Barrel Aging

Reads 1118 • Replies 22 • Started Friday, November 3, 2017 10:43:30 AM CT

The forums you're viewing are the static, archived version. You won't be able to post or reply here.
Our new, modern forums are here:
RateBeer Forums

Thread Frozen
 
weihenweizen
beers 5599 º places 568 º 10:43 Fri 11/3/2017

For me it does not always improve a beer. Do some of you think it is always an improvement or always makes the beer worse.

 
GlasgowTAD
beers 2015 º places 38 º 11:05 Fri 11/3/2017

Do you mean even when barrel aging has been executed well or do you mean that youre not satisfied with every barrel aged beer you've consumed? When barrel aging was less common the tag sort of became dogmatic with quality - examples like Bourbon County and Lambic aged in ex-wine barrels spring to mind - which gave rise to opportunists barrel aging whatever was on hand to create a label perception of a high quality product. Good beer is not a symptom of barrel aging, its a result of barrel aging done well.

I near enough always prefer Bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stouts (when the aging has been done well, i.e. the barrel has imparted the right amounts of its qualities to the beer vs making a harsh bourbon-y beer or not having any detectable impact on the beer at all) to the non BA versions. Tequila and grappa barrels are not my cup of tea so I'd automatically swerve beers who've been aged in those since, from experience, they've seldom offered my palette any stimulation.

 
weihenweizen
beers 5599 º places 568 º 11:28 Fri 11/3/2017

I mean, barrel aging does not always improve a beer for me. In general I don't prefer beer that has been aged in tequila barrels either. I don't always like stouts that have been bourbon barrel aged; and that may be to poor conditioning. I have had bourbon barrel stouts that I thought were better than the base beer. I have also had some beers that were aged in port barrels that I thought were better than the base beer. I am curious what other people like.

 
b3shine
beers 10585 º places 354 º 11:56 Fri 11/3/2017

Barrels aren't a cure-all. Garbage in, garbage out. I also don't generally care for tequila barrels, or rum barrels for that matter.

 
SinH4
beers 12080 º places 405 º 12:01 Fri 11/3/2017

Originally posted by b3shine
Garbage in, garbage out.

And then there's Dark Lord, where mediocre comes in and the nectar of the Gods comes out.

Or Schönramer Imperial Stout, where Garbage got in and one of the best German beers ever got out.

Slyrs barrels seem to do wonders to beers, but in general, I hardly ever prefer BA versions of beers, especially in Germany.

 
Bitterbill
beers 2623 º places 25 º 15:08 Fri 11/3/2017

There's quite a few that I liked the non BA version more. BORIS is one example.

 
Oakes
admin
beers 23699 º places 929 º 15:44 Fri 11/3/2017

I think there are some breweries that either a) don't understand barrel-aging or b) just try a bunch of stuff and see what happens.

I'm kind of ok with the latter as long as the brewery had thought it through a little bit. After all, if they are going to charge people money they should at least consider whether or not what they're doing is going to deliver a drinkable product.

But the former makes no sense. There are still brewers who don't think that trying beers - especially benchmark beers - is part of their job. So they actually have no idea that what they're trying isn't going to make the beer better.

 
sloth
beers 3138 º places 93 º 15:50 Fri 11/3/2017

Usually overdone.

 
HuskerTan
beers 3569 º places 146 º 16:30 Fri 11/3/2017

I think more and more we see it just because it's the thing to do, especially for new breweries in underdeveloped beer areas such as here in Nebraska. A barrel aged beer gets released here and it's an OMG, that is such a neat idea it must be the best thing ever. When in fact, it's been done poorly and is not that special. That said, I typically enjoy barrel aged beers more often than not. I find that I tell myself more often that I would like to to be BA rather than saying I wish this wasn't BA. I would say 7/10 I enjoy that I have. When it's done well it's usually kick ass.

 
slowrunner77
beers 17354 º places 500 º 17:56 Fri 11/3/2017

I probably still prefer barrel aged to non barrel aged beers 2-1, maybe a little less...but back in the days before everyone and their mother was doing it, it was probably more like 90% of the time (9 to 1).
Definitely some that are over-barreled (though if it's a really good barrel and a lesser beer to start with, that's not always a bad thing) and definitely some that use lower quality barrels or barrels that don't seem to fit the beer.
I'm not a big fan of tequila barrels eithers, but I've had a few that really worked.
I'm finding I'm not willing to plunk down 2-5 X per pounce for a beer anymore just cause it says barreled on the label.

 
Bitterbill
beers 2623 º places 25 º 18:42 Fri 11/3/2017

Originally posted by slowrunner77
I probably still prefer barrel aged to non barrel aged beers 2-1, maybe a little less...but back in the days before everyone and their mother was doing it, it was probably more like 90% of the time (9 to 1).
Definitely some that are over-barreled (though if it's a really good barrel and a lesser beer to start with, that's not always a bad thing) and definitely some that use lower quality barrels or barrels that don't seem to fit the beer.
I'm not a big fan of tequila barrels eithers, but I've had a few that really worked.
I'm finding I'm not willing to plunk down 2-5 X per pounce for a beer anymore just cause it says barreled on the label.


Upslope brewed a good tequila barrel aged beer and I'm not a fan of tequila.