Stash. It's one of the best words in the entire beery lexicon. I like it so much a picture of mine serves as the background of my Twitter page. No, not page... presence. It really is a Twitter presence. And, you know, it is a thing of comfort and joy, the stash. I wrote a post about my stash in 2005 and am wondering how long before that I was using the word. Back then it was about 40 bottles. Now it's about 200. I don't like to go beyond that as stuff just gets too old. I cull the stash by giving away beer. I cull it by drinking. And I preemptively cull it by living in Canada where no one really can get the good beer into the stash either by sales or samples. Yet, they are in there. A few excellent rare bottles. Buffered by a few almost excellent rare bottles. Buffered by more good but not quite excellent, hardly rare bottles. They are in there. At the back. Under boxes. Hidden. I can hear them.
The Ferm has the honor of hosting The Session, a monthly assemblage of beer bloggers to opine on a shared topic. The March 2010 topic is “The Display Shelf: When to Drink the Good Stuff.” The topic is open ended and the rules of The Session are close to nil. You can use your post to be persuasive or therapeutic. You may choose to tell a story of a great bottle you once opened or boast of your own beer collection.
Later: A 2006 Doggie Claw will help me think about this. One of the last bottles from the unfortunate shipment of late 2006. This bottle is rare because it is hard to get on the east coast of North America and also because it was through so much with me. And because it has mellowed. The slightest pffft on opening, the lightest carbonation, a syrup body, the most delightful barley wine I have ever had. Yum.
But does that answer the question. Let me think about that a bit.
Later still: a bottle of Gale and Co Conquest Ale bought at least five years ago for, according to the label, $3.99. A cork pop and, hmm, the waft is entirely lambic. Gorgeous. Like 50% Thomas Hardy Ale plus an equal amount of that cruelest beer. Or maybe one third to two thirds. Amazing. You figure out the proportions. Best have another wee think about what's going on here.