Not long ago, my friend Winton the Beer Tuber shared the article “Just Drink It Already!” from Draft Magazine that discussed the growing trend of cellaring beer. The author, Christopher Staten, notes that while the flavor of high-gravity and bottled conditioned beer change over time, many people are simply waiting too long to drink them. While some are waiting for flavor to develop further others are waiting for the “perfect occasion” to match the specialness of the bottle.
For some wines and a smaller number of beers there is a curve on which one can describe the flavors as improving over time, but as with all perishable foods there is a point at which the flavors begin to diminish. For beer and wine drinkers, you can tell yourself that the juice in the bottle is still getting better, so there's a reason to wait. Delaying the gratification of drinking the bottle now is offset by the reward of it tasting better in the future. But, for drinkers who prefer whiskey, brandy or some other liquor, this problem is compounded by the fact that distilled spirits don't improve once they've been bottled. So once a bottle has reached its peak, why do we also want to wait for the perfect occasion?Read More