Last week we re-reviewed the collaborative Buddha Nuvo beer. As we said, the beer has seen a lot of changes in the last nine months now that it’s aged for a while. A lot of the alcohol burn is gone and the subtler flavors are shining through, the creaminess is more apparent, etc. This made me curious about how to properly review beers that are going to be different the next time you open a bottle. Or at least how to talk about them on this blog. I’m not sure I have any real good ideas.
The simplest plan would be to buy a couple bottles of the same beer, review the beer when it’s young and add the stipulation that we believe it should/could sit longer, as we did originally with the Buddha Nuvo. Then when we think it’s time, we open up the other one and review that, linking to the old one. Do we talk about what has changed, or do we not mention the differences, just talk about the current profile of the beer without mentioning previous flaws? I don’t know. Maybe this isn’t that big of a deal, but what if some of the negative things said about a young beer may have hurt that beer’s reputation even though now the beer happens to be turning out really nicely. Do we even talk about a beer that’s too young? I suppose so if it’s released in the market?
Like I said, maybe it doesn’t matter that much, but I do want to say that I felt it would have been irresponsible of us to only review the beer when it was young, knowing full well that the beer was meant to change. There are many other beers that we’ve sampled recently that would be very interesting to check back on in a year’s timing, like Crooked Stave’s WWBGreen or Odell Footprint. I suppose too we could always update the original review, linking to the most recent review (as we’ve done here)?
It’s a strange situation as a blogger, but one that I feel is important in terms of education and responsibility and will perhaps be a growing concern now that increasing amounts of breweries are bottling beers that are barrel aged or or adding yeasts that will drastically change with age. This post was just a quick rambling, a bit unorganized and not really thought through, but I imagine I’ll have more to say in the future. If any of you have additional ideas, let me know what you think.