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Magnums, Jeroboams and other monster bottles

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I've recently seen a wide variety of magnums and jeroboams for sale here in the NYC area, particularly those filled with Holiday beer. These used to be fairly difficult to find but I've manage to try a few over the years (Chimay, Duvel, Rodenbach, Anchor, Victory). All were pretty delicious but I didn't find a noticably different flavor vs their smaller siblings in 12oz or 750ml bottles. All I noticed was a much higher price per ml.

Is there an extra cost added for the luxury of having an enormous beer or can you actually taste a difference?

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  1. *In theory*, the added benefit of having much less of the beer, percentage-wise, exposed to the air in the neck of the bottle should mean the beer tastes fresher. OTOH, the same theory would suggest that the beer will age different (for those beers which are cellarable). I kinda think, that in most cases, the differences would be pretty hard to detect.

    I think the additional expense is mostly the added cost (passed along to you, the consumer) of those bottles- they ain't cheap and are a lot more than the number of 12 ounce bottles that it would take to contain the same amount of beer. Also, chances are they're more expensive to ship and handle and are probably very labor intensive to fill and cap at the brewery, as well. (No doubt all handwork, rather than automated filler/bottling line).

    1. And just think, when you're finished with the beer, you can make a lamp from the bottle!