After my Christmas read, Vintage Beer by Patrick Dawson, I’ve been inspired to be more experimental with the beers I should save and ensure that I also well document the beers currently in my cellar.
It’s a really good read for the relative newcomer like myself to the concept of aging beer. The books goes through the rules of vintage beer, determining vintage potential and some extensive cellar tasting notes for fresh beer versus it aged equivalent.
The book does a really good job of making you think about a beer’s aging potential, there are some details about the underlying science about why the flavors change but it doesn’t get too deep if you don’t want to get into the nitty gritty details.
This weekend I purchased a 4-pack of Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Chocolate Stout. Two of which were consumed fresh and two of which I will cellar and this is a strategy I will probably use going forward, allowing me to gauge the prospects of the young beer. I made some tasting notes for the fresh beer and will compare that to the aged beer when its opened in the upcoming few years.
My project for Sunday was to handwrite a tag for each cellared beer allowing me to quickly glance at it’s name, bottled on date and ABV. There are no hard and fast rules as to when I’ll drink each beer but I will use Dawson’s tasting notes as starting point for when the beer may hit is peak flavor. But I have a feeling a lot of it will be trial and error.
Unfortunately, each beer is rather unique in terms of it’s ingredients, fermentation and ABV. To make an assumption that different beers of the same style would age the same could be a mistake because there are some many variables that come into play.
I’m intrigued by what the future holds for these aged beers. I’m sure some of them will be greatly transformed allowing new flavor notes to come to the forefront whilst others will be past their prime and borderline undrinkable. I guess that’s the integral part of the gamble a beer collector is willing to take.bourbon county, upland brewing