You may call it old, we call it mature. The Pint has the short and quick version of why aged beer is so delicious.
Have you ever tried a really great stout — deep roasty malt, subtly sweet, that inflicts just the right amount of tang to match the 10% ABV? Try to imagine that beer a year from this hypothetical tasting session.
A stout that is tasted fresh might impart flavors of chocolate, roasted nuts, and oak and be very boozy. With time these flavors will have time to develop, with the booze taking a back seat to flavors of oak, vanilla, raisins, figs, and other dried fruits.
The poor man’s wine, beer has a lot more in common with its white-collar counterpart than previously thought. A fine beer will age to perfection, and although brewed to be enjoyed upon purchase, the aging process allows the more subtle notes to shine, and that is the joy of drinking a cellared beer.
High Alcohol content, roasted malts, and a small hop profile are some of the characteristics of beer that will age well. Very raely will there be an IPA in the cellar. Usually, stouts, porters, and sour beers are great for aging and produce some delicious results that offer a more balanced beverage then they could have ever hoped to in their previous life.
Indeed, cellared beer is an excellent frontier to start exploring for the craft beer lover who is looking to expand their horizon beyond the present.