Regular Berben Country Vertical

Discussion in 'Cellaring Beer' started by BoatsAndHoes, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. BoatsAndHoes

    BoatsAndHoes

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    Columbus
    Hey All, my friend is being kind enough to share his BCBS from '13 dating back to '05 (others are supplying '14 and '15 for science).

    Has anyone blown the dust off the older vintages recently? Just wondering what kind of surprises (or not surprises) we have in store.

    Cheers!
     
  2. olympuszymurgus

    olympuszymurgus

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    May 14, 2013
    Had a properly cared for 07 a few months ago, it was surprisingly good. It was oxidized to shit, but it was a nobler sherry oxidation, not soy or cardboard. Best of luck, anything older than 08 is a crapshoot.
     
  3. axeman9182

    axeman9182

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    Apr 5, 2013
    Had my last 08 a little over two years ago and it was great, but if I had to guess I'd say it's going downhill by this point. Tried an 07 a couple years ago and thought it was already clearly past its prime. Would definitely be curious to see some feedback from this tasting though.
     
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  4. BoatsAndHoes

    BoatsAndHoes

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    Will report back. It could be a while, coordinating schedules around the holidays is a bummer :(
     
  5. lurchingbeast

    lurchingbeast

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    Apr 11, 2013
    My vert only goes back to '07 but I have drank about a case of that vintage over the last 2 years. The twist off caps mean TONS of bottle variation. It will be flat and probably oxidized. Some are good, some are truly awful. The bottles with lighter oxidation are still very good.
     
  6. BoatsAndHoes

    BoatsAndHoes

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    [​IMG]

    I had no idea. This is definitely going to be an educational share
     
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  7. pmoney

    pmoney

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    Location:
    Illinois
    2006 is usually pretty fudgy.
    2007 has always been my least favorite. Every bottle I've had has been extremely oxidized.
    2008 was always one of the best, but is probably a little over the hill.
    Same with 2009 or at least that'll be the case soon.
    2010 has always been my second least favorite. Thinner, boozy, and less complex.
    2011 and 2013 are stellar.
    2012 and 2014 are a notch below '11 and '13 from what I recall, but still quite good.
    I loved 2015. Much less heat fresh, huge body, and plenty of barrel character.
     
  8. Jb123

    Jb123

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    Linwood, Michigan
    I had 2009-14. 2012 stood out to the four guys doing it! 2010-11 both great. 2009 way passed its prime....13-14 great too. It's really all personal preference but I think 2012 was the best to all four of us :) can't wait to crush hoof Hearted with my brother in law on xmas :)
     
  9. BoatsAndHoes

    BoatsAndHoes

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    I didn't have anything left in the tank to drink today, so I missed the share. Maybe TDBuck or masterofsparks could chime in ;)

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. TDBuck

    TDBuck

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    Columbus, OH
    [​IMG]

    Not one bottle had any sign of heavy oxidation or anything. 2010 and 2011 were favorites spread out among a few of us. We were all pleasantly surprised by all of them. We expected one or two to taste of cardboard.

    However gpawned stored these before giving them to me should be the standard....and thanks again Josh
     
  11. bwcampbell

    bwcampbell

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    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Unbreakabolt

    Unbreakabolt

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    Sep 6, 2014
    What level of variation were you able to perceive going down the line? We just had a big group do 09-15 and my biggest takeaway from the experience was an amazing level of consistency from year to year. The differences I could pick up were mostly related to carbonation or thickness of mouthfeel not as much the flavor.

    11 has always been one of my favorites and the 09 bomber was still drinking awesome. 15 was as good fresh as any year I can remember and the only year that was a notch below the others was 13, which had the highest carbonation.
     
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  13. TDBuck

    TDBuck

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    A lot of us were in agreement that there was no major variations over the years and it really was pretty consistent. We honesty didn't take notes or anything like that but there were little things like one year having a bit more chocolate flavor or other small things like that. Most of the variation came from mouthfeel/carb level.

    Maybe Cynic-ale can chime in as well but like I said we were doing this for fun and none of us really got scientific about it.
     
  14. axeman9182

    axeman9182

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    Apr 5, 2013
    Definitely agree on how good the 15 is right out of the gate. Prefer it to the 14 I had on draft a couple weeks ago.

    Made reservations at a beer bar for NYE where you get to pick one bottle from their cellar stash with your reservation. We got one of the last 12 Boubon County bottles they made available, looking forward to see how that's doing.
     
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  15. Cynic-ale

    Cynic-ale

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    Sep 28, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I prefer BCBS fresh, as it tends to have shaper edges in terms of taste. More bourbon and more booze compared to cellared bottles. '15 is a great batch. Recent years compared very well, I'd say going back to around '13. After that it was somewhat softer, less booze and heat. Bourbon was still there but chocolate, fudge and roasted notes start to appear more clearly in '12 and prior. It seemed to me that pattern held true back to '05. That is, prominent notes in older bottles are fudge and dark fruites, like raisins. More recent vintages had more bourbon and booze.

    Overall, I was impressed how well it held up, even back to '05. I assume the bottles we had were stored properly because none were oxidized messes. It's an impressive beer. Still, best enjoyed fresh, IMO.

    Thanks again, Tyler!
     
  16. Unbreakabolt

    Unbreakabolt

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    Sep 6, 2014
    I think this is spot on. The balance of barrel and the base beer is so impressive fresh I think it loses a little luster with significant age. I d think 1.5-2 years of age is the sweet spot.
     
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  17. lurchingbeast

    lurchingbeast

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    Apr 11, 2013
    While it may be imperceptible now, there was a time when Bourbon County was almost undrinkably hot when fresh. They used to blend barrels at 100 days instead of when it was deemed ready. It is no coincidence that more recent vintages of BCS are better right out of the gate.

    I have always wondered if the newer vintages would hold up as long/well as the '05-'09s did.
     
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  18. olympuszymurgus

    olympuszymurgus

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    May 14, 2013
    This interests me a lot. Thinking about how they were handled(and having zero knowledge of how Goose Island has operated, just a fair bit of modern brewery experience) I would think theres some major tradeoffs as the years have gone on how the beers will age.

    Likely they used to transfer with head space pressure at best, gravity at worst. This beats up the beer a bit, and isn't as O2 safe as a diaphragm pump which they probably use now. So more O2 during transfer before.

    Less time in the barrels means less O2, which is good for the beer. So less O2 before.

    But what kind of bottling equipment were they using? an old maheen? maybe a older italian machine? Not likely a krones or even a modern rotary line. And then there's the screw caps, dear god. Anybody know what equipment they have now/had before?

    It's pretty funny, in the end, when all of us beer geeks try to compare a fledgling breweries B1 imperial stout to the 15th year Imperial stout. Its likely as similar as comparing their 15th year stout to a different breweries stout.
     
  19. Beerontwowheels

    Beerontwowheels

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  20. ASak10

    ASak10

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    Figured this was as good a spot as any to put this in.

    [​IMG]

    Did a mini vert of BCBS and BCBBW. Among the three of us consensus on regular was 15 > 13 > 14. For the BW it was 13 > 15 > 14. Not sure what's up with the 14 batches for both but for the BW, it just lacked the depth and richness of 13 and even 15. I was surprised by how much I liked 15, as I had a pour on draft and didn't enjoy it as much but the bottle was great. The current batch of BCBS is just perfect though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
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