Wednesday, February 13, 2008

One Of Those Nights

I picked up a mixed sixer of some beers recently. It contained 2 Victory Hop Wallop, 1 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot 2008, 1 Anchor Old Foghorn, 1 Drake's IPA, and 1 Big Sky IPA that I felt I needed to get my hands on right away since the Beer Retard loves it and seems to be trying to drink all that is produced. So I popped the cap on the Big Sky IPA tonight and what followed was major disappointment, not necessarily in the beer, but mostly in myself. Given the fact that there is no "best before" or "bottled on" date it makes it hard to know how long this has been sitting on a shelf. With the more delicate beers like IPA's, pale ales, amber ales etc, I've been really trying to be careful about getting the freshest bottles possible. I made a bad decision here. The beer had barely a ounce left of what I could find of some sort of juicy hops, but then oxidation and diminished hop flavor took over. After about a 1/4th of the bottle I poured it. Oh well, I'll still be looking to get my hands on a fresh (refrigerated) bottle one of these day.

I didn't want to end the night on a bad note so I popped open the Drake's IPA. I was really excited about this knowing how fantastic some of Drake's beers are. Stale beer take 2. This also displayed the same worn out character that the Big Sky had. After about 1/3rd of it I just decided it wasn't worth it and dumped it too. That brought an end to the night, forcing me to study for my midterm tomorrow. I have an idea that the beer I'll be having tomorrow night will bring much better results.

7 comments:

beer-retard said...

Sorry you got some old beers.If you look closely on the Big Sky, I think there is a bottling date. I found a laser code that looks like the day (1-365) and year. Since I posted on the deliciousness of the first Big Sky IPA I had, I learned that getting a really fresh one is a must. The first one I had was bottled on 339/07. Then I bought a sixpack that was 269/07 and the Simcoe flavor was muted to about half of its power and the malt went from backbone to the main show. Still decent, but nothing special.

Steve said...

That's really good info, thanks. I actually did look for a date (as I do all beers now) but I just must've missed it. This is a huge help, I should be able to get a fresh one much easier.

Steve said...

Found my code it says 303 07 5 ... I'm thinking the 07 and 5 are the most important things here... I'm going to guess May 07 it was bottled on. I think 9 months of aging would have done the trick on taking the life out of this beer.

Mattias said...

Thats strange that it killed it, the storing must have been bad from the start. I purchases a Drakes IPA and stored it for about 6-7 month and what I remember it had not lost anything of the taste and flavour. Anyway it was really great and at least my favorite Drakes beer.

Steve said...

I just got word from the Big Sky brewery that the 303 means the day of the year and the 07 is the year (i guess the 5 at the end doesn't mean anything). So this Big Sky IPA I had was bottled on October 30th, 2007. That really only makes it 3 1/2 months old, still older than I want my IPA's, but not really horrible. I think the beer was just stored poorly. I'm getting to the point where I really only want to buy fragile beers (IPA's, pale ales, amber/red's, porters) if they've been kept in refrigeration at the store. Craft beer doesn't move THAT fast in the Los Angeles area so I gotta be careful.

Keith Brainard said...

I can understand buying the beer from the cooler at the store, but I don't think I could dump a beer just for being three or even six months old. I mean, even if it's not mega-hoppy, you still bought it, and it's still at least beer, right? Maybe it's a side benefit of homebrewing - a tolerance for severly flawed beer. :D

But then again, I've never been able to have PtY. You lucky west-coasties, with your beautiful weather and awesome beer scene.

Steve said...

Yeah, Keith, I know the vast majority of people would say I'm crazy for dumping a "drinkable" yet old beer down the drain if it's not infected or something. But I just can't sit here and drink something I know is not near its best, or worth my time and energy to drink. If I have an IPA that is bland, then what use is it to me? If I'm drinking an IPA I want something fresh and hoppy. But anyway, that's just me, and I know I'm in the minority.