Recently, I decided that I would start aging beers. After trying Newport Storm’s 06 a year later, I decided that some beers really benefit from aging. While I don’t have an ideal cellar for proper cellaring, I am keeping them in my dark pantry at room temperature (the nice thing is that the pantry doesn’t have a baseboard heater). I have a few beers that I will be aging. I bought a 6 pack of Victory’s Storm King Stout for our little New Year’s get-together and I drank 2 of them and decided it needed some aging. I put the other 4 away. I’m going to try 1 or 2 of them in a year (depending on whether or not Susan will like it, she might have one for herself, as right now it’s too hoppy for her). If I decide to drink them all, so be it. Otherwise, I’ll save the other 2 for an additional year.
I also have 2 bottles of Stone’s Double Bastard. I plan on drinking one and saving the other for a year or 2. This beer is ready now and I like the way it tastes just fine, but I’m curious to see how it is aged.
The other beers I’m hanging onto at room temperature are JW Lees Harvest Ale (an English Barleywine aged in Lagavulin Scotch casks, vintage 2005), I’ll try this one whenever I feel like it; Allagash Interlude, I had this at a tasting and decided I would hang onto it for a year and see how it tastes; Koningshoeven Trappist Quadrupel, this one had already been aged for a year by the distributor, I’ll try it whenever for a nice special occasion; Southampton’s Old Ale, brewed for their 10 year anniversary in 2006, so it’s already aged a year, I’ll try it whenever; and finally, Left Hand’s Widdershin’s Barleywine, vintage 2007, I’ll have this whenever, though I might save it for a while.
As I get more into aging of beers, I’ll probably post about the beers individually as I store them and as I try them. I’ll try to buy 2 of each that I plan on aging so I can post some tasting notes pre- and post-cellaring. And once I have a house of my own, I’ll work on putting together a real storage area for cellaring. The basement in the house I live in right now would be good for cellaring as it stays pretty cool year ’round, but I’m not the only person with access and I wouldn’t want anything happening to the stuff I put down there (plus it’s really kind of gross and nasty).
The other foray I’m getting myself into, as you may have read in the comments from a recent post, is homebrewing. I received a Mr. Beer kit in a yankee swap last Christmas (2006). I decided I will brew it this weekend and see how it comes out. While it’s not the ideal way to make a true homebrew, it’s probably going to be a good start. I should also be getting true homebrewing equipment from my manager as he no longer brews his own beer. I’ll post about it more as I go through the process.