aged-aventinus

Schneider and Sohn: Aventinus: 2013 Vintage Release (Germany: Weizen Bock: 8.2% ABV)

Visual: Deep brown, with overripe banana colour at the edges. Creamy browned head. Lots of carbonation.

Nose: Madeira. Raisins. Cloves. Liquorice. Spiced red wine. Fruitcake. Vanilla caramel. Smooth. Cream.

Body: Massive raisins, brandy cream, bananas and Madeira. Smooth. Lemon sherbet. Orange zest. Cloves. Glacier cherries. Caramel.

Finish: Brandy cream. Orange liqueur. Baileys touch. Port.

Conclusion: An excuse to drink Aventinus again! Like I need an excuse. Still, despite not needing one it is still nice to have one. So – since I’m guessing most of you are aware I have already done notes on the standard, young, Aventinus, then I might as well concentrate on the changes that have happened with age.

So – the first and most obvious difference is the mouthfeel. This is much smoother, feels less carbonated, and a touch lighter. This is a mixed blessing for me – it makes it super easy to drink, especially for an over 8% abv beer, but with that it loses some of the cool, rough, wheaty texture of a young Aventinus.

Then again, I am a fan of my rough edges – which the most of the world seems to disagree with me on – so that may be an issue only for me. However, the increase in intensity and clarity of the flavours and aroma is by far worth it. They are so much clearer and more evident – every one defined perfectly now. The various spirit and wine notes that were always there are now expanded and refined. The banana, raisins and spice that is the core of the beer is added to with slight lemon and sherbet notes. The sweetness has been heightened with vanilla and caramel now used subtly against the forceful front flavours. Everything that existed before has been polished up by the years.

So – flaws? Well, as referenced before it has a lighter body – which can be a touch thin by my tastes at times. From my experience with ageing beers this is nigh always the case with older beers and part of the trade off. They get smoother, but lighter feeling in general. Is it worth it? Well, I wouldn’t want to lose the younger Aventinus for this permanently, but, since I can have both – yes it is well worth either trying to age one yourself, or grabbing one of these as long as it isn’t on a silly mark up over the younger version. Definitely recognisably Aventinus in flavour, but with a different feel and a different experience.

Still the classic. Bulletproof to the years quality wise – different but still awesome.

Background: Yes, I have done notes on Aventinus before. Yes, technically this is just an aged Aventinus so should be under the “Old Beer, Good Beer?” section. However, this is an official release, deliberately held back for three years, then released in paper wrapping. Paper wrapping! Surely that deserves a second set of notes. Anyway, drunk 2016 this is a three year aged bottle of one of my favourite beers of all time. It was grabbed from Corks of Cotham. I was mildly disappointed that under the wrapping it was not the old school purple Aventinus label underneath, but I guess you can’t have everything.

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