Cellared Beer Reviews

Discussion in 'Cellaring Beer' started by Treebs, May 9, 2015.

  1. anteater

    anteater

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Popped a few gems from the cellar over the weekend...

    2013 BCBS: Drinking really great, not the most depth of any stout I've had but really nice and mellow.
    2013 BCBBW: One of the best barleywines I've had, so much caramel vanilla figgy bourbon goodness.
    2014 Mother of all Storms: No BCBBW, but really good, MOAS might even peak at 2 years based on other bottles I've had
    2014 Kuhnhenn Solstice Stout: Probably a top 20 beer for me, take everything from BCBBW and add another layer of roasty chocolately depth, amplify the intensity while somehow keeping it impossibly smooth and you have Solstice Stout. Holy shit.
     
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  2. [​IMG][​IMG]

    Bottled on April Fools Day 2010. Drank 11/12/16

    Noticeably the aroma/taste/mouth feel were much tamer than when fresh. When fresh, I got a real hot experience. Tempered down here. Still not great by any means, but 6.5 years really did help this beer go from a rubbing alcohol like dominance into more of a woody experience. The bourbon was real feint, the barleywine base was more toffee like instead of sweet. Super mild oxidation notes.

    I wouldn't bang this beer again, but if I did happen to come into acquisition, I would definitely lay it down for some time.
     
  3. stakem

    stakem

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    Apr 11, 2013
    Location:
    Pee Eigh
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    I dont know if every vintage is as good as this one or if all of them hold up as well as this one has but it was fantastic and im surprised this brew doesnt come up more frequently in discussion. Maybe I liked it so much because I only paid like $3 for it ~8ish years ago.

    Anyway, very minimal oxidative character to be found. Frankly, I had to seek it out to even notice it. The rest of this brew's profile was all about the bready/biscuit/toasted malts, caramel and vanilla supported by layers of fruited alcohol. I drank this at cellar temp and would highly recommend it.
     
  4. Mwamwahha

    Mwamwahha

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2016
    Location:
    Malaysia


    Buxton - Rain Shadow 11.8% ABV bottled on the 3rd of September 2014.

    I had this beer about a two years ago when it was rather fresh. The alcohol was extremely prominent and made it quite unpleasant as a beer to drink. There were dark chocolate notes that ended in an intense bitter finish.

    Two years on this is a much more enjoyable beer. Almost no detectable alcohol presence despite being 11.8% ABV with a smooth velvety mouthfeel. The dark chocolate was still there but much stronger with dark fruits like figs and raisins. The finish was much better with a dry cocoa note which lingered till the next sip. This beer in my opinion definitely improved with cellaring. I will probably do the same with the Single Barrel edition of this beer they just released.
     
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    2009 Half Acre Baume Rye Stout, acquired IP @ DLD 2010, drank 11/20/16

    Wow, this is so red wine like. Lots of dark fruit, earthen dank, moderate oxidization, smoothed out, this was definitely hitting the bitter and hoppy notes 6-7 years ago. The rye is almost absent, became more like oats with the smoothness. No drop off in carbonation. Seemed likely thinner than it seemed at first. What finished dry originally, isn't there, its still waves of prune, plum, fig. It isn't sweet. This has changed a lot. Hops, gone, malty heft, gone, bitterness, gone, rye (which was never huge in the 1st place), gone. In place of all that is just a bunch of wine cellar with the most non sweetened toffee notes ever. Used to get roast out of the malt, that isn't present anymore either.

    Basically, if you want this beer to drink like a BDSA, age it for 7 years.

    While I would conclude this beer got "worse" over the years, it was worth it just for the substantial changes it went through. Science or something.
     
  6. quirkzoo

    quirkzoo

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    [​IMG]

    Bottle dates are roughly every two months from 6/11 to 6/12

    Red: Slight gusher, bled it off for a couple of minutes, super bretty, very funky, not much else, good but not significantly better than fresh. Huge Hawthorn Berry bomb [not serious, I have no idea what a hawthorn berry even is, let alone what it tastes like]

    Orange (basis for St. Bretta): Gusher, tried to bleed it off and it gurgled through the cap. Tons of tangelo on the nose, very citrus forward with just a touch of nail polish that makes it almost seem like an artificial orange flavor

    Yellow: Normal carbonation from here on out. Great beer, perhaps the "most improved" beer of the night. Fresh it had a funky curry thing going on (turmeric, coriander, and "spices"). It has picked up a nice tart aspect with the honey and the mango adding a soft "fruitiness" and the spices fading into a complimentary note.

    Green (basis for Hop Savant): Hot tire fire phenol dumpster. When released Chad mentioned that this beer was an experiment to see how Brett would interact with the hop compounds over extended aging. In this bottle at least the answer is, "not in a good way". This was one of my favorites fresh and this was a terrible beer, everybody took one or two sips and poured out the rest

    Blue: Spruce adds an interesting menthol/mint type flavor, interesting beer but not particularly good

    Indigo: Blueberry sour, say no more. Great beer, it has aged well and gained depth, I remember it being very good fresh and it is still a very good beer

    Violet: Very good beer, this was actually the only one I hadn't had fresh as the rest were all "shelf-turds" back in the day and this one was a release at the brewery and it turned into a shit-show. It has a nice bright acidity, with a soft pomegranate flavor, the violets and lavender add a touch of complexity that compliment the rest of the beer.

    The consensus among the group was Y, I, V were very good and/or improved with age, R, O, B were good but not necessarily improved or highly desired and G was a fun experiment that clearly didn't work.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2016
  7. stakem

    stakem

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Location:
    Pee Eigh
    So, its pretty rare that I post something in this thread relating to a beer that is only a year old (or less) but since this is the best place for this sorta discussion, im gonna go ahead and do it anyway.
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    I opened both cognac and grand cru from last year. These were my first tastes of any of last year's eclipse releases. 2 years ago, something seemed different with eclipse like they were green/young tasting and just not ready. So last year when I got bottles I decided to wait a year before touching any.

    Something was up with the cognac that I wasnt crazy about. It had a bit of green vegetal taste even after almost a years time. It almost reminded me of how some coffee beers have a bell pepper sorta character. Additionally, it smelled and tasted quite oxidized, like moreso than it should have for only being a year old. The grand cru was different, it did not display the oxidation and the barrel influence was much different but it too had a slight vegetal aftertaste. Halfway through each bottle I told myself to stop being a bitch and just enjoy them so I did but I think thats mostly because I numbed my taste to the point of not caring anymore.

    I remain optimistic of the upcoming eclipse release and finally getting an apple brandy treatment but this might be the end of my run with these brews, it just seems like something has changed about them.
     
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  8. stupac2

    stupac2

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2013
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    I've had the cognac a few times and never got anything like that.

    Personally, I tend to open my Eclipses at 2-4 years old. For whatever reason I really like it with age, and haven't noticed much of a drop off from '10 to '13 at decent age, I'd be surprised if the other ones fell off too. It always seems hit-or-miss fresh to me.

    I'm super bummed to not be going to the party, I'd been to all of them but the first, oh well. Hopefully there will be an event during beer week or something where I can try them fresh without shelling out $30/bottle.
     
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  9. stakem

    stakem

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    Hopefully my cognac experience was just a wildcard outlier.

    You and I have different taste preferences. I remember a discussion in the past regarding masterpiece and how I loved it fresh and you said it was hot/needed time. I just feel something is different with eclipse these past couple years. It could just be me...but going back 3-6 years all I could remember about eclipse was the wonderful barrel flavors that were imparted in every iteration I had and now it seems like there is less barrel and more base beer.

    Edit.... now damnit, now that I think about it. Wasnt it just a couple years ago that they bumped up the recipe/alcohol in an attempt to make the beers more viscous? Fucking a, thats when I started noticing these differences. Is it possile they not only upped the malts but hops too?
     
  10. stupac2

    stupac2

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2013
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    I think you're mixing up two different things:

    1) Starting in 2013 the ABV on the labels went from 9.5% to 11.X%, but I don't believe there was a recipe change, rather the 9.5% was always laughable. That's just the ABV of Totality, but barrel-aged beers gain ABV and Eclipse was clearly over 11% the whole time.
    2) In 2014 they specifically changed the recipe but just for Masterpiece, because they were trying to recreate the original Pappy Eclipse which was, apparently, a different recipe than the others.

    Now, the caveat to this is that at some point the brewer switched from being primarily Todd to primarily Alyssa, I believe in 2013 (because she, not Todd, signed the party bottles), but I don't remember for sure. I'd be moderately surprised if this made much of a difference because I have a hard time believing that Todd was doing the actual hands-on brewing at any point since the very early years, but who knows? All I can say is that I don't think fresh Eclipse has gotten noticeably worse, but I was never super in love with it fresh anyway. The outcomes of the various barrel treatments seem a bit more random now than they used to (ie Brandy and Rye were self-similar year-to-year), so I get being less in love with it. But who knows why that could be? And it could also just be my imagination.

    Oh, and FWIW I had a Pappy Masterpiece recently and thought it was a lot better than at release.
     
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  11. davey101

    davey101

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Location:
    Vernon, Connecticut
    2012 My Antonia. I love aged DFH hoppy stuff for some reason. Things like Liquor De Malt, Golden Shower, Z'wandenale and 120 Minute all take on this great oxidized hoppy note that I've only really experienced from DFH. It's hard to explain but it's like crisp caramelized wet cardboard in the best possible way. This is really showcasing that element. Nose is really smooth and complex, taste is lingering caramel and oxidation. Highly drinkable and not even close to what it tastes like fresh. Love it.
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  12. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Did a 3 year vertical of Older Viscosity (2009 - 2011) yesterday (in the garage making it super authentic, we even spilled a little right where an oil spill would be on the floor).

    They ranged from 2009: no carbonation, to 2010, as little carbonation a beer can have and be more than "none" and 2011, barely more than the 2010.

    2009 was super fudge dark brownie batter. 2010 was more sticky vanilla and caramel going on. 2011 was the best, as it was the mildest and most balanced between oak, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon mouth feel.

    We kept an Old Viscosity and a Serpent's Stout ready to blend if anyone wanted carbonation with theirs. But ultimately everyone passed and liked the beers super under carbed as they were. If any beer can get away with carb issues, its a style/setup like this.
     
  13. BulkCarrier

    BulkCarrier

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    Apr 26, 2014
    Location:
    Lake Champlain
    [​IMG]

    x-posting from DDT 11/24/16.

    Oddly enough, I actually was expecting the worse, but this 2014 vintage Doppelbock brought the sweet raisin-ish to nutmeg and allspice spices to align finely with a smooth lager yeasty breadiness. Subtle milk to dark chocolate flavors move sweetly in with a subtle underscore of the bitterness from the dark chocolate. Roasty nutty effects are further underneath.
    Was my Thanksgiving good today? Why yes it was. An aged doppelbock smoothing things out and getting me ready for Winter.
     
  14. BadJustin

    BadJustin

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    Oct 2, 2013
    Location:
    Here
    The nose is port wine, tawny port. Dried raisins, plums and figs. Slight hiss when opened. Surprisingly still ever so slightly carbed. Carb dissipates quick to leave a medium bodied, off dry banger. The taste follows the nose with flavors. We were both pleased as there can't be that many of these left out there.


    I also broke this glass after finishing my pour. That's the worst part about this post. Fuck.

    Yes, that's my daughter drinking milk out of a pink TB taster. Deal with it.


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  15. FTowne

    FTowne

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    Apr 5, 2013
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    Home
    My kid loves drinking milk, juice, water or whatever out of my beer glasses. Makes her feel "fancy".
     
  16. BadJustin

    BadJustin

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    Exactly! The 3 adults were, she wanted to as well. Not going to tell her no. :)
     
  17. BadJustin

    BadJustin

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    We keep rolling....


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  18. BadJustin

    BadJustin

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    Wrong thread. Wondered where that one went. I'm drunk. Sorry, chucklefucks.
     
  19. BulkCarrier

    BulkCarrier

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Location:
    Lake Champlain
    [​IMG]

    As my shitty photography shows, faintly the "2015" shows slightly. But my take on this one has a ton of dark fruits, quite fig-like with some allspice, ginger and muted cinnamon. Toffee, caramel, vanilla tones invade sly earthy toned hops. Always a treat this time of year.
     
  20. Espeer

    Espeer

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
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    2009 C&C La Folie. Visited my brother in San Diego a few weeks ago. He bought this for me at the brewery after striking out during a visit there in 2008. They felt bad for not having it in Stock the first time so sent him home with a few six packs gratis.

    Anyway, I had been looking forward to this beer for years. It was so freaking sour. Delicious, but half the bottle was too much. It was an awesome end to a great day - A+ in context. A- if judged stand alone.