I want to talk, in this article, about stouts. Yup, roasty, malty, coffee-y(?), chocolatey, delicious stouts.
Last article, I talked about the rules of aging Beer (keep em cool, keep em dark, and don’t move em!), you know, all that sciency-type mumbo jumbo, because I’m a scientist. A Beer scientist. (Maybe I should go back to school to be a Beer scientist. If you know any good Beer science schools, let me know.)
I promised in this article that I would post some pictures of some of my favorite Beer and why they would age well. Well, your wish is my command!
Why are stouts good for aging? Sometimes, right out of the tank, these beers can be boozy and overwhelming, and over time, the roasted malt character will mellow out, and begin tasting like melted chocolate (holy crap, now I’m craving one of those tiny dove chocolates that just melt in your mouth), and the booziness will turn to sweetness, playing well with the bitter chocolate notes. Mmm… Let’s look at some stouts that are perfect for aging… (I’m keeping it to non barrel aged stouts this time, we’ll talk about barrel aging in another article! More fun to look forward to!)
Southern Tier Crème Brûlée, a stout brewed with vanilla beans. I’ve had this fresh, and the heat from the alcohol (it’s 10% ABV) is a bit overpowering, and the vanilla dominated the roasted malts, and chocolate notes from the stout. I kept one for a year, and the heat from the booze dissipated, the vanilla mellowed out, and the flavors danced around my palate, with notes of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, caramel, and pure joy. A+!
Evil Twin I Love You With My Stout. I would encourage everyone to drink one fresh, and age one. Right out of the gate, you get bitter roasted coffee notes, and a bit of tobacco (although this is not a smoked stout). The dark roasted malts will turn a bit sweeter over time, giving you a more mellow stout with notes of (less bitter) coffee and chocolate, and dark fruits (think plum, dark cherries, etc.)
Evil Twin (again!) Even More Denmark! This is brewed in collaboration with Chocopologie, a chocolatier from Denmark (who could have guessed? 🇩🇰), so you get melted bakers chocolate that dominates, and an alcohol heat which again will mellow and smooth out over time. A few years after this, they made an Even More Denmark with chocolate AND oranges. Mmmm… That one was tasty fresh, because you’ll lose the orange flavor over time.
This is one of the most perfect stouts right out of the tanks. Founders Breakfast Stout, brewed with coffee, chocolate, and oatmeal. Breakfast in a glass! The balance on this beer is perfect, but try aging it for a year to see how the flavors develop!
Y’all better not age that Softly Spoken Magic Spells IIPA, but the Heavy Boots of Lead, an Imperial Stout (on the right) lends itself perfectly to a proper aging. Fresh, its got chocolate, coffee, cream, caramel. These flavors will grow and develop over time, the heat will mellow, and it will be like drinking a hot chocolate like the one in Tim Allen’s The Santa Clause (you know, Not too hot, EXTRA CHOCOLATE…). except it’s Beer!!!
So go out and grab some stouts (it’s 13 degrees in NYC, so now’s the perfect time for it), buy two or more of each one and drink one now and age one, and see what happens.
Anyone have any good aging stories? Or bad ones? Comment below, to let me know!
And don’t forget, you can always go to www.benedictbeerblog.com for more fun and adventures!!
See you next time, when I talk about sours and wild ales!
Cheers! Happy New Year!