This is my first post - grateful for any views
I have a lot of beer in the house, but tend to drink it quickly. I've kept a
few bottles of Fuller's Vintage, and a few of J.W. Lees Harvest ale, and I'm
about to buy some Thomas Hardy's deliberately to age it and see what
happens, but I've not made a real attempt to keep beer long-term. I'd like
to try, so can anyone recommend bottled ales that improve with age? I've yet
to drink any style I didn't like, so any suggestions would be great.
Tim a écrit :
- Harvey's Le Coq Imperial Double Stout
- Gale's Prize Old Ale
and of course, loads of belgian beers, many oof which I actually find a
lot better after 18 months in the cellar (not as thick and sweet)
The usual suspects would be for example :
- Rochefort 8
- Rochefort 10
- Chimay blue label
- Westvleteren 12
- De Ranke Guldenberg
- Liefmans Goudenband
- Boon Geuze (20 years BBE)
- most Cantillon produce (if you can bear such very dry and very sour
lambics, they've got 30 Years BBE)
Some non-belgian contenders would be :
- Lancelot XI.I (Brittanny)
- Baladin Noël (Italy)
- Baladin Elixir (Italy)
- Unibroue Maudite (Quebec)
- Unibroue Fin du Monde (Quebec)
- Eggenberger Samichlaus (Austria). Not bottle-conditioned, but at 14+
%, it's rather immune to the test of time. ;o)
Basically, the criteria would be :
1. bottle-conditioned (ie. with a live yeast)
2. either over 7 % ABV or over 6 % ABV if the hopping is on the heavy side
3. a decent cellar, stable at 12-14°C, with very little light and
stable, moderate humidity.
... and then, well, it's a hit-and-miss affair, really.
Some stronger beers seem to be unstable over time for no particular
reason, whilst a few lighter ones stand pretty well the test of time.
It's a bit of a "try as you go" process.
One point to look out for are corks. Whilst I've never had a problem
with the corks used on Prize Old Ale, I've had quite a few 75cl belgins
where the cork had tainted the beer, and believe me, it's very annoying.
To that respect, crown-corks can survive pretty well more than 15 years,
and won't give a nasty taste to your beer.
As to traditional gueuzes, they can't really get any sourer or smell
any mustier, so they've got rather indicative BBEs
Hope this helps !
Get them quick.
After this year the Prize will be brewed by Fullers (so they say) so it won't
be the pukka version.
And with Fuller's on the prowl for further pubs whose to say Harvey's won't be
on their shopping list :-(
To be fair they committed themselves to keep Gale's branding in the Gale's
along with Fuller's brewed Gale's beers.
But are they are keeping to their word?
The last 'Gale's' pub I went in was awash with Pride bar towels, Pride badged
glasses and on the bar - wait for it -
London Pride, ESB and HSB.
So that was a big commitment that seems to have been dropped already :-(
And while we are at it, add Palmers to the risk list.