep, watermelon! Finishes clean and dark, malted milk and cocoa left on the tongue.

    Everything I hoped it could be, will be looking for much more. Damn! What a great beer!!
    fortsambo likes this.
  35. Ish1

    Ish1 Devotee (465) Feb 25, 2010 Minnesota
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    2010 Abyss. So smooth. All the flavors have blended together nicely. Not a huge nose, but the flavor profile makes up for it.
  36. JEdmund

    JEdmund Initiate (0) Oct 23, 2006 Kansas

    2007 Great Divide Old Ruffian
    This beer aged wonderfully! Still looks pretty, has good carbonation, smells awesome, and tastes great! Was really surprised by good it was. Will definitely buy more to age again.
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