Southern Tier Vintage Series
As beer ages, aromas and flavors generally become rounder and more even, leading to a more well integrated beer. Hop related characteristics such as herbal and citrus notes, as well as bitterness, tend to fade most noticeably at first, which is why hop-forward beers are not well suited to aging.
Most beers will then often develop some components that are perceived as sweet, even though the actual amount of sugar in the beer doesn’t change. Some beers develop a vinous character over time. The very oldest beer may also develop papery or cardboard notes and ultimately a sharp, sherry-like attribute with reduced mouthfeel. Haze and sediment are also normal aspects of aged beer.
How a beer is stored matters. Beer stored at cooler, stable temps in dry, dark places age gracefully. Beer stored in warm or unstable environments may not round out as smoothly. Again, hop-forward beers and session beers are generally not suitable for aging.
PUMKING mellows out nicely over the course of a year. The hop character softens and settles into the malt and pumpkin background after the first four to six months in the package and some distinctive sweet honey notes become apparent above the typical malt sweetness. The spice components soften a bit during this time, and from six months to a year in the package, the beer reaches what I consider to be peak flavor and aroma development. After a year, the more vinous and papery character begins to develop and the mouthfeel begins to diminish, which add a distinctive “vintage” quality to the brand.
CRÈME BRULEE, like any huge imperial stout, can take considerably more than a year to start developing a distinctively aged character. After two to three years in the package, a considerable vinous character develops and provides an excellent tart counterpoint to the still robust roasted malt and creamy lactose sugar foundation.
Keep an eye out for Vintage 2014 Pumking and Warlock on shelves!
Cellaring your own Beer
Keep your Southern Tier beers tasty over time by following these easy guidelines; If you intend to cellar beer, do so as soon as possible after purchase. Beer should be cellared upright in a dark place with a stable temperature that is between 34-50º F (1-10º C). The majority of our products, especially the hoppy styles, are intended to be consumed within six months for peak hop flavor and freshness. Our malty varieties such as the Blackwater Series, Cuvee Series, Porter, Backburner Barley Wine, and Old Man Winter will cellar well for a year or two. Personal preferences will vary so feel free to drink them whenever you feel they are best. From now on you will know exactly when that is.
Our bottles are marked with a “D.O.B.” that indicates when the product was bottled. We use this rather than a “best by” date because how you handle and store beer can have a dramatic effect on quality. Beer’s three main enemies are oxygen, heat, and light. Anyone who has tasted a hand-pumped keg the next day can attest to the damage oxygen (introduced by the pump) can do to beer. The staling effect of oxygen is exponentially increased if the same keg has also warmed. Although it is nearly impossible to exclude all oxygen from our product, I personally verify that every bottling run achieves the lowest oxygen levels possible. During our bottling process we keep our beer at or below a cool 42ºF (5.5ºC). Temperatures over 55ºF (12.7ºC), wide temperature fluctuations, and exposure to light for prolonged periods will activate the small amount of oxygen in the beer accelerating the staling or oxidation process. This will lead to dulling of the hop flavors as well as adding a papery aspect to the flavor profile.
This is information that we feel is valuable to you in deciding how to spend your hard-earned beer money. It is our hope that you find our product on your retailer’s shelf within a relatively short time after we package it. If you feel this is not the case please notify us.
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