Question about aging Barleywines

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by Jm5471, Dec 7, 2018 at 4:05 AM.

  1. Jm5471

    Jm5471 Initiate (38) Feb 19, 2017 New York

    i have a question about aging barley wines. First off they are some of my favorite beers. More so in the fall and winter months but nonetheless the English style less hopped is a great beer.

    Recently a beverage distributed which i frequented for 10+ years reopened. They were closed for 2-3 years and had been aging beers such as Bigfoot & Olde School. I was able to pick up some bottles of both from 2013 for decent prices.

    Do I continue to age them or enjoy them now? I am asking those who have aged them til tia point and or for 5 years or more and those who have enjoyed 2013 versions of both. Thanks for all of the help in advance.
  2. youradhere

    youradhere Zealot (516) Feb 29, 2008 Washington

    Do both- continue to age and drink. Sample some- do you like it? Then it’s aged enough. Still too much hop bitter, sugar sweetness, or alcohol heat- then age some more. Tastes kinda watered down, faded, a little cardboardy, anemic— too much age.

    I’ve heard that Bigfoot is aged by others for up to 20 years; I had a 12 yo BF and I felt it was too long aged and should have been drinked sooner. Others would argue it’s just hitting its stride— in other words if it is “just right” from aging is completely subjective (meaning “just right” is different for each person).

    So then, your only course of action is to crack open a BF and Olde School from ‘13 and see if that’s something that could use some toning down in the flavor department- if not, then drink up and earn that hangover!
    bl00 and Lahey like this.
  3. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (1,902) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Premium Trader

    I agree that this is a very subjective topic. I have had BF aged up to 13 years, and I loved it. If you are into the English style, I would say that 10 years on a BF is a great spot. I had a '13 recently and it was still very much on the American side of the style - lots of bitterness.
  4. CaptainHate

    CaptainHate Devotee (491) Apr 22, 2006 Ohio

    Patrick Dawson recommends 4-5 years for BF in Vintage Beer, arguing against further aging because he feels it lacks the requisite complexity. As Beersnake1 accurately states, it's subjective.

    Speaking of barleywines, have any of you cellared Jackie O's Bourbon Barrel Aged Brick Kiln? I had a fresh one of those bad boys recently and it was absolutely delicious but wanted to know if aging made it more so.
  5. darktronica

    darktronica Poo-Bah (1,844) Aug 29, 2014 Indiana
    Premium Trader

    My personal experience with BBA Brick Kiln leads me to recommend drinking within a year or two at most. After a year, I've started to pick up more orange gumdrop and black tea notes from it, as signs of oxidation.
    Beer_Economicus and CaptainHate like this.