A Note on This Beer
We don’t talk about this enough, but we certainly get a lot of questions about cellaring beer.
Let’s walk through all the When, Whys, and Hows of the process:
Selecting the right brew: Grand Teton’s Black Cauldron Imperial Stout
Why Black Cauldron: This beer demonstrates the full power of what barrel-aging can do. Its big 9.5% ABV is ideal for holding up to aging. Bonus points: the Grand Teton brewers are Dark Beer specialists with multiple GABF medals to their name.
Why cellar: Because Black Cauldron will transform over time. Aging unlocks depth of flavor as the boozy heat mellows and the notes of the malts come to life. Over time, Black Cauldron’s flavors of dark chocolate, molten caramel, robust coffee, and distinct hints of campfire smoke become even more vivid.
Timing: Fall is the perfect time to start cellaring because it’s when many of the best Dark Beers are released — like the seasonally rich and smokey Black Cauldron. It’s also cool and grey outside in most parts of the country, which makes temperature control easier. And after a year of aging it’ll be fall again, and a great time to drink up.
Storage conditions: Darkness is key. Light is enemy #1 when keeping Black Cauldron in its peak condition during aging. The other important factor is temperature. You don’t need a regulated refrigerator, but a cool cellar will generally keep this Imperial Stout at ideal temps, ranging from approximately 48-58 degrees.
How long to cellar: You might see “if cellared properly, Black Cauldron will age for years to come” in the brewer’s description of today’s beer. We’d recommend cellaring it for 9-18 months based on its strong 9.5% ABV and bold flavor profile. Nine months is long enough for the boozy heat to begin to mellow and eighteen months is a safe cut-off point to not have to worry about the smokey or roasty aromas falling off. The longer you age, the greater the chances of bottle deterioration and exposure to harmful oxygen.
Once you’re ready to present your perfectly cellared Black Cauldron to your friends, be sure to explain to them the hard work the brewery put into making it so delicious. And don’t forget to mention that you also had a hand in its careful conditioning.
*Best served in a snifter between 50-54 degrees, more bittersweet dark chocolate will be unveiled as it warms.
Packaged On October 10th, 2018