Beer Cellar

Rare, unusual, and carefully aged beers

BROOKLYN MONSTER ALE 2010

New York, 10.1% alc./vol.
Style: Barley wine

No longer in production, this lively barley wine brewed under the watchful eye of master brewer and beer author Garret Oliver is an accomplishment to be savoured with every sip. A complex nose of toffee and citrus announces the arrival on the palate of a medium-bodied, warm and leafy hop body that stays on the sweeter side and finishes milder than its high alcohol content would suggest. 

DIEU DU CIEL! SOLSTICE D’HIVER 2015 

Québec, 10.2% alc./vol.
Style: Barley wine

Leave it to the Rain Men over at Montreal’s magical brewpub to come up with a beer that breaks the rules for a style that some say has no rules. This winter seasonal is aged at the brewery for up to five months simply to give the massive hop hurricane a time to calm down. Once bottled, the resulting beer still has a strong bitterness, tempered by burnt caramel and dried fruits. 

Cuvee de Ranke.png

Cuvée de Ranke 2017 

Belgium, 7% alc./vol.
Style: Flemish sour and lambic blend

The sours of Belgium are produced differently largely based on region, and it took a truce between two competing styles to create this masterpiece of a beer. From West Flanders we have the red-brown style, which is soured in old oak vats containing a vast microbiome creating its characteristic fruity acidity. Further East we have lambic, a beer containing aged hops and fermented in exposed containers by the natural airborne flora native to the Zenne valley, finishing dry and musty. Cuvée de Ranke is a careful blend of the two, using lambic from Brewery Girardin. It is a clever mix of sour lemon and oak, surprisingly easy to drink, and certainly a bucket-list beer for you folks keeping score out there.

Kriek de Ranke.png

KRIEK DE RANKE 2017 

Belgium, 7% alc./vol.
Style: Flemish sour and lambic blend

With a scant 1500 bottles brewed per year, Kriek de Ranke is one of the rarest beers on our list. To unfinished casks of Cuvée de Ranke (above), fresh cherries from Poland are added. The mix is then allowed to steep and ferment, the cherries slowly being consumed until nothing but the pits remain and the beer is a deep radiant red. If our Cuvée de Ranke description got your mouth watering, it’s almost a pity that you’ve read this far because it’s going to be a painful thing deciding between the two.

Cascade sang royale.png

Cascade Sang Royal 2016 (Pinot Noir) 

Oregon, 9.4% alc./vol.
Style: Sour ale

Portland’s Cascade Brewing could be North America’s premier producer of sour beers and they have the awards to prove it. And of everything they create, the Sang Royal series is some of their most highly sought-after beer. Up to 22 months of ageing in separate oak barrels and foeders is required to make this product, and for the 2016 vintage the beer shared its time in there alongside pinot noir grapes from Willamette Valley. The result is prodigiously fruity and tangy with highlights of summer berry, plums and black pepper.

Rodenbach Vintage 2015.png

RODENBACH VINTAGE 2015

Belgium, 7% alc./vol.
Style: Flemish sour ale

You may be familiar with Rodenbach Grand Cru, a Flemish red that is a blend of two versions of the same beer: a young, sweet version, and a 2 year-old oak‑aged version that’s been allowed to sour. This bottle is just the old stuff, from what the master brewers have judged to be the best barrel of the year. 2015 was a good year. From this golden bottle pours a beer that’s ripe with an intensely acidic apple and cherry fruitiness, a good balancing honey sweetness and hints of vanilla and oak.

FULLER’S VINTAGE ALES 

England, 8.5% alc./vol.
Style: English Strong Ale 

Since 1997, the storied London brewery Fuller’s has produced an annual vintage ale. Their intent has been to brew a strong English ale with the finest old-world hops and malts of the season to create a beer that develops with age, replete with all the boozy fruit notes and aromas that define the style. We’ve been cellaring their beers since we’ve opened, and hope to keep doing it until the end of time. If you’re looking for the best day ever, grab some friends and try a vertical tasting of all the vintages we have left. 

2006: Super Styrian hops and floor malted barley. Only 100,000 bottles produced. 

2007: 10th Anniversary edition, we’re carrying some of the lower range of these individually numbered bottles (3000s out of 150,000 produced). Fuggles, Target and Super Styrian hops. 

2008: Northdown and Challenger hops, floor malted Maris Otter malt. 

2009: Kent-grown Golding hops and East Anglican Tipple malted barley. 

2010: Only 125,000 bottles produced. Expected by the brewer to age into a “Classic Vintage”. Goldings and Fuggle hops, Dry-hopped with Golding and Target hops, Tipple malted barley. 

2011: Goldings, Organic First Gold and Sovereign hops; organic barley. 

2012: Goldings, Soverign and Target hops; family-grown organic barley. 

2014: English Goldings hops alongside American Liberty and Cascade. 

2017: Experimental tropical-fruity Denali hops with Goldings and Target. Crystal, pale and hew hybrid Laureate malts.

PANIL BARRIQUÉE 2007

Italy, 6.5% alc./vol. 
Style: Flemish sour ale 

Our very first experiment in ageing sour ales was this prized Italian beer that’s been sitting at 12°C for over a decade. Panil Birra Artigianale produces two versions of this ale: one for export to North America, and one domestic. This is the true Italian version. Of the three fermentations this beer goes through, it is the second—a three-month maturation in cognac barrels from Bordeaux—that bestows upon it an earthy, sour body with true depth of character. Cellaring has brought the spirituous woody notes straight up to the forefront in astonishing fashion, while the sour aspect has maintained at a constant relative mildness. The result is a sipping sour with fruit, funk and spice. 

LE TROU DU DIABLE L’IMPÉRATRICE SPECIAL EDITION 2016

Québec, 10% alc./vol.
Style: Imperial stout 

“The Empress” is an Imperial stout aged for three to six months in American Bourbon casks, and it’s one of the boozier tasting bottles we’ve got, not that that’s a bad thing. The coffee, chocolate and fig notes that form the strong stout base of this beer are transformed into something otherworldly with conditioning. Vanilla, caramel, toasted wood and hot alcohol heat are very much at home here in this aggressively foamy beer, and while it’s big enough to share, we’ll understand if you want to keep it to yourself. 

CHIMAY GRAND RÉSERVE MAGNUM 2011 

Belgium, 9% alc./vol., 1.5 L
Style: Belgian Strong Ale (Trappist) 

This is the strongest and maltiest ale from the Trappist monastery brewery, Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Scourmont. Known as Chimay Blue when served in less comically large bottles, it’s roundly spicy and winy in character and only getting smoother with age. 

fuller's imperial stout 2016

England, 10.7% alc./vol. 

This sexy-looking bottle comes from one of England’s most storied breweries, and will take you back to what an Imperial Stout is supposed to taste like. Beautifully rendered with a wine-like aroma, there is an upfront brandy kick that quickly mellows to a plummy, nutty smoothness. The floral character here isn’t just due to the products of fermentation, but is also there thanks to the addition of rose buds why not. Don’t think it’s a gimmick. Well, maybe it’s a gimmick. But let your tastebuds decide. We think you’ll like it.

straffe hendrik heritage 2014

Belgium, 11% alc./vol.
Style: Abt/Quadrupel

You wanted barrel aged? Here’s your barrel aged. This limited-edition quadrupel has been rendered into something lush and sublime by spending over a year gracefully maturing on oak. It’s pretty amazing what this can add to what was already a pretty winey beer. That combination of woody, spicy, creamy and caramelly goodness is something that just can’t be produced by Belgian yeast alone. And when all that serves as a blanket on top of what Belgian yeast actually is good at: the creation of fruit flavours and floral aromas, you get something so fine that it’s almost a foregone conclusion that it would come to your table housed in its own wooden box.

Saison du Pinacle Reserve 2018.png

Dunham Saison du Pinacle Réserve (Sauvignon Blanc 2018)

Québec, 6.5% alc./vol.
Style: Saison

Although this beer has taken up residence in our ageing cellar, we’re releasing it for drinking now while at the same time hoping a few bottles last in the years to come. That’s because it’s already super tasty and we’re expecting the flavour profile to change greatly as the Brettanomyces in the bottle takes over. Right now this hoppy farmhouse beer is a lively saison that has benefitted from already spending a good amount of time in sauvignon blanc barrels. Try it now to experience the delicate light fruity notes and remember it for later: as the years pass it’ll build up that dry spicy funk for which these types of beers are cherished.

 

Our cellaring program

A few select beers show huge improvement after spending some years in the bottle. Beer with active yeasts, high alcohol content and sometimes high sugar or acidity are the best candidates to experiment with. Flavours can evolve, combine and soften to create a sublime drinking experience. Some brewers even insist that their beers best not be touched until they've had time to mature. We've been carefully ageing chosen bottles in our 12°C cellar for over the last ten years, and are pretty pleased with the results. Here is our current selection from the cellar: each one a sought-after rarity. Please come visit us to try one of these special bottles.