I’ve been wanting to do this for a while but have never managed to get round to it, start to age some beers that is. It’s taken so long for two reasons really, time and lack of it, plus the fact that I’ve never had enough beers that fit the bill around long enough to start..
So to start the ball well and truly rolling, this month I placed an order which included a few extras so that I could taste specific beers fresh, then set another aside for the ageing process. These have joined others that I have amassed and set aside over the last 6 months. Finally though, I am able to introduce you to, project “Time Capsule”
It’s nothing to look at I know, just an old beer delivery box, but once filled, sealed and placed in a coolish dark place, I’m confident that it should provide a decent enough environment which is about as close as I can get to a real beer cellar.
For those who have not ever tried this before, I am reliably informed that basically you just need somewhere with a pretty constantly cool temperature without too much fluctuation. It also needs to be dark or at least certainly not in sunlight to prevent the beers getting light-struck.
Beer choices are partly trial and error and some through research. Some beers suit ageing better than others, high alcohol Belgian Trappist beers for example, but avoid anything light and hoppy as they really need to be drunk fresh. I’ve thrown a few in here that may not really fit the bill but as it’s a first time attempt then I’ll learn as I go.
So what’s in the box so far?
6 x Westvleteren 12
2 x Orval, Rochefort 10, Chimay Blue, Hoegaarden Grand Cru.
Large bottles of Achel Bruin Extra, St Bernadus 12 and St Bernadus Christmas, De Glazen Toren Canaster Winterscotch, Leffe Christmas and Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van Der Kieser.
Then single small bottles of Goose Island Pepe Nero, Samuel Smiths Imperial Stout, Kapitel Prior, De Halve Maan Straffe Hendrick Quadruppel, Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, Thornbridge St Petersburg, St Bernadus 12, Robinsons Chocolate Tom and finally a Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout (the last two are not pictured).
The list is by no means a closed book, I intend to add to it as I go on and obviously drink some in time as this becomes a living beast. Each bottle that goes in is labelled with the date it was bought or roughly at least, so that in a few years time I can keep track of how long each beer has been kept. Willpower depending…. 🙂
I’d definitely be interested in comments and suggestions from beer enthusiasts, brewers, publicans etc, in fact anyone really with knowledge or experience to share as to how you think this will work out, have I made any glaring errors for example.
Are there any MUST HAVE beers that just have to go into the box (there are a few already in mind)?
Are there any beers already in there that you just know already are not going to improve and I may as well just enjoy now?
How long, is too long (or not long enough)?
I am learning here, so any input will be gratefully received..
Wish me luck…
If you enjoyed reading this blog post then please spread the love by telling your friends. Facebook share it, RT on Twitter or send it on by email. I’d love to read your views just click the button and wax lyrical in the comments section of this page. Or if you’ve nothing to say, just click the rating stars below.. Cheers Phil
You know me, and my lust for Imperial Stouts. There’s not many other beers in my bottle aging store tbh, other than the odd Belgian like St Bernardus ABT and the like, but it sounds like your doing everything right. You need to get that right balance, in about 2/3 years, where you can take out a bottle every 5/6 months and add a new one to the collection – it’s awesome! A few for me that you need to get your hands on: Mikkeller Black, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Thomas Hardys Ale, Stone I.S., any I.S’s from DeMolen and any from Nogne O. I could go on and on, but it’s always good to go on your own journey 🙂
Fuller’s vintage springs to mind.
Cool. I like the precision and enthusiasm in your method. I have bottles stashed away but didn’t think to date them…oops. Ghosty kindly put together the backbone of my selection…and will look properly tomorrow for a few suggestions for you. But off the top of my head, how about; Hardknott Aether’s, Ola Dubh’s, Kernel Export Stout, Green Jack Baltic Stout… I’ll check the cupboard and come back to you.
Cheers for the comments guys! 🙂
Ghosty, great recommendations and tips, I’ll keep an eye out for those and intend to add a few more Impy’s along the way. (see comments to broadfordbrewer). Some brilliant sounding beers on your list, some of which I’ve not even tried, do you guys stock them?
Ed, I really need to get some of those, I don’t think I’ve even tasted it never mind ageing one. Another noted though so thanks.
BroadfordBrewer, I have an Ola Dubh 40 sitting waiting to be drunk, but Zac Avery told me that it’s not likely to improve much more. I have two Hardknott Aethers too, could be worth a shot, I’ll check the dates and ask @HardknottDave. I also want to get hold of a Hardknott Granite for the pot.
Kernel Export would be awesome, what about the Imperial Brown Ale too? That is one of my favourites. Not tried Green Jack, but another to look out for.
Unsurprisingly or not we don’t have any of the ones I suggested. Beer Merchants usually have some stuff from DeMolen, Mikkeller, NOgneO and other dark beauties from time to time – always good to give them a look in.
No worries mate, I thought I hadn’t seen them about. i’ll keep an eye out next time I’m putting an order in. Cheers