Cellared Beer Reviews

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Man I have been supa slack on this thread.


Crushed at March Madness 2019.

Just delicious stuff, soft (not bitter) raisin feels, amazingly tempered alcohol, carbonation on point, good and mellow oakiness. Toffee/chocolate hints. Was totally trolling my buddy who brought it how Boulevard's BBQ was the best quad in the world, as if there was any doubt that this is the real champ. Mildest tobacco note made me realize we should have smoked a cigar with this instead of just crushing blunts all week.
 
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I swear this beer in March 2019 was better than it ever has been. I didn't get any oxidation, it was less sweet, more fudgy. The alcohol seemed very mild, was such an effortless drink. Carbonation was appopriate AF. I'm totally wondering when this (or the 2008 bottles I have) are actually going to be on the downside. This was literally the best bourbon barrel beer I've ever had.
 

BadJustin

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I swear this beer in March 2019 was better than it ever has been. I didn't get any oxidation, it was less sweet, more fudgy. The alcohol seemed very mild, was such an effortless drink. Carbonation was appopriate AF. I'm totally wondering when this (or the 2008 bottles I have) are actually going to be on the downside. This was literally the best bourbon barrel beer I've ever had.


I don't believe you.


















































send me one.
 
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I swear this beer in March 2019 was better than it ever has been. I didn't get any oxidation, it was less sweet, more fudgy. The alcohol seemed very mild, was such an effortless drink. Carbonation was appopriate AF. I'm totally wondering when this (or the 2008 bottles I have) are actually going to be on the downside. This was literally the best bourbon barrel beer I've ever had.
In November of 2017 I drank one and my thoughts pretty much mirrored yours. This year makes it 10 years old so I think i will open a bomber of it around Thanksgiving.
 
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I swear this beer in March 2019 was better than it ever has been. I didn't get any oxidation, it was less sweet, more fudgy. The alcohol seemed very mild, was such an effortless drink. Carbonation was appopriate AF. I'm totally wondering when this (or the 2008 bottles I have) are actually going to be on the downside. This was literally the best bourbon barrel beer I've ever had.
The GOAT.
 
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This came from F&M's recent cellar sale, which was all shockingly sold at original cost...

6/2015 bottling date, nice oak, some oxidation creeping in although I don't mind it to this degree. Nice herbal element without any discernible lime, and a slight metallic character, my gf thought it reminded her of blood, but not necessarily in a bad way? We both enjoyed and finished our pours, but I wouldn't gamble aging these much longer. The last one I had was doing better, and I have another I'm sure I'll open soon to compare.

 
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Toronado did a thing today:



Unknown age Hanssens Gueuze. I've had mid-90's Gueuzes from Hanssens at Toronado before (and later, too!), and they were in the standard label, so I would assume this is early 90's at the youngest. At any rate, it sure tasted old! Like a blend of sherry, still lambic, and balsamic vinegar. I bet jedwards would've loved it. Glad to try something with a label lambic.info hasn't seen before, but it wasn't good.



3F 1999: Amazing. This beer has always been spectacular and it continues to be phenomenal. Light, funk for days, pleasant mild acidity. Basically perfect.

1996 Bruocsella: On the other hand... This was not good. It was about halfway down the road the Hanssens was traveling. Also it smelled kinda like tuna fish? Weird. I've had some similarly old Bruocsella before that was great, and supposedly at least one of the other bottles today was good, but mine wasn't.



1987 JW Lees. This was fantastic, nice caramel/toffee, rich sugar plums, very light touch of acidity from age. Can't expect much better from a 32-year-old bottle.



1988 JW Lees. Just a touch worse than the '87, a little more of the unpleasant oxidation flavors, but still overall quite nice.



1989 JW Lees. On the other hand... this was horrid. Super sour, gross oxidation flavors. Really unfortunately bad bottle.



1990 JW Lees. This one was a nice improvement after the '89, but a clear step down from the other two. Less of the nice sherry/plum/toffee, more musty basement.

1993 Tom Hardy's. They had a 24-bottle case of this and I wish I could've hung out for longer and goaded them into selling me some, because this was nice. I'd say I enjoyed it about in line with '90 Lees, but it was much different. It was more like a dark chocolate bar, rather than a caramel plum. I've had more Lees than Hardy's, but I've had some Hardy's and don't recall that, it was neat.



2000 Stille Nacht Reserva (!!!!!!). I legitimately thought I'd never get to try this. It was never on any menus at the places it might show up in Belgium, and it was far too whaley for me to trade for. I also never cared too much since I don't recall the other vintages being up my alley, but this was really nice. It was lightly sour, but mostly just nice and fruity with some depth from the oxidation over time. It was delightful and I'm glad I tried it, and mystified at how long it lasted (I easily could have gotten multiple pours).



Fantome Winter 1998: I wasn't expecting to like these 'Tomes, but they were actually really good! This one was kinda like a blend of the SNR and one of the Lees, it had the backbone of a barleywine but a tartness over the top that worked better than you might expect.

Fantome Hiver 1998: Good saison, bitter finish. I took shitty notes with this one so don't have much.

I don't have pictures for the rest because I was in a bit of a rush to finish up so couldn't hang around to snag empty bottles, but here they are nonetheless:

Fantome La Dalmatienne (1996? the rest are '98's but '96 was the closest on Untappd, I didn't get the year from anyone). This one was sweet and sour, like honey peaches and some fresh saison. After these 3 'tomes maybe I need to start getting some others...

~1996 Hanssens Oude Gueuze: Might be the best nose I've ever experienced on a gueuze, just funk for days, super mouthwatering barnyard goodness, and then the taste was far too sour for me. Ended up giving most of mine to CharlieMurphy.

2009 Fou Foune: The apricots were a bit softer than fresh, the acidity was a bit higher, but overall really nice. Still not sure there's any point to aging these, but it was enjoyable.


Anyway, god bless Toronado, and may god have mercy on my intestines after all that old beer.
 
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2000 Stille Nacht Reserva (!!!!!!). I legitimately thought I'd never get to try this. It was never on any menus at the places it might show up in Belgium, and it was far too whaley for me to trade for. I also never cared too much since I don't recall the other vintages being up my alley, but this was really nice. It was lightly sour, but mostly just nice and fruity with some depth from the oxidation over time. It was delightful and I'm glad I tried it, and mystified at how long it lasted (I easily could have gotten multiple pours).
Oh my god.
 
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The Fantomes were really interesting and enjoyable, the barleywines were mostly misses/too old for my palette but a few were quite nice, and the GCB (tasted 2-3 bottles) was bad. 1996 Hanssens made me rethink their merit, wow. I wish I got a pour instead of a sip of 2003? Lam but it was good from what I could tell. Same with the 1999 3F.
 
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Toronado did a thing today:



Unknown age Hanssens Gueuze. I've had mid-90's Gueuzes from Hanssens at Toronado before (and later, too!), and they were in the standard label, so I would assume this is early 90's at the youngest. At any rate, it sure tasted old! Like a blend of sherry, still lambic, and balsamic vinegar. I bet jedwards would've loved it. Glad to try something with a label lambic.info hasn't seen before, but it wasn't good.



3F 1999: Amazing. This beer has always been spectacular and it continues to be phenomenal. Light, funk for days, pleasant mild acidity. Basically perfect.

1996 Bruocsella: On the other hand... This was not good. It was about halfway down the road the Hanssens was traveling. Also it smelled kinda like tuna fish? Weird. I've had some similarly old Bruocsella before that was great, and supposedly at least one of the other bottles today was good, but mine wasn't.



1987 JW Lees. This was fantastic, nice caramel/toffee, rich sugar plums, very light touch of acidity from age. Can't expect much better from a 32-year-old bottle.



1988 JW Lees. Just a touch worse than the '87, a little more of the unpleasant oxidation flavors, but still overall quite nice.



1989 JW Lees. On the other hand... this was horrid. Super sour, gross oxidation flavors. Really unfortunately bad bottle.



1990 JW Lees. This one was a nice improvement after the '89, but a clear step down from the other two. Less of the nice sherry/plum/toffee, more musty basement.

1993 Tom Hardy's. They had a 24-bottle case of this and I wish I could've hung out for longer and goaded them into selling me some, because this was nice. I'd say I enjoyed it about in line with '90 Lees, but it was much different. It was more like a dark chocolate bar, rather than a caramel plum. I've had more Lees than Hardy's, but I've had some Hardy's and don't recall that, it was neat.



2000 Stille Nacht Reserva (!!!!!!). I legitimately thought I'd never get to try this. It was never on any menus at the places it might show up in Belgium, and it was far too whaley for me to trade for. I also never cared too much since I don't recall the other vintages being up my alley, but this was really nice. It was lightly sour, but mostly just nice and fruity with some depth from the oxidation over time. It was delightful and I'm glad I tried it, and mystified at how long it lasted (I easily could have gotten multiple pours).



Fantome Winter 1998: I wasn't expecting to like these 'Tomes, but they were actually really good! This one was kinda like a blend of the SNR and one of the Lees, it had the backbone of a barleywine but a tartness over the top that worked better than you might expect.

Fantome Hiver 1998: Good saison, bitter finish. I took shitty notes with this one so don't have much.

I don't have pictures for the rest because I was in a bit of a rush to finish up so couldn't hang around to snag empty bottles, but here they are nonetheless:

Fantome La Dalmatienne (1996? the rest are '98's but '96 was the closest on Untappd, I didn't get the year from anyone). This one was sweet and sour, like honey peaches and some fresh saison. After these 3 'tomes maybe I need to start getting some others...

~1996 Hanssens Oude Gueuze: Might be the best nose I've ever experienced on a gueuze, just funk for days, super mouthwatering barnyard goodness, and then the taste was far too sour for me. Ended up giving most of mine to CharlieMurphy.

2009 Fou Foune: The apricots were a bit softer than fresh, the acidity was a bit higher, but overall really nice. Still not sure there's any point to aging these, but it was enjoyable.


Anyway, god bless Toronado, and may god have mercy on my intestines after all that old beer.
Wow, that must have been amazing! (And a few bucks as well.) I've got to get out there.
 
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Wow, that must have been amazing! (And a few bucks as well.) I've got to get out there.
It was not! I spent $30.
God damn my work retreat. What was the format? Were the tickets for the whale bottles?
You paid $25 for 10 tickets and a wristband, the tickets were good for anything except one ticket was specifically for Cantillon and another two were for Russian River, the idea being that they didn't want to run out of Loons and pH1 too fast. After that you could get more tickets at 2-for-$5. Some people bought a second set of 10 to get another Loon ticket. I mean, a 2-ounce pour of '03 Saint Lam or '09 Fou Foune would probably run ~$25 at some places anyway, the extra 9 beers are kinda just bonus.

I definitely wish I could've stuck around longer, and I hope Toronado has more ridiculous shit tucked away so they can do this again. I always have such a good time there, it's really hard to beat a good IPA and a Rosamund sausage, then you get all the ridiculous beers on top of it!
 
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Best thread on TB, easily.

Makes me want to continue to tuck away Gueuze and barleywine/ old ales, I'm pretty much out on aging stouts past 5yrs, not enough winners past that mark. I'll still do some RIS classics for 2-4yrs because I like ones that fall into that 'rested' category without getting soy saucey. I'm very reluctant to aged Bourbon Barrel Aged beers too, for one, they come pre-aged, and most of the time they start converging with the non-BA version, pretty rapidly, feels like a waste if they are significantly more expensive.

For true aging I'm sticking to pales clean beers and gueuze. I have a bunch of early fruited Tilquin, buried in the basement at my childhood home, I should probably take some of those out for a test run and see how they are holding up.
 
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It was pretty great. That Hanssens was a bummer tho. Was super pumped to try it. Also, IMO the ‘04(‘05?) 3F OG was better than the ‘99. The 1990 Thomas Hardy was not to my liking at all. I think they become a crapshoot at that age because I had an ‘86 at Toronado once that was wonderful.

Glad I took that pre-game Imodium AD...
 
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