Sometimes you have a beer in your fridge that you inadvertently age. You had a party, people brought beer, and the remainder bottle(s) sat on your shelf for days, months, and then years. Constantly pushed from one side to another, front to back, and even put into plain sight with the thought "I'm going to drink this damn thing one day."

Well four years ago, on St. Patrick's Day, there was a 6-pack of Guinness Draught (sans widget) brought to the house and one lone straggler remained and became the last picked in gym class. Finally after a long while I figured it was time to drink this shelf turd and look at a beer that would otherwise not be aged, at least not intentionally. After all, it has been refrigerated since the beginning of its existence in my presence.

When poured, I was expecting minimal head and some carbonation, but the delivery was an inch or more head with a mass of bubbles that resembled a poured Coke. Almost as if it wanted to do something fancy like the nitro pour would but completely failed at the show.

The smell was....weak. Oatmeal, soaked grains and a bit of non-flavored, sugarless cereal. Then again, Guinness doesn't have much aroma to begin with, but this was dead, even for Guinness.

The taste seemed watered down. There was lack of life, which was somewhat expected seeing this was 4 years old and would be trashed otherwise. As it warmed up, there was a bit of dark malt and grain, but no hops or much of anything else. A slight metallic or tinny flavor catches you mid-taste, which might suggest some sort of hop bitters, but it is fleeting. Only at the back of the taste do you pick up some oats and slight iced coffee flavor. No cocoa, no strong flavor whatsoever.

Is it drinkable? Yeah, but the flavor takes you only as far as Stevie Wonder can see. It won't kill you. You may not even pour it out. Just aim low with your expectations and that way you can only be pleasantly surprised....kinda.


Our CELLARED series aims to explore the world of aging beer and sharing the effects of time in the bottle. Bottles have been kept away from light and at temperatures between 44-60 degrees. Individual experiences may vary depending on storage environments.

Posted on July 11, 2014 .