Well I'm calling BULLSHIT on this.
I've had a few beers that have reputations of losing their hoppy mojo's within a few weeks. (i.e. Stone Enjoy By and Russian River's Pliney the Elder).
I've had these beers. I've had Pliney fresh. I've had Enjoy By fresh. And here's a quick synopsis.
Pliney the Elder: Medium High alcohol. Billed as an Imperial IPA but once again I call Bullshit on that. There is no way that an 8% beer is an Imperial IPA. Torpedo Extra IPA is 7.2%. And that's just classed as a regular IPA
- Aroma: Piny and citrusy.
- Flavor: Medium to low Hoppy flavor. Torpedo Extra is twice as strong (hop character) as this beer. Personally I think it's pretty weak.
- Verdict: I don't understand the hype. I tried the 6 month old version first. Then I tried a fresh sample. EXACTLY the same.
Stone: Enjoy By: 9.4% ABV. This is an awesome beer. Super hoppy. I've saved a bit for laster tasting. 6 Months. Still just as strong. Just as good. Awesome. No difference.
Grand Teton Brewing Company - Lost Continent: An 8% abv beer bottled on 2/24/2012. I bought this beer on 9/26/2012. I drank it on 7/2/2012.
- Aroma: Super piny and medium citrus.
- Flavor: A little boozy, even at 8%. But very, very, VERY Hoppy. So hoppy, I'm sitting her sipping this beer. 16 months after it's bottled-on date and it is so hoppy that I have to sip lightly.
My verdict on the myth of IPA's losing their hoppiness... Once again. I call BULL... SHIT!!!
So when I review an IPA with a crazy big reputation and say it is weak, I mean "It's weak."
It's not that the IPA is old. It's that the IPA is weak. I don't get hung up on Brand Reputation. Except that if it has a reputation, then I'm going to judge it a bit more harshly. i.e., Pliney is weak and way over rated. If Lost Continent is still super hoppy and tastes fresh after 16 months, then the argument that Pliney is only good 'fresh' is a cop out for how weak and over-rated this IPA actually is.
So feel free to store those stronger IPA's. They will last if they are taken care of. Their profile may change but it won't go away.
Drink what you like. And enjoy what you drink.