Aging large gravity beers can really help bring out some greater characteristics in several different styles. Larger stouts, porters, Scottish ales, and barrel-aged ales work the best for aging or cellaring. IPA and Double IPAs are net recommended for aging because the hops will start to break down over time and give an off flavor to your ales. Be sure the ABV is at least 8% or higher for the optimal aging process.
Lambics, saisons, gueuzes, and any other type of beer that uses organisms other than yeasts to produce flavors will also cellar well. Wild yeast strains such as Brettanomyces can stay active in the bottle for years, slowly changing the profile of the beer. Beers stored this way can go from a heady, hoppy beer and convert to more of a spicy, earthy beer.
The ideal aging environment is around 45F – 65F. It’s better to keep them cool but not frozen. Keep all of your bottles in a light tight or dark place. UV light is your enemy when it comes to cellaring because the UV will penetrate the bottle and create what is called light stricken ( or skunk) flavor. Try to avoid agitating the bottles to help avoid any kind of oxidation (taste like a copper penny).
I typically stick the beers I want to age in a cabinet and try to forget about them. I still have beers aging from over 5 years ago, and every time I open them they taste even better. So whether you are buying your favorite Russian Imperial stouts or home brewing your favorite ale, it never hurts to put some of them aside and enjoy those aged ales for years to come!