We tried to look at the importance of freshness from a scientific angle a couple weeks back, and though there were perhaps a couple missteps, it's clear that the people making the beer find freshness to be very important.Listen to Collin Mc Donnell of Hen House Brewing, who we talked to about freshness: "Beer is perishable and nine out of ten beers are getting worse the longer they stay in the bottle -- hoppy beers in particular lose a significant amount of aroma and start oxidizing (tasting like cardboard or cooking sherry) in a short period of time." It could really be that simple.It's hard to argue with a beer that never had to sit anywhere but in that dark cool brewery.
So, today, we’ll spend quite a bit of time on the bottle designs for vintage Shalimar, their history, their appearance, their packaging, their differences, and the methods used to try to date the bottles.
The analysis will focus almost entirely on the parfum, but I’ll briefly mention the bottle designs for the other concentrations that were discussed in Part II.
And that we're dealing with 10-20 raters a day at the end.
We have 200-400 ratings a day before 2/14/14, and then the sample drops by 90%. Leave it in the dark, in the beer fridge, if you like. "You're buying beer because you want to enjoy it, so make sure you're getting the most for your money," says Mc Connell.
Here's their decoder ring: But this won't work for all packaging codes, like, for example, Sierra Nevada and Lagunitas. Beer with no freshness dating except a packaging code leaves you with few options; you can weigh how fast that beer moves at that retailer and how close the brewery is to where you're buying it and extrapolate a guesstimate of freshness, but the better option to to buy something you know is fresh," says Mc Donnell.
The good news is that breweries care about freshness -- listen to El Segundo's Thomas Kelley tell us about the different ways he works with distributors and shops to ensure freshness, for example -- and are moving towards the kind of distribution of freshness information that should combat this problem.
Like all the rest of the things we drink and eat, there's a Best By attached to beer, and as vigilant beer consumers, we should stay on top of it. Mc Donnell suggests that you look for "bottled on" dates: "Different beers, of course, age differently but a good rule of thumb is that beer will taste best in it's first 30 days in a bottle and taste real gnarly after 90." Unfortunately, not all beers have these super-helpful dates.
So how can we spot fresh beer, and the best places to buy the freshest beer? Some have a mashup of letters and numbers that seem to be random. Thanks to the Consumerist, we have a little help in uncovering the secret born on date.
There's a freshness movement gathering, perhaps spurred into the public consciousness by Stone's Enjoy By, and the consumer can use this moment to advocate on the behalf of their beer. "Caring about how you're beer is treated doesn't make you a snob any more than caring how your eggs, milk or bread are treated does.
Trying to date vintage Shalimar and navigating e Bay to find a bottle of the version that you prefer might seem, at first glance, to be an exhausting, frustrating, and complicated ordeal.
I’ll also provide you with links to various guides or articles that go through the minutiae and specifics of the many types of Shalimar bottles over the decades for you to read on your own time.