After a few weeks of summer vacation, we’re back in the beer cellaring habit. Unfortunately, while we were sunning ourselves, we let a bunch of to-be-cellared bottles pile up on an unorganized shelf, and we’re just now sifting through the lot, cursing as we go.
Our first step is to organize loosely by style, and in doing so, we found a few Belgian (in homeland or just spirit) brews that will make ideal cellarmates. Here’s what we’re putting away:
Summit Unchained Batch 10 Belgian Style Abbey Ale: Summit’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-‘em Unchained beers are always knockouts, but their shelf life is so quick, we barely ever get to write about them in the magazine. All the more reason to cellar these gems. For this 8%-ABV one-off, brewer Nate Siats combined Belgian yeast and candi sugar with noble hops for big Belgian sweetness tangoing with biscuity malts up front and light bitterness in the finish.
Avery The Reverend: If you aren’t cellaring this Belgian-style quadrupel, you don’t know what you’re missing: Adam Avery’s 10%-er is one of the best American-made quads, period. Malts, candi sugar and yeast from the motherland (and new label art!) make it a must for the Belgian lover’s cellar.
St-Feuillien Brune Reserve: We’ve never aged this classic Belgian dubbel; it’s 7.5% ABV, but we’ll let our three bottles go 6 moths, 1 year and 1.5 years, and see what turns out best.
Hopworks Belgian-Style Abbey Ale: The first in Hopworks’ bottle-conditioned series (it debuted in spring), this 8.5%-ABV organic brew gets its “Belgian” charm from five different organic malts and organic dark brown sugar. It’ll be interesting to compare how a brown sugar beer ages in comparison to its more traditional candi sugar counterparts.