Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Wonderful Phenomenon of Aged Beer

This cold weather inspired me to drink something hearty, so I went into my closet and dug out a bottle of 2007 Fuller's Vintage Ale. As you can see from looked back through my old blog posts, I was lukewarm on this beer when I first drank it. But the brewer recommended aging it, so I got a second bottle and gave it a try. Those four-plus years in the dark of my closet did some amazing things. Now, it has this powerful, rich flavor with notes of cherry that clearly weren't there before. It's magnificent.

If you've never tried aging beer, I recommend it. It only works with certain high-alcohol beers, so don't go stashing away a sixer of Fireman's 4. Search around the web, and you should be able to find some articles explaining how to do it and what beers will work. But it's really pretty simple. I just get a fairly high-ABV beers, the darker ones seem to work best (barleywines, stouts, other heavy ales, but not IPAs), and stick them in the back of my closet and forget they're there. Try to keep them in an environment where the temperature won't fluctuate too much, and where light can't damage them. I think you'll be very pleased.

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