In recent articles, I’ve discussed in great detail, the joys of cellaring beer. But once in a while, the greatest joy comes from finding something that you either misplaced, or forgot you cellared. This is exactly the case this month. While trying to decide which beer to pick for this issue, I stumbled upon a four pack of Oskar Blues Ten FIDY. Covered with a bit of dust, and marked 2008, I knew I found a gem.
Poured into a snifter, both the 2008 and 2011 Ten FIDY were black as night. Both beers were thick and viscous and literally looked like motor oil. Surprisingly, both beers had about the same amount of carbonation, which generally is not the case when comparing a vintage beer with a fresh one.
Upon first glance, there appeared to be no discernible differences. Both the 2008 Ten FIDY and 2011 had a two finger thick, tan head. The contrast in color from the tan head and the jet black body provided quite the picture of beauty.
The aroma from the 2008 Ten FIDY was reminiscent of dark fruit, with a slight apple presence. The 2011, on the other hand, was overwhelmingly caramel and toffee. I’m sure this was due to the abundant amount of roasted chocolate malts used in the brewing process. Worthy of note here, was the hint of a bourbon aroma that arose upon immediately popping the cans.
First sip from the 2011 yielded dark chocolate and caramel notes. This beer was quite complex. Surprisingly, there was not the dominant alcohol character that I expected. This beer was very smooth and velvety with just a hint of bourbon. For a beer with 98 IBU’s, the balance was amazing!
The 2008 Ten FIDY had a huge vanilla presence. There was also an abundance of molasses, which I didn’t notice in the 2011. Similar to the 2011 Ten FIDY, the mouth-feel was velvety and creamy smooth. After approximately 15 minutes, the 2008 Oskar Blues Ten FIDY had a dried fruit taste. The boozy, alcohol characteristics I expected from the start now made its presence known. I also noticed a feint hint of raisin.
The 2011 really hadn’t changed. Still creamy, smooth and delicious, chocolate now dominated my palate. This combination of chocolate and caramel instantly brought me back to my childhood and the tastes of a fresh Twix candy bar.
For years, there was a misconception that canned beer was not as good as bottled beer. But with improved technology and techniques, we’ve reached a new era. And for cellaring purposes, it may be the ideal situation.
Using terms like cross-eyed, cyclopean and concupiscent, Oskar Blues describes Ten FIDY like no one else can. Consumed fresh, this canned gem will bring delight and satisfaction to even the toughest critic. Add a few years via cellaring, and you have a true epic imbuement!