Cellar Report: Surly Five, Firestone XIII, Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic and Bruery Marron Acidifie
Danny Fullpint shares his cellaring experiences by revisiting a few of his favorite beers that have been laid down for a year or more. In this Cellar Report, we look at Surly Five, Firestone XIII, Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale and The Bruery’s Collaboration with Cigar City, Marron Acidifie.
Fond memory: A little over a year ago, Surly Brewing released Five, commemorating their fifth year brewing. The buzz had not died down from Four, and I was hellbent on getting my hands on Five, as at this point, I’ve loved everything I’ve had from Surly. I was able to score 2 bottles via trade and immediately cracked the first one. It was a very tasty dark wild ale along the lines of Consecration or some of The Bruery’s Dark Sours. The bottle mentioned it was 100% brett fermented, had a big malt presence, and was pretty fruity from the wine barrels it had been aged on. I really enjoyed it then, but due to it’s high ABV, I wasn’t sure if the beer would get any better than it was fresh.
One year later: First thing of note was the amazing blossomed brett nose on it. There was fruitiness and slight funk fresh, but this was amazing. The malt was still had a big presence, the beer didn’t get more or less sour. The beer held up very nicely and the brett had time to do its thing, and in this case, actually made the beer slightly better than one year ago. I’d say you could go one more year with this, but not any longer than that.
Fond memory: Firestone XIII was a beer that showcased the future Proprietor’s Series Beer Parabola. A very big blend of Barleywines and Stouts made this beer tasty. When fresh, it was a big roasty and hot, much like fresh Parabola, but was also very silky with portions of the blend consisting of Velvet Merkin. This beer deviated from the much thicker 11 and 12 as well.
Three Years Later: The beer is much more integrated, and not the least bit hot. Lots of chocolate and wood, but nothing bitter or hot can be found. While I like the bite, it wasn’t necessarily missed in the 3 year old sample. The mouthfeel isn’t as silky as it once was, but still a fantastic beer. Kept on the cooler side, this beer could go another year in your cellar if you had self control in keeping them.
Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale
Fond memory: Right around the same time Stone released Stone IPA Cali-Belgique in 2008, they made their Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale a Strong Belgian Golden Ale. It was solid, but not something I was doing cartwheels over.
Four Years Later: I was trying to impress some newbies at TFP Head Quarters, and pulled out an 08.08.08, as I have doubles of that beer. After pouring the beer out, I could already tell things had changed about the beer. It was a little hazier, slightly darker in color, and had a big tropical nose. After a few sips, it was big fruity and a bit tart. Tart in a good way, not infected tart. While I may have mistreated this bottle for it to wind up a completely different beer, I was very satisfied with the results and gives me hope for some of the other VE beers I’m not having high expectations for.
The Bruery Marron Acidifie
Fond memory: One of my favorite local breweries teamed up with one of my favorite geek breweries and made an amazing strong dark sour ale. The Bruery and Cigar City collaborated to make Marron Acidifie and a very rare fruited version called ISO:FT. I loved Marron. It was the perfect strong dark sour for me. Great body, great aroma, perfect tartness. This is one of those beers I wish The Bruery would bring back.
A Year and Half Later: This beer is not quite as enjoyable as when it was fresh. The body seemed a little thinner, and the balance that I loved seemed gone. There wasn’t vinegar creep that some other Bruery sours have reportedly gotten with time, but if you have stashed some away, I’d break them out for this holiday season.