Thursday 16 November 2023

Old beer

I went round to Mikey's for a meal a while back. As usual, I took my own beer. Which beer, you ask? St. Bernardus Abt, obviously. But not just any old Abt.

"That's interesting," I told an uninterested Dolores after buying a new batch of Abt, "It looks like they've gone back to the old crown cork."

That's cool. I much preferred the old design. But I noticed something when I cracked the first bottle. It tasted rather different. Almost as if it had been aged,

Closer inspection revealed that wasn't  a coincidence. According to the sell-by date, it was, indeed, two years old.

 I took a mixed batch, old and new, over to Mikey's. And very6 nicely they went down, too. Both sorts.

Looking through the bag of empties the next day, I noticed a bottle of Rochefort 10. I hadn't taken that, had I? Sure enough, there was still a full bottle of the old Abt. Damn. I'd been saving that.

The Rochefort 10's with a sell-by date was in 2012. So, assuming their usual 5-year best by date, I make it 16 years old. 

Why didn't I notice? Because of those old Abts. I was expected some aged beer and that's what I got. Just a lot older than I realised.



Christoph Riedel said...

Dark Star Prize Old Ale, formerly Gale's, is due to be sold in the UK today. So there is kind of a theme of Old Beer going on today with your post as well.

I tasted last year's batch of Prize Old Ale 10 days ago and was amazed by the sheer amount of flavour impressions I got. And all were subtly, not overintense horse blanket or anything.

Now I wonder how this flavour will change over the years. I still have five bottles in the cellar.

Anonymous said...

I am going to buy some 9 month year old orval and possibly a 1 year and one month old orval.

A Brew Rat said...

I have a 75 cl bottle of Winterkoninkske Grand Cru I brought back to the U.S. from Brouwerij Kerkom in 2013. Trying to figure out a special occasion to crack it open. I do remember how delicious it was in 2013, one of four bottles of Belgian ale that warranted stashing in my luggage. The other three are long gone.

Anonymous said...

I've just bought a case, looking forward to trying it next winter!

InSearchOfKnowledge said...

Oscar, I tried this with Orval, but it doesn't age gracefully (Duvel neither, by the way). And the people living around Orval recommend it fresh. They find even three months too long.

Anonymous said...

That is interesting was always under the impression that it was sold in its locality at a minimum of 6 months.

Anonymous said...

You are wrong one year and ten month old orval shows a difference to eight month orval and a good one.