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Old 03-26-2011, 02:17 AM   #1
TwoFortySX
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Default Can a store bought beer be too young?

I assume the simple answer is yes but I would like to further explore this topic if we can.

Here is my situation: I bought a case of Atwater Block Vanilla Java Porter this afternoon. I have always liked this beer but it has been about a year since I have been able to find a case of it locally. The timing was nice too because I just brewed my own vanilla coffee porter which was bottled about a week ago. So I get the Vanilla Java Porter home and get it in the icebox to cool off while I go about my day. About an hour ago I decided to crack one of them open along with opening one of my young vanilla coffee home brews to compare.

The verdict was they both tasted not so great with my homebrew actually tasting better: The flavor of my beer was sweet, green with a bit of an overwhelming vanilla extract flavor/taste. I expected this from my beer because it was so young and all the flavors should mellow and blend over time. The Atwater Block Vanilla Java Porter had very similar qualities to my young beer. It tasted thin, sweet with an obnoxiously strong vanilla aroma/flavor. The coffee flavor in it was almost nonexistent or at least overwhelmed by the vanilla. Needless to say, I was pretty surprised by that. The Atwater beer was marked that it was bottled March '11 so my first thought was that this beer is young. I mean the longest it could have been in the bottles is 3 weeks. It is filtered so I am curious if the flavors will mellow over time or is it as good as it gets right now? My other thought is that I just finished off a case of GLBC Edmund Fitz Porter which has easily exceed every expectation I have in a beer and became my absolute favorite beer available. Maybe I am just expecting something more from this Atwater beer.

So lets hear your thoughts because I am very curious.

Thanks,
Jimmy

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Old 03-26-2011, 02:34 AM   #2
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Yes, definately.

I have had more than a few beers that were way too green when I bought them. I find this usually has happened with big beers, one-offs, special releases and the like. The brewery doesn't necessarily know how, say, 6 months of having a porter on some just-acquired bourbon barrels will be. So they do it, and its too much, but they release it anyway. Its not great at first, but after 6 months in my basement, it's perfect.

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Old 03-26-2011, 02:39 AM   #3
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I can't speak to your personal experience with this beer, but it can be too young. The beer store I go to often puts out beer as soon as it's released. The owner is smart and knows that it's too young, so he usually keeps cases of big beers up to a year (or maybe even more) so he can sell them after they mellow out. However, many people are anxious to stock up on the beer early in its release so that they can drink it later.

I buy beers to keep in "storage" for drinking later all the time.

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Old 03-26-2011, 03:33 PM   #4
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I did a tour of a brewery that only sells in kegs and the sample beers that they poured for us while on the tour tasted pretty good except for a blond ale that tasted "green" which surprised me. Another few days would have made this beer better.

Their barleywine was excellent though.

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Old 03-26-2011, 07:58 PM   #5
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Barleywine is what naturally comes to mind for me.

I bought some Dogfish Olde School Barlewine as soon as the released it at the Brewpub in Deleware last year. I had been drinking '07 vintage before that. The new '10 stuff was either green or had QA issues.

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Old 03-26-2011, 10:04 PM   #6
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I would think that in many cases it would do no good to let the beer age. If the brewery has filtered and pasteurized the beer, then no amount of aging is going to help. I think a lot of the big beers like barley wines are intentionally left with live yeast in them so they will improve with age.

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Old 07-02-2012, 04:09 AM   #7
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I've only been able to get this beer at my favorite watering hole and it was on tap. I love it..
I've been asking and asking where I buy my beer/wine at and they finally had some for sale.. but unlucky for me they sold out before I got there of course.
So for now I can't say whether or not the bottled stuff will be the same as the draft. but now that you have said it.. maybe I'll buy some up(if I get there quick enuf that is) and taste one and put the others back.
I got hooked by the sign on the building and that I love not only dark beers but vanilla and java!! I've had a couple of other vanilla/java brews and so far not a fan of them to the point I couldn't have told you who made them..
but this one. I got a sample(which they sell for .75cents so you can try as many as you like) and just had to buy a pint! and lucky for me the waitress didn't charge me for my sample..
While some will say it is not a super rich mouth feel(now if they could get the Guinness mouth feel it would be a stunning porter) and lacks "body" I love it and can't wait to get another pint. Each pint I've had to this point has been very nice and the clean coffee finish with that hit of chocolate and vanilla.. My dream brew. With a plop of french Vanilla bean ice cream and a salted caramel brownie.. why.. I'd just be wallowing in my version of dessert heaven.
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:16 AM   #8
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I bet those beers from March, 2011 have really mellowed out by now

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