Special Occasion Beers

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by ajcormier, Apr 18, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ajcormier

    ajcormier Initiate (0) Nov 18, 2010 New Hampshire

    So I've been amassing a few beers over the past few years and some of which are reaching their prime drinking age. So, I'd better start imbibing. I would like to hold onto a few though to crack open on special occasions. Such as news of a pregnant wife, or first born child, wedding of a dear friend, death of a family member.

    What are some of the beers you've opened for special occasions in your life?

    I'm saving a 2010, '11, '12 Kate, Kabert and Black Albert for the birth of my first born, soon to be.
  2. xxbillay

    xxbillay Initiate (0) May 31, 2012 New Jersey

    I have a 2011 wws that I've been saving for something special, just not sure what.

    I also just picked up a sucaba a few weeks ago for when I graduate the police academy next month.

    Also, not one of my best ideas, but totally one of my best ideas: a buddy and I purchased a 4 pack of 120 minute to celebrate our college graduation last year. So before graduation we wake up nice and early, and kill the 4 pack. Good times, good times.
    Brehnert likes this.
  3. beerborn

    beerborn Initiate (0) Jan 22, 2012 Georgia

    I opened a year old BCBS for a 'thank you' night with the gf. She knows how much I love beer so it was a subtle way of showing that she means more in the long run.

    Also have planned a Cherry Rye and DL 2010 (soon to be) planned for my graduation and commissioning ceremonies in the next two weeks.
  4. traPISSED

    traPISSED Initiate (0) Apr 18, 2013 Brazil

    I didn't cellar them but a very good friend of mine opened up such a good line up for my wedding dinner. It included Cantillon Blabaer, Cantillon Zwanze 2009, 2004 vintage 3F Gueuze Magnum, Schneider Mein Nelson Sauvin and our own fruit lambic which was a blackberry fruit lambic made with 100% single vintage Girardin Jonge lambic and aged in a wine barrel. That was a tasty lunch and I hope to do the same for my friend one day.
    GRG1313 likes this.
  5. dckepley

    dckepley Aspirant (201) Aug 13, 2006 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    1) BCBS Rare on my birthday last year with a buddy.
    2) This July will be the birth of my baby boy. I'm still trying to figure out my celebration beer.
    Lledd likes this.
  6. tinypyramids

    tinypyramids Initiate (0) Jul 19, 2012 Illinois

    saving my bcbs rare for my 30th birthday, one year from tomorrow.
  7. GRG1313

    GRG1313 Poo-Bah (3,472) Jan 15, 2009 California
    Supporter Beer Trader

    This is one of the very few and absolutely perfect examples of using aged beer and of aging beer that could be aged with some interesting and nice results. Kudos! Someone, in my opinion, knew what they were doing with the above. While I still like Blabaer fresh, it remains good with some age and the others above mentioned also age well.

    However, some of the other examples in this thread are going to make for some very disappointed people, other than the few who are opening bottles in the short run.

    Kate is amazing fresh and while decent with age it loses the "amazing" part of its character. Black Albert starts to taste like charcoal with age and I didn't like Kabert sufficient to finish the fresh bottle, none the less believe that it had/has any aging potential.

    The Firestone Walkers will age decently for about 2 years. More than that and they really fall off....big time.

    The above is just my opinion based on multiple tastings and experience with these beers (and many more!) People seem to think that the big stouts are the ones to age - my opinion is quite the contrary. The big stouts become little stouts.

    Much more importantly, and it's become my mantra, I truly hope people that enjoy beer sufficiently to write on this forum have the were-with-all to try a beer first, when fresh, before aging. That way, you can decide what you think is going to happen and you can determine how much time may be needed to get out of the beer what you want out of the beer (instead of what the brewer intended - which is what you get when fresh).

    (I continue to open dozens of bottles a week from my cellar to taste and see how aging is treating them. Almost to a beer I can tell you that I've ruined (and likely I'm still ruining) dozens upon dozens of bottles by keeping most of them longer than two years.....most of them ruined or sufficiently inferior from fresh after only a year. I exclude from this example most gueuzes and lambics and sours which is a different discussion).

    While my "experiment" continues, suffice it to say that I'm throwing away hundreds of dollars, not counting the not inexpensive costs of cellaring. I just went through about a case and a half of 2009 bottles the past week. None were "better" than fresh of those "cellared." This does not include the Cantillons, 3Fs, De Cams or Hannsens that I opened and, of course, there are other exceptions. I do believe, however, that my initial conclusion is the rule, not the exception.

    Just my two cents.
    Stroso and stupac2 like this.
  8. strohme2

    strohme2 Champion (801) Nov 3, 2007 Michigan
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I opened Utopias (2009? I think) last year on my birthday and the day before my twin boys were born and this year I'll open a King Henry to celebrate our birthdays.
  9. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    I've become convinced of this too. I think that with the exception of lambic (and I still prefer a lot of fruit lambics fresh) very few beers age for a long time, and the longer you age the better your cellar needs to be to get away with it. The only beers I have that I plan on aging for longer than a year are:

    1) Lambic
    2) BCBS (that will only go 3-4 years)
    3) Black Tuesday and derivatives
    4) Temptation/Beatification
    5) A handful of trappist beers

    Everything else should be drank sooner, if it lasts it's because I haven't gotten around to it, not because I really want to age it.

    As for the OP's question, I'll be drinking my last Rare on my birthday in a few weeks, after that I don't really have anything earmarked. I did track down a Cantillon Framboise from my girlfriend's birth year for her 30th, that was fun.
    CityofBals and GRG1313 like this.
  10. JasonLovesBeer

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

    I'm curious then what the opinion would be on say an imperial stout (bourbon barrel aged) that has a Best AFTER date stamped on it of 2015. I have 8 of said beer in my cellar (I've drank one fresh, will have another in the coming months, and then try to space the remainder out over the next 4-5 years depending on findings)

    I agree there is no point in cellaring a beer you have not tried fresh! Boggles the mind why anyone would do that at all.
  11. ColdOne

    ColdOne Aspirant (220) Jan 19, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    I've got an Ithaca Brute that I've been saving for TAP NY. The only place to crack it is when I'm surrounded by people who will really appreciate it.
  12. Stroso

    Stroso Initiate (0) Mar 25, 2006 New Mexico

    I agree with the "try before they die" mentality. Drink them up fresh, if you really like it, add one to the collection. I'm not so much into aging, as I am with collecting. A few I'll keep around for 2+ years, the majority I keep around long enough to show friends and family that care, then invite them over to consume. I've always been prone to the collectors mentality, so I'll keep just about anything, many times to it's detriment. This goes back to the drinking fresh thing, drink it first, keep it later.

    That being said, I had an 04-07 Stone IRS vert in December 2012 that actually held up quite nice (maybe because we had cracked may verts before, including two back to back vert epic runs, eh.). The chocolate was almost overwhelming, but man were those some beers to remember.
    xxbillay and ColdOne like this.
  13. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Best After dates are among the most moronic things in beer. If the beer was really better after that date the brewer should hold onto until then. It's a marketing ploy and nothing more, and anyone using it should be ashamed. (And yes, I know Deschutes uses it. Their beer isn't better after that date.)
  14. BlackDragon

    BlackDragon Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2013 Michigan

    I like that they release it before the supposed best after date their will always be someone who likes it fresher even if everyone else likes it aged. The brewer is giving customers control of when they drink it even if it mean some people may drink it to early not like it and tell other people they don't like it. Seems like the brewer took a risk to get the beer into peoples hands as fast as possible.
  15. errantnight

    errantnight Meyvn (1,086) Jul 7, 2005 Iowa
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    The risk would be to hold onto the stock (which costs money) and risk infection setting in (or I guess more accurately, taking off) or letting it age past its prime, not in selling it "too soon."
  16. Ol_Johnny_Skippelwicky

    Ol_Johnny_Skippelwicky Aspirant (275) Feb 13, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I've starting cellaring beers for opening at Christmas. So far I've got Delirium Noel, Noel de Calabaza, Jewbelation, N'ice Chouffe, and Boom Island Yule. I'll keep adding new ones each year.
  17. FreshmanPour77

    FreshmanPour77 Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2009 Minnesota

    I admit I have too much beer sitting in my "cellar" or unfinished crawl space, which ever you prefer to call it. I am starting to crack open brews more often lately and put a big hold on trades. I am however keeping two Thomas Hardy brews for when my kids turn 21 in 2027 and 2029. Other than that all my brews are pretty open for cracking open and enjoying!
  18. Lledd

    Lledd Initiate (0) Apr 23, 2013 Massachusetts

    Im new to cellaring. Is it true that with age "booziness" will fade? Will prominent flavors fade? For example, I loved LA Serpent's Stout, but I'm aging a bottle to subdue the booziness. And I'm aging a Labyrinth to ease off the licorice flavor.
  19. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    It depends, it does seem to sometimes, but I don't know of any evidence that that's anything other than other flavors changing to mask it. It's a bit hard because aging studies with beer are typically done with low-ABV mass-market beers, and so you get great information about some flavor changes like oxidation, etc, but basically nothing on booziness. And I don't think spirits or wine will be comparable at all. So it's hard to say.

    I've also never heard of licorice fading, but I hate licorice so I wouldn't pay attention to that anyway. It probably does.
    Lledd likes this.
  20. Ahappyhiker2

    Ahappyhiker2 Initiate (93) Mar 27, 2013 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Quite a few. I think its important to open rare beers that aren't declining on occasion because it just means alot more.

    -Kate the Great the day I graduated college
    -BCBVS, Beatification and Cantillon Iris on my graduation party
    -Barrel-Aged Hi-Fi Rye when I was finally offered a job
    -BCBS, Westy 12, Kern Citra on Superbowl 2012
    -Hunahpu's, Fourteen Fourteen, Art, and Arthur on Superbowl 2013
    -HotD Matt, The Abyss, Tart of Darkness on my birthday this year

    There are probably many more beers I've drank on occasion, but these are a few examples.
  21. DevilDancer

    DevilDancer Initiate (0) Apr 8, 2013 Michigan

    I'm probably going to pick up some hunah and DL for my birthday, I have a bottle of CBS for if I get into my MA.
  22. ET678

    ET678 Initiate (0) Mar 10, 2013 Florida

    I have a KRE that I will probably drink on my anniversary in July since its one of the few things my wife will actually drink.
  23. 4DAloveofSTOUT

    4DAloveofSTOUT Poo-Bah (2,313) Nov 28, 2008 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Your avatar looks older than 30! Is it a self portrait?
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.