WHAT IS A VERTICAL TASTING?
Just a few months ago, when I created a Spotify account to upload some of the "Bottle Share Playlists" selected exclusively for C R A F T E D, we defined a bottle share as a meeting of people where each participant brings different beers to enjoy together with the rest of the attendees.
If we think of a more sophisticated version of this type of meeting, (probably more didactic at the organoleptic level) where only beers of certain styles are chosen and in which the objective is to try (and compare) different vintages of a same beer, then we are facing a vertical tasting.
THE BEST BEERS TO AGE
Despite its name that is borrowed from the world of wines, vertical tasting is a social phenomenon with less fame when talking about beer. This is due to various reasons, but the main one is that most beers are not designed to age, but to be consumed at their peak, which means as fresh as possible.
We all know that styles like Pilsner, Pale Ale or India Pale Ale, characterized by their low or moderate alcohol content, do not age well. Moreover, beers that are characterized by a strong presence of hops, both in aroma and flavor, deteriorate rapidly.
The best beers to age are those that have a high alcohol content (Imperial Stout, Strong Ale, Barleywine) or a low pH level (Sour, Lambic). Also the smokey (Rauchbier) and the spicy ones (Christmas beer) are usually good candidates. As for the environment during the resting period the premises are clear: a dark, cool environment, and no movement.
A UNIQUE TASTING EXPERIENCE
It is evident that we live in an era in which the styles that we usually drink are not necessarily the ones that age better. But it is also true that the more experienced beer enthusiasts show interest in deepening their knowledge, and in tasting more intense, rich and complex beers. This makes it relatively common among brewers to make these types of beer (on a seasonal basis) that are more appropriate for aging, and put them on the market.
The nuances and profiles that this type of beer can gain over the years is a sensory adventure that in my opinion is well worth trying, so to all who dare: I wish you patience and lots of luck!