FOUNDERS RÜBÆUS - VINTAGE 2013
Most fruit or vegetable beers (not including lambics or sours) like pumpkin ales or fruity wheat beers don't get recommended for aging. Not to say that Rübæus is something that stands at the forefront either, but it's imperialized version, Blushing Monk, aged wonderfully so the sense of curiosity took over. The beer is only 5.7% ABV, which is a few points under the recommended aging level, but this is all about taking risks...right?
The smell is very juicy and heavy on the raspberry. Although it was fruit forward when fresh, there was still the sense of beer in the nose. You were still able to pick out some of the malt definition. Now it is almost straight raspberry juice with a bit of tartness and sugar.
In the flavor, there isn't anything tart or sour except from the natural juices of the raspberries. The base beer has a bit of an old flavor to it with a slight bitterness that is a bit vegetal. That vegetal sense mixed with the juices of the fruit gives the overall flavor a slight medicinal characteristic. This appeals to some, but not everyone wants to think of Tussin when drinking their beer. When fresh, the fruit is very vibrant and clean and almost drinks like a medley of green apple, grape and raspberry. Now the flavor has shifted to more of a cranberry/raspberry flavor. Ends a bit dry.
Personally, I wouldn't age this one, at least not for more than 6 months. It doesn't quite do the beer justice. Generally when fresh fruit is used in beers, it is added to provide a bright, sweet layer to the beer's flavor. In this case, the raspberries are added 5 times throughout the process of making the beer. The result is a fruit forward beer that reaches a refreshing, juicy level. Once the fruit ages it starts to loose the vibrancy that it once had. I think the luster that Rübæus provides wanes too much over time to really showcase how great this beer really is and should be.
WHAT IS CELLARED?
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.