Patience is key when cellaring beer; you’ve got to give it the proper time to develop. Since Stone Brewing Co. conveniently provided a guideline in the name of its Enjoy After 12.26.15 Brett IPA, we waited until Boxing Day had passed to crack open a bottle.
The beer pours a semi-occluded straw color with an enormous fizzy head that lingers forever. A delicate barnyard bouquet, laced with pome fruit and floral sweetness, wafts up from the glass; with hints of spice buried deep in the roiling effervescence, the aroma lacks the heavy funkiness often present in Brettanomyces-spiked beer. A citrus-forward sip booming with bright lemon washes over the tongue, joined by funky hay and moderate spiciness before a very dry finish. The hops lend the distinct bitterness one would expect from a 70-IBU IPA—it drinks like a hoppy saison.
Waiting until the prescribed date certainly allowed the Brett enough time to do its thing as the bubbling carbonation and delightful aroma can attest. More cellar time might allow more complexities to spring forth, but further aging runs the risk of the hops dropping out altogether.