Today, we’re cellaring away a handful of beers—mostly bottles that’ll surely develop nicely over the years, and one we’re not so sure about.
Deschutes The Dissident 2012: One the beer world’s most gorgeous agers, Deschutes’ lone wild yeast beer is heading straight for our cellar. The 11.4% ABV oud bruin aged 18 months in pinot noir barrels with tart, Oregon-grown Montmorency cherries; the fruit and vinous notes should continue to deepen for several years.
Basement India Ink 2011 (times two): Portland’s Basement Brewing isn’t even licensed yet, so we count this double score as our newest cellar standout. India Ink is a 9.5%-ABV imperial stout; one 2011 version’s fermented with Belgian yeast, and the second aged with dark chocolate nibs in French and American oak. Yes, yes; these are bottles that are terribly difficult to keep closed. The 2012 vintage of India Ink debuts in December.
Hoppin’ Frog Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. Oatmeal-Imperial Stout: This is the whiskey-barrel-aged version of Hoppin’ Frog’s famous stout, consistently among RateBeer’s top 50 beers in the world. This bottle’s 9.4% ABV; it’ll keep nicely for a few years.
Gordon Biersch Weizeneisbock: According to brewer Dan Gordon, this is the only “weizeneisbock”—an eisbock brewed with hefeweizen yeast—in existence. The 10% ABV means it should keep well for at least two years; we’re not sure how the traditionally delicate hefe notes of citrus, clove and banana will age, though.
And the questionable selection:
Vanberg & DeWulf LambickX: Belgian beer legend Don Feinberg selected lambics brewed in 2010 and 2011 for this annual special blend (5,333 bottles were released). The finished beverage is 5.75% ABV, and while lambics can be great agers, this one seems delicate. Anyone else socking away this bottle? How long will you keep it down?