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Old 03-28-2009, 11:46 PM   #1
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Default Do commercial barleywines age like homebrewed?

I heard someone tell me recently that commercial barleywines (such as bigfoot) taste better the long you hang onto them, but that you have to keep them refrigerated.

I figured that commercial breweries pasteurized their beer so they pretty much stayed good or lost flavor over time. Also, is there any reason why they would have to be refrigerated vs left at room temp? I figure it's an ale and ales are inclined to stay at 75 or so...

Just wanted some clarification. If I held onto some 2009 bigfoot, would it taste better/smoother/more refined in 2 or 3 years?

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Old 03-29-2009, 12:02 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by tspilker View Post
I heard someone tell me recently that commercial barleywines (such as bigfoot) taste better the long you hang onto them, but that you have to keep them refrigerated.

Just wanted some clarification. If I held onto some 2009 bigfoot, would it taste better/smoother/more refined in 2 or 3 years?
I don't refrige mine. There is enough alcohol in them to let them sit without worrying. They are 10.5% abv. so hording them is no issue with regard to the beer quality. It won't degrade. Unless you start talking decades.

The cascade hop bitterness will mellow as it gets older.

I had a friend say to buy a sixer and drink one a year and the following years you drink one from each sixer. After six years you can have six beers one from each vintage. That's if you have that much self control. I have one leftover from last year and I bought two sixers. I have tasted them at 3 years old and they are pretty damned good.

I store mine in my basement in a cabinet. A cool & dark spot is good place to keep them. Not to mention out of sight, out of mind.
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Old 03-29-2009, 03:38 PM   #3
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It is certainly the case with commercial Imperial Stouts. I'd expect the barleywines to do as well.

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Old 03-29-2009, 04:51 PM   #4
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Heavily hopped beers high ABV are meant to last a long time. In fact some oxidation is expected in these high gravity beers.

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Old 03-29-2009, 04:54 PM   #5
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Just make sure to store then in a stable temperature and dark area.

BeerAdvocate has some good guidelines for storing beer.

How To Store Beer - BeerAdvocate

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