March 2017 Cellar Review

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by youradhere, Mar 5, 2017.

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  1. youradhere

    youradhere Devotee (488) Feb 29, 2008 Washington
    Beer Trader

    2014 Deschutes Mirror Mirror barleywine.

    Pours alive with ample this head that takes 5 minutes to fall to a thick beige cap, with a clear copper/amber body. Smells of medjool dates, floral toffee, slight bitter chocolate hidden on the edges. Taste is sweet dates with bitter chocolate, floral hop notes, sweet tea, toffee. Mouthfeel is thick, bitterness carries the bite while the sweet smoothes it out. Mild carbonation on the tongue. Overall a good bw, easy drinker, and nearing 3 years old in the bottle.
    garymuchow, jrnyc, JMN44 and 3 others like this.
  2. argock

    argock Poo-Bah (2,716) Dec 30, 2006 Virginia

    2010 Duck Rabbit Barleywine

    Pours burnished amber into a clear glass snifter. Muted fruity malt and ester aromas mixed with earthy hops and a light cardboard note. Can't help but feel the malts and hops have dropped out and am catching this on the downhill side by a healthy margin. Definitely some burnt caramel and floral and earthy hops although overall it is bland compared to most good cellared beers. A little over the hill I think.
    garymuchow, jrnyc and ManapuaMan like this.
  3. argock

    argock Poo-Bah (2,716) Dec 30, 2006 Virginia

    2013 Lagunitas Brown Shugga
    Murky brownish amber with healthy 1-finger beige head with sticky lacing.
    Very caramel candylilke aroma, a bit buttery with vanilla creme. Hopping is light at most No alcohol in the aroma.
    Flavor is a but muted, lacking a little intensity from what I remember previous versions tasting like. Still delicious caramel flavor, sweet through buttery and burnt, with softer edges than on previous and just a subtle hint of alcohol
    Mouthfeel is super-smooth with a creamy texture overall
    Very enjoyable but some may miss the malt and alcohol intensity of the younger versions. I would certainly not let it go longer than this -- very enjoyable but more mellow than previous versions. Need to pick up a couple of 6 packs....
    garymuchow, ManapuaMan, jrnyc and 3 others like this.
  4. geodonnokepyo

    geodonnokepyo Devotee (461) Oct 31, 2013 Pennsylvania

    2012 Goose Island Pere Jacques
    It seems this one is past its peak. Had one at 3 years that I recall enjoying but 5 seems to be too many.
    Smelt of caramel, raisins, and wood, but they were muted.
    Lots of the flavors had fallen off. The flavor followed the nose, but again was muted. Also had a stale cardboard taste to it.
    Syrupy mouthfeel. Hardly much carbonation left.
    This beer wasn't BAD or anything but it was definitely better at the 3 year mark.

    garymuchow, David_kent, jrnyc and 3 others like this.
  5. youradhere

    youradhere Devotee (488) Feb 29, 2008 Washington
    Beer Trader

    I feel the same about PJ, I have aged this in the past, and I think about 2-3 years is the sweet spot too. I had an 07 a few years ago, must have been about 5 years old (I remember because I thought "woah my cellar has finally arrived now that a beer has turned 5 while in it") and I found it to be really thin, dry and going oxidized towards paper. Real good ager at ~2 years though, this is one of those "which cellerable beers are easy to find at the store" beers I always forget about unfortunately.
    argock and geodonnokepyo like this.
  6. wilymobastardo

    wilymobastardo Initiate (194) Jan 12, 2015 California
    Beer Trader


    Avery's Beast Grand Cru. Bottled July, 2012. A Belgian-style quad whose power has not waned with age. Manages a fine head on the pour, with persistent lacing as the glass is enjoyed. Sticky, dark fruit (raisins, dates) and yes, still some of that 16% burn at the end. I don't detect any adverse aging effects, so drink 'em if you got 'em, or let 'em ride even longer. It's pretty damn good right now.
  7. darktronica

    darktronica Savant (920) Aug 29, 2014 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Having a pseudo-horizontal tasting of Clown Shoes' wee heavies tonight! Nothing terribly old, but having a lot of fun with it. I needed to clear out some room on the Clown Shoes shelf in the cellar, and these are my last bottles of all three, so it was a perfect time to enjoy them side by side for the first time.


    On the right is the base beer, Royal Standard, a wee heavy infused with heather tips. This bottle is from January 2015. Ride the Lion is a bourbon barrel-aged version from June 2014. Ride the Wendigo, bottled in October 2015, was a Minnesota-exclusive version aged in Pierre Ferrand cognac barrels.

    All three are drinking well and are right up my alley. Royal Standard is sticky and malty, with burnt caramel, orange gumdrops, and black tea on the nose. The tea might be attributable to the heather tips, depending on how they were introduced during the brewing process, or it might be more prominent now due to oxidation. The flavor profile adds some honey, combining with the malty biscuits to suggest graham crackers.

    Ride the Lion is a bit less sweet. It has more of a lively brightness to it, with a touch of oak tartness from the bourbon barrel. It's definitely more oxidized, as well. I found it, surprisingly, on a store shelf a few months ago, so in addition to being older, it was likely stored at higher temperature and exposed to more light, relative to the other bottles, which have been cellared properly since release. It's the bronze medal in the bunch: the bourbon still adds a bit of peppery spice, but the flavor is dominated by some citrus notes and the barrel oak.

    I expected Ride the Wendigo to be my favorite going in, based on previous bottles when fresh and my usual penchant for cognac or brandy-aged ales. Indeed, it carries the tasting. However, the flavors are a lot more subdued than they used to be; the wendigo is quite subtle compared to its brash cousin Lion and even the base release. Many brandy-aged beers hit you upside the head with boozy liqueur and fruit, but not this one. I hate that this is my last bottle, because it's drinking beautifully right now. The barrel is actually difficult to detect, only imparting a small bit of heat and hiding some of the orange and tea flavors from the base.
    argock, garymuchow, jrnyc and 2 others like this.
  8. ManapuaMan

    ManapuaMan Meyvn (1,082) Apr 3, 2015 Massachusetts
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Nothing wild going on here but I enjoyed a year-old bottle of Sunday Morning Stout. When I first tried the 2016 batch fresh I thought it was heavy on alcohol heat, which is fine, but also brought too much coffee-acidity and notes of burnt coffee grounds to the table. Figured some time would ware away those coffee notes and make it an overall more enjoyable beer for me. Definitely the case.

    Looks the same out of the bottle like it does fresh - black like fresh brewed dark roast with barely any head. The aroma let me know I was on the right track - subdued coffee, chocolate, fudge, oak and booze. Taste in order of prominence was chocolate, French roast coffee, bitter hops, oak, bourbon and toasted vanilla. Real nice balance this time around. With less acidity it felt more silky smooth and creamy on the backend. The alcohol heat is more like warmth. I'll pick up 2017 four pack and stash it away for a year to enjoy later.
    argock and jrnyc like this.
  9. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Disciple (348) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale

    This, and others that I'll report on subsequently, is the result of some fellow dog walkers giving me a box of beers they'd accumulated over time and probably weren't ever gonna drink. Nice deal, no? Poured into a Dogfish Head tulip it was a deep red with a moderate pinkish head. There was almost no alcohol taste and it was pleasantly sweet but I'm thinking this was aged a bit too much, and maybe in not the best conditions, because there was a distinct lack of interplay of flavors. Too bad, because I'm sure it could have been very good.
    argock, garymuchow and David_kent like this.
  10. youradhere

    youradhere Devotee (488) Feb 29, 2008 Washington
    Beer Trader

    2013 Deschutes Abyss

    Pours black with brown head, leaving behind thick lacing. Smell is bourbon, dark chocolate, heavy molasses, raisins, slight graham. Taste is chocolate upfront, bitter bakers chocolate on the back end, vanilla and bourbon bring up the rear, with roast coffee to finish. Mouthfeel is thick and sweet, carries the bitter chocolate flavors well and balanced, carbonation is low and prickly, and works to lighten the heavy flavors of the palate.

    Always a favorite for my cellar, and the beer that got me into beer collecting.
  11. gclaw4444

    gclaw4444 Initiate (142) Jul 30, 2015 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I had my 2015 Higher Math and 2016 Blaecorn Unidragon

    Higher math was still very strong, but not hot. Lost a lot of the cherry flavors and was definitely more chocolaty for a strong ale. It also seemed to lose the syrupy texture and was a lot smoother.

    Unidragon was good, I dont remember the last one I had so it's hard to compare flavor changes, though it seemed a bit bitter for a clown shoes stout. It was definitely really smooth for 12.5%, but i think i'll have to have one fresh, because sometimes i do like that high abv alcohol heat.
    argock, garymuchow and ManapuaMan like this.
  12. needs_more_dog

    needs_more_dog Initiate (128) Sep 13, 2016 Arizona

    The Bruery White Oak 1/21/16

    never had it before. picked up for st patty's day BOGO 50% off bombers at a local bottle shop (along with a dusty Meddler, rye-on-rye-on-rye, and Frucht Boysenberry). the smell is pretty much Belgian golden/pale and a weizen. some green apple skin/ slight lemon zest. I am really trying to get to the bourbon, it's there but fleeting. same with the caramel and vanilla. you get faint whiffs and its gone, and you want to find it again. very enticing. a brash first sip, overwhelming, but by the third all the components are coming together, like a band warming up. bourbon, caramel, vanilla; all in the taste much more than in the aroma. creamy, yet finishes dry. very balanced. overall, it is definitely as advertised, although my personal palate struggles to pick up coconut but no fault of the beer
  13. phildow

    phildow Initiate (173) Jan 6, 2013 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    2015 Dark Horse BBA Tres Blueberry Stout

    Pours dark, dark brown, almost black. Able to force a three finger, frothy medium/dark brown head that cascades up almost as if the beer were poured off nitro. Head lingers as a frothy, one finger.
    Smell is immediately blueberry, but a little bourbon creeps out. Smells almost like a bourbon barrel soaked blueberry pancake.
    First sip has a bit of roasty maltiness present right up front. Once you get past the roastiness, the blueberry is present, but it's not overwhelmingly sweet.
    Mouthfeel is slightly thin, but carbonation level makes this feel a lot more full bodied than the beer really is.
    After the last BBPt5 I had, I didn't have much hope for this to be holding up. I also haven't went after the subsequent releases to see how this compares to fresh versions, but I can say that it's aging quite well. Unlike some other adjunct stouts, the additions to the beer haven't aged in a way that throws the balance of flavor totally out of wack.
  14. ManapuaMan

    ManapuaMan Meyvn (1,082) Apr 3, 2015 Massachusetts
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Cracked open one of the first bottles I ever stashed in my cellar - 2015 Alesmith Speedway Stout. Knowing what I know now about my own personal tastes,I would not put a coffee stout away for longer than 6 months, and I would only do that for ones I feel are a bit too acidic or sweet.


    Certainly looks great - maybe a little less head than when fresh. The coffee is basically gone in both aroma and taste. It's mostly bitter chocolate, raisins, figs, dried cherries, char and smoke. Tastes like a RIS with hints of umami on the back end. Feel is velvety smooth and it's as thick and viscous as ever. This is one best enjoyed fresh.
    CaptainHate, argock, Prager62 and 3 others like this.
  15. garymuchow

    garymuchow Poo-Bah (2,809) Aug 31, 2001 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    2011 Old Rasputin
    I was hoping post a photo, but I'm not having any luck getting it here. Anyway, this started with a strong dark fruit aroma. On closer inspection a little oxidation showed and more dark malt. Flavor also holds a nice dark fruit taste, however, the body is really thin, like less than moderate, which seems weird. It takes away some from the drink. Still looks great. Nice tan head that lingers and leaves lots of lacing.
    This was worth it. The enhance fruit flavors are really enjoyable.
  16. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (4,271) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    2013 North Coast Old Stock Cellar Reserve

    muddy dark brown in color, small white head that eventually fades. heavenly aroma of rich bourbon - boozy vanilla, toffee, raisin, fig. taste is similar flavors - extremely bold yet drinkable. sticky mouthfeel, coats the tongue.

  17. Heretic42

    Heretic42 Devotee (411) Aug 31, 2011 Texas
    Beer Trader

    2013 New Glarus Apple Ale

    The last bottle I had of this was a couple of years ago and while not oxidized, the apple flavor had just fallen off with nothing really there to replace it. This bottle is miles better. The aroma is a fragrant, sweet, slightly caramelized apple. The taste has a healthy amount of apple followed by bits of cinnamon and green tea. The sweetness has fallen off/is masked a bit, which is mostly what I was going for when aging this.
  18. brother_rebus

    brother_rebus Crusader (750) Jul 28, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Did a Love Child No.5. It had a best by of 2/2017, so figured why not open it. It was increidbly sour. Took 5-6 sips to stop wincing. Destroyed my pallet. Super woody too. It felt really carbed still, which was expected. Looked a little browner than before, but nothing too offputting. Not a ton of fruit. The funk was palpable though. I think the lacto just dominated. It was enjoyable. But any more than 10oz and I would be gastrically wounded.
    ManapuaMan and Mongrel like this.
  19. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Disciple (348) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    2013 or 2015 Southern Tier Plum Noir

    This was another gift from fellow dog walkers who had a bunch of bottles in their basement. Couldn't tell from the date at the bottom if was from 2013 or 15. Poured an extremely dark brown with a very thin head. Could smell the plums but couldn't taste them through the chocolate porter flavors. I wish I'd had a chance to drink a fresh bottle as a control because some Southern Tiers, like Creme Brûlée, emphasize sweetness to the diabetic coma level and this was a nice contrast. A very enjoyable American Porter.
  20. youradhere

    youradhere Devotee (488) Feb 29, 2008 Washington
    Beer Trader

    2015 Goose Island BCBS

    Pours black with small brown cap of head, which quickly falls to leave barely a ring of lacing around the rim of the glass. Smell is juicy molasses and tobacco, some slight chocolate, vanilla bean. Taste is bright molasses and milk chocolate, some vanilla and coffee dance hidden in the palate. Mouthfeel is medium-dry with low carbonation. The body doesn't carry the flavors well, I find he flavors are gone after a few seconds while there is a distinct alcohol burn on the back end. A good sipper, probably better fresh, as I don't see much flavor developing any longer in the bottle.
  21. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (4,271) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    2010 Double Bastard

    hazy brown color with ruby highlights. thick tan head - good lacing and head retention. Aroma is piney hops. Taste starts with toffee and caramel flavors and finishes bitter and earthy hops. Just a touch of oxidation. Amazing that this beer is still bitter and fairly hoppy after 7 years in the cellar.

    youradhere and ManapuaMan like this.
  22. 4DAloveofSTOUT

    4DAloveofSTOUT Poo-Bah (2,276) Nov 28, 2008 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    2012 Bourbon County

    Served at cellar temp. poured into 2015 Bourbon County tulip glass manufactured by Spiegelau.

    Appearance: midnight black body. thick cap of dark brown head that settles down to a ring around the glass. Booze legs on the glass with each sip.

    Smell: Dark chocolate, vanilla, tobacco, and lots of oak / bourbon aroma.

    Taste: Bakers cocoa and dark chocolate that starts off the beer tasting slightly bitter. Rich sweetness rushes in. Tobacco, vanilla, bourbon, caramel, and a hint of cola. Getting a nice note of toasty and earthy oak. Finish is a flawless blending of light bitterness and rich sweetness. Smokey, oaky, bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate; all in balance as best as they could possibly be. The finish lingers on forever which is great because that will make this 12oz pour last for at least a few hours!

    Mouthfeel: full bodied beer. Low carbonation level that is adequate. Hinting of a booze bite that it a nice reminder that this beer is in fact 15% abv because it drinks much easier than the actual abv.

    Overall: I think that 2012 is starting to hit its sweet spot. This is drinking fantastic. The beer reminds me of the good old days of bourbon county in 4 packs and when the quality was still there (any vintage of bourbon county before 2015). Sigh...and I digress. Anyways... This is really nice and if you have a few bottles it would be a nice treat to crack one of these soon, you won't be disapointed!
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