Aging Beers: Lost Rhino Wandering Belgian India Pale Ale, Ashburn, Va. at 3 Years From our “Vault”
Date: February 1, 2018
The Story— Lost Rhino is a yeast-adventurous stalwart of the nest of breweries in the Ashburn-Sterling-Leesburg corridor of Loudoun County, Virginia. We’ve collaborated with them to produce some big rye and hoppy beers, but this had a Belgian accent from the outset. It’s success in aging reflects the impressive quality control of the brewer.
Almost all brewers of IPAs implore drinkers to drink them as fresh as possible. (An exception are the huge collaborations from Stone, Berlin that we highlighted in late 2018.) The Belgian funk in this beer, however, continues to develop even as the hops step back a bit. When we first had this beer we found lots of hops and some Belgian fruit. Some dry fruit rolled along with a ton of bitter from the 60 IBUs. It was, without, a grown up ale. At three years, it may be better with the hops backing off just a bit. It’s certainly no worse for wear.
The Beer—Fruity, nicely funky., Belgian trumps the IPA, but the lingering bitter adds a dimension to the Belgian complexity and there’s plenty of soft orange citrus left as well. You wouldn’t think this would be a good lay down beer, but it’s interesting, vibrant, hoppy and gently funky without acid. different, but absolutely as good As it warms the bitter of the yeast and hops grow and it’s quite dry. Ellie noted the dry funk and and found more sharp hop bitter— even after three years.
Value — very good– maybe even when fresh, but certainly now if you’ve had the patience,
Values: “fair” is a good beer at an above market price, “good” is worth the money, “very good” is a bargain, and “excellent” is a steal.
In February, we’re digging into our legendary “vault” where we’ve been storing hundreds of bottles of beer waiting for the right time to taste them (or sell them for charity). The charity market has slowed, so we’re working through them in front of a fire and finding some disappointments, but more very surprising delights. You can find the full list –eventually– here on this “index post.”
We’re often asked to share our tasting notes on over 33,000 beers; this blog is in answer to those requests. Not all our notes, though. The great beer writer Michael Jackson admirably followed the Thumper Rule, and we’ll try to do the same. (“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nuthin’ at all.”) All the beers we post are from the top half of our ratings and most are from the top quarter. Of greater value, we think, are the stories behind the beers, and we try to give you enough about the brewery, the style and the places to find great beer to help you on your own beer journeys. At CulturAle Press we try to write books and publish posts that will help you “Drink Well and Travel Safely.”