Going into the cellar today: some oldies, some newbies… all goodies—even more so after they take a nice nap.
Southampton Grand Cru: This coriander/anise/orange peel Belgian strong pale ale is one of now-departed brewmaster Phil Markowski’s last seasonal releases. The 9.5% has a drink-by date of Sept. 30, 2014, and indeed, its alcohol, fruit and spice notes need some time to gel. We’ll give it a year and a half.
Hopworks Belgian-Style Abbey Ale: The first of a new series of Euro-leaning bottle conditioned beers, this complex malt-and-brown sugar organic beauty should last at least a year with its 8.5% ABV. You can get it on shelves through July (when the next in the series, a Belgian pale, debuts); grab one and cellar with us!
Terrapin Side Project 16: Phlux Capacitor: Brewer Spike Buckowski’s latest is this oak-aged American strong ale. We’ve browsed the reviews, and it sounds like this 9.8%-ABV brew and its smoky, hop and alcohol notes could use a rest stop.
North Coast Old Stock Ale 2011: This bottle (from last year’s release) was going for a song at the gourmet grocery store. Oddly enough, this 11.9%-ABV old ale is the first Old Stock in our collection, even though it’s a classic cellar beer. This particular vintage will stay down at least three years.
Arcadia Ales 15 Ale: This cherry-infused, bourbon-barrel-aged sour brown is a pretty special beer: Released only at Arcadia’s 15th anniversary party in late 2011, it’s a rarity you won’t see again. This’ll be hard not to crack open.
Arcadia Ales Barrel Aged Shipwreck Porter: This 12% bourbon-oak-aged Baltic porter has been making the rounds on our editors’ desks for months, and we’re finally putting it where it belongs: In the cellar, where it’ll sit for a few years (or until we can’t hold out any longer). According to Arcadia’s site: “Aged for 12 months in 10-year-old Kentucky bourbon oak barrels, this alluring dark liquid features appealing undertones of vanilla and oak, cocoa and coffee. The aging occurs in abandoned mines in Michigan, at a constant temperature of 45 F.”