Thursday, February 9, 2012

Weyerbacher Double Simcoe: 2011 vs 2005

A while ago my buddy gave me three old bottles of Weyerbacher beer from 2005: A Decadence, an Insanity, and a Double Simcoe. Now, I was super excited about the first two as they were both super strong and would easily last through 6+ years of aging. However, an old Double Simcoe wasn't anywhere near as appealing since it is just an 8% double IPA and as I said yesterday, you shouldn't age those. But since I didn't do the aging, I held on to it until I could drink it next to a fresh one just to see what happens to it when it sits for a long time. For science really. Basically like what I did with the Hopslam yesterday just more ridiculous.

After pouring both, the main thing I noticed was they were pretty different in appearance and it was quite easy to tell them apart.
As you can see, the 2005 is the much darker brown one on the right.

The other difference between the two was the ridiculously pungent nose on the 2005. I could smell it from like two feet away. It smelled like caramel apple and was surprisingly inviting. I honestly thought that after 6 years it would be completely terrible but the nose seemed to deny that. Unfortunately, the flavor didn't follow up on that promise. Sure, it had some of the caramel apple but it was followed by a really unpleasant and odd bitter finish that grew worse until I wasn't able to drink any more of it. I don't know if it was the oxidation mixing with the hops or what, but I ended up drinking only about half the glass.

Luckily, the fresher Double Simcoe (though it was a couple months old so not super fresh) was much better. A clean hoppy nose with a pineapple body and a bit of bitterness. Much cleaner and obviously more what a double IPA should be. Also, helped me get over the bizarre flavors from the 2005 which was nice.

So yeah this was another reason not to age IPAs and that more years of aging don't make a difference. The worst part was it smelled pretty good and I really thought it was going to be tasty but alas it turned out not to be true. But at least the fresh one tasted good and this whole thing made for a good experiment. Thanks for the bottle Andrew! When I mentioned I was doing this on twitter, Weyerbacher's person (I think it's Bill Bragg but don't know for sure) didn't expect much from it either and their only advice was that it wouldn't kill me. High praise really and totally set the stage.

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