Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Out of the Cellar: Samuel Adams Double Bock

Brewer: Boston Beer Company
Poured: Jul 2007
Aged: 1 year and 2 years
ABV%: 8.8%

This is one of those accidental cellarings, at least accidental for the beers to be cellared this long. I have heard that Samuel Adams Double Bock is a beautiful thing with a year of cellaring on it so against my better judgement I put some away last spring...and the spring before that.

In my experience, doppelbocks don't age well, nor or they meant to. I experimented with Celebrator and it goes from being a world class beer to pure garbage in about nine months. However, I have heard that Samuel Adams Double Bock really shines with a year on it so I decided to find out.

So, for this tasting, I have a bottle that has been aged for one year and a bottle that I forgot about that has been aged for two years. Into the fray...

The first thing I notice is the older one is noticeably darker. The second thing I notice is that the older one has a more intense aroma, more fruity, a richer toffee smell. In the younger version, all the above is evident, just not to the same level and there is still a noticeable alcohol aroma.

Upon drinking them, the two-year old version has no discernible alcohol and the mouth seem thinner. Unfortunately, there is also a wet cardboard flavor that pretty much obscures a lot of the "good" flavors of the oxidation. No shocker here but the two year old sample is undrinkable.

On to the bottle with one year on it. The alcohol flavors are muted a bit when compared to fresh but there are more rich toffee and dark fruit notes. Rich caramel malt, big and sticky mouth. It's not as rough around the edges as when fresh...but to my tastes it's still better fresh. Maybe a happy medium (6 months) would be the right balance.

Well, all in all, I think I'll drink my doppelbocks fresh but if there is one that will improve (for some) it would be this one.

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