I have been known to keep beers far too long and most of the time what I end up with is an aged beer which is still good, but far from the complex gem I was hoping it would turn out to be. For New Years Eve I decided to open a 2003 North Coast Old Stock Ale and time had treated this beer very well indeed. What was interesting is it was hazy, I would have thought a beer this old would have superb clarity. Also the carbonation was paltry, barely a hiss and hardly any head. It is an 11.4% ABV beast so some impairment is to be expected. The beer was ice-cold when I poured it and blossomed as it warmed as any old ale should. A nice complexity of caramel and sherry oxidation with a strong malt backbone. Alcohol was virtually nonexistent in the aroma and flavor, but wowser the warming post consumption was off the charts. Come to think of it in hindsight the only flaws this beer had were that haze and lack of head. The carbonation was perfect for the style. I wish I could say getcha some, but that would be near impossible 10 years later. I wonder if 10 years changes it from Old Stock Ale to Old Old Stock Ale and at what point it would become Old Old Old Stock Ale?
My suggestion to the cellar novice would be to use the store as the cellar unless you have several vintages and wish to have a vertical tasting. IME time is generally not kind to beer unless the alcohol content is substantial. YMMV. 😉