1. American Craft Beer Fest is this weekend in Boston, Mass. Join us for 640+ beers from 140+ brewers! Tickets for Friday, May 29 are still available. Cheers!

Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels)Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

787 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 787
Reviews: 316
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 8.13%
Wants: 248
Gots: 411 | FT: 40
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  13.16% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 06-03-2007

Vintages: 2005, 2009, 2013
View: Beers (19) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 787 | Reviews: 316
Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.92/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Duvel snifter glass.

Drinking this one at literal room temperature (60 degrees).

A - Pours a whiskey/cognac brown color. Forms a 2 finger, medium-tan colored quickly-dissipating head. High head potential, super low head retention. No lacing.
S - 5 - Wow, this is incredibly complex. Malts, bittersweet chocolate, very light barleywine style hop profile, leather, oak wood, wood sap, bourbon whiskey, butter, butterscotch, brown sugar, candied figs and plums, currants, raisins, dates, light marzipan almond cherry and lots of booze.
T - 5 - Taste matches the smell identically. Reminds me of a triple strong version of Founder's Backwoods Bastard for reference.
F - 4.5 - Quite smooth and oily, but also a bit then. Could be thicker. Really the only aspect holding this beer back from a perfect 100.
O - 5 - What an absolutely mind blowing brew. If you can get your hands on this, cellar it and save it for a special occasion, its amazing!

Photo of jzeilinger
4.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage

A - Pours a crystal clear deep burgundy color with light carbonation and a very thin lacing ring around the top.

S - Molasses, brown sugar, figs, dates, raisons, very delicate bourbon notes.

T - Lots of layers going on: Raisons, figs, light molasses, sweet caramel/toffee, vanilla, cherries, oak, and the bourbon almost comes across as "Rum-like".

M - A definite alcohol presence with warming on the way down

O - Wonderfully deep and complex, time has served this vintage well, glad I sat on this bottle and wish I bought more but it came with a hefty price tag. No regrets, though!

Photo of Desp59
2.5/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not my thing but it was pretty smooth.

Photo of ohbeer89
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This one gets docked on appearance because it pours cloudy. You'd think that the 2013 vintage would have dropped bright by now. A very noticeable bourbon burn on the nose coupled with dried stone fruits and raisins, the taste is exactly what you'd expect if someone told you "bourbon barrel aged old ale." Perhaps I'm docking this one more on value than on true merit, but this is by far the most expensive beer I've ever had and it simply isn't worth it.

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A great beer elevated to another level by barrel aging. Other than a mild burn, there was nothing else I could fault about this beer. Definitely worth trying, even though the price/oz ($19, 2013 batch) was a tad steep.

Photo of Franziskaner
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color with a massive amount of murkiness. There's just a trace of beige head around the rim of the glass. I smell a massive amount of sweet bourbon and light malt. The flavor is a massive amount of sweetness from the bourbon and loads of light malt. The mouth is thick and sticky.

Photo of uvachief
4.46/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle drank in April of 2015. Poured from a 500ml bottle into a brandy snifter. Aggressive pour resulted in a full finger of head that quickly dissipated. Golden orange brown color that is more orange than brown. Light penetrates it. Lots of carbonation appears present. Smells of bourbon, mild malts and dark fruit. Taste is very very complex. Bourbon whiskey (not true KY straight bourbon) then dark fruits like raisins, plumbs or dates. Then hints of caramelized sugars with malts, vanilla, oak and a host of other subtle flavors. Big boozy burn going down. Burn is significant but beer is smooth. Powerful ale. ABV is huge. But the complex flavors help beat it down. Finishes with dark fruit and bourbon. After one glass, you feel it. Don't drink and drive on this one. Now I know why it is a 500ml bottle. 6-8 oz pours would make a lot of sense. Feel is pretty thin - it is an ale - but it does have an odd lingering chewy taste. An EXCELLENT ale aged in bourbon barrels. Can't wait to try the one aged in brandy barrels.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: ruby brown ale with a finger of tan foam; left a vague sheen down the glass

S: lightly boozed fruits, sweet resin and brown sugar syrup; vague booze

T: dark fruits like date and fig, bourbon barrels contribute vanilla and wood; something herbal and leathery, hints of shellac

M: medium-light and smooth, slick and slim; slightly sticky finish with an elegant drying

O: an epic ale done right by bourbon barrel aging - pricy ($20+/bottle) but worth it for fans of the brew or bourbon barrels and old ales...

Photo of MattyG85
4.74/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 version. Poured from a 500 ml corked bottle into a stemmed chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark and hazy brownish amber with a moderate amount of bubbles. Small off white head that quickly fades away.

Smell: A nicely boozy and sweet malty aroma with big hints of bourbon, caramel, and biscuit. Upfront barrel presence with good hints of bourbon whiskey, vanilla, oak, and wood. Toasted barley malt with good hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, butterscotch, yeast, and slight roast. Sweet hints of molasses and brown sugar. Earthy and floral hop hints. Dark fruit hints of cherry, dates, raisin, and fig. A really good complex aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a boozy, bready, and sweet malty taste with big notes of bourbon, caramel, and biscuit. Big upfront barrel presence with boozy notes of bourbon whiskey, vanilla, oak, and wood. Toasted barley malt with notes of sweet caramel and toffee along with some biscuit, butterscotch, yeast, and subtle roast. Sweet taste of molasses along with brown sugar. Some earthy and floral hop notes come through. Nice dark fruit undertones of fig, cherry, raisin, and dates. A great complex boozy taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a low to medium level of carbonation. Chewy, slick, and creamy. Has some alcohol heat as expected but it’s actually fairly smooth considering it’s 14%.

Overall: A really great take on a barrel aged stock ale. Big bourbon flavor with a great mix of toasty malt and dark fruit notes. Pricey but it arguable lives up to it.

Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.34/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Awesome stuff. Drinks a litle hot with the bourbon, but still really good and has good balance.

Photo of Roguer
4.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Extremely fizzy head, immediately disappearing. Not a promising start. Brew itself is an extremely dark brown, nearly stout/porter-like.

Big bourbon notes dominate the aroma, along with chocolate, brown sugar, and toffee. Dark fruit and oak are nearly overwhelmed, but overall, the aroma is quite pleasant. Just a bare touch of oxidation.

Bourbon, caramel, and chocolate up front; dark fruit and brown sugar; long finish primarily of bourbon, featuring vanilla, coconut, sweet liquor, and a touch of slightly sour oak.

Tons of foaming in the mouth; makes it a difficult beer to savor. Very hot, representing the alcohol very noticeable. Bourbon finishes very strong on the palate. Fairly long, wet, hot finish.

Truly a brew for bourbon lovers, this is absolutely amazing. Complex and deep; layered and strong; unforgiving and uncompromising. I have major complaints in the look and mouthfeel department, but the beer more than makes up for it on the palate.

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.04/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml ceramic bottle poured into a snifter. This is the 2009 vintage.

A: Pours a murky brown color, like muddy water. Fine-bubbled beige head sputters out after a minute or two. No lacing, but that isn't surprising for a beer this big, old, and barrel aged.

S: Caramel and butterscotch (not in a bad way), subtle hint of coffee cake, maybe some maple fudge. Slight papery oxidation. Vinous undercurrents. Barrel aromas take on a supporting role: barrel char, seasoned oak, bourbon balls, and soft bourbon aromas.

T: Molasses, maple fudge, honey, caramel. Vinous flavors and spicy alcohol come forward for a while. Wet paper/cardboard oxidation reflects the age. The bourbon still has a mild kick, even after all this time. Oak, bourbon, and barrel char bring up the rear and ride into the finish.

M: A once fat malt body is now just starting to thin a little with age. There's still a slick silkiness to it and a slight coating feel and a nice roundness. Tingling carbonation is still there. Soothing alcohol warmth.

O: This has aged well for 6+ years. It could probably still go another handful of years at least, depending on one's preferences. If you like the aged Thomas Hardy or J.W. Lees vintages, you will find some common ground here. Old Stock is one of the only American made Old Ales that can be mentioned in the same breath as those.

Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Doesn't look like much as it pours a murky brown with an off white wispy head. Aroma of vanilla, oak, bourbon, figs, plums, and countless other dark fruits. Flavor explodes with vanilla, bark, and booze. Delicious. Comes off a little hot, but I don't mind. I don't care for the base...I've tried and tried, but I just don't. But something magical happens when it hit barrels. Just a notch bellow the brandy version, but still fantastic.

Photo of KansasBeerLover
4.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8 oz. Draught served in a snifter.

Appearance: Dark brown body. Head was creamy two fingers deep. Lacing was absent.

Smell: Bourbon, barley malt, wine-like.

Taste: Alcohol is present. Bourbon, brandy, barley malt, caramel.

Mouthfeel: Sweet and thick. If not for the alcohol it would be smooth.

Overall: For a strong ale it is good. Another one that could benefit from cellaring.

Photo of tykechandler
2/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer is all barrel. The high ratings are ridiculous. No nuance. You would be better off getting a bottle of cheap bourbon. Only for ABV and BA nerds.

Photo of Greasy
4.55/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 Edition poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Murky brown. 1.5 finger off white head makes a cameo appearance and quickly dissipates into nothingness.

S: Plenty of bourbon. Toffee. Hints of caramel.

T: Big bourbon flavor up front with hints of toffee and sweet malts in the middle.

M: Medium body. No alcohol bite for a 14.1% abv monster. Smooth finish.

O: Is it worth the hefty pricetag? Probably. It is so well made. Not exactly flying off the shelves like most limited release BA beers, so I'll probably grab another to cellar for a couple of years.

Photo of Sludgeman
3.63/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This a fine barrel aged product but not an excellent "old ale" as reflected in the many other reviews. It's late so I'll fill in the details in a few days from my notes.

Photo of Odysseyalien
4.21/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a delicious upgrade from your standard Old Stock Ale. The barrel aging really adds a couple of layers of delicious to this brew. My only real objection is the price. Still, I'm going to go out and buy another bottle or two on payday.

Photo of JamesStreet
4.49/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 Cellar Reserve poured on tap at Corporate Draft and Brew in Baton Rouge.
A - murky ruby color with a thinly bubbled head. Not much lacing
S - toffee, caramel, spirits, a bit of butterscotch, deliciousness.
T - follows the nose with the toffee and booze coming through. Nice hop bite as well
M - smooth, velvety creaminess. Low carbonation.
O- this was a treat! I've loved Old Stock Ale but Cellar Reserve is a step above. So good!

Photo of beergoot
4.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unique label info: 2013 Cellar Reserve version, ABV of 14.1%

Murky reddish-brown body with a thick, fluffy head. Rich caramel nose; toffee and dried nuts. Deep caramel sweetness; toffee; boozy; hint of bourbon; slowly developing hop bitterness at the finish. Heavy body; thick and chewy.

Malt forward with a slowly developing yet ultimately satisfying bourbon tinged finish. Bold, complex, and deeply satisying.

Photo of gatornation
4.49/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a dark copper color with an off white head nice amount of lacing left on the glass
S-bourbon with oak toffee and caramel and bread notes
T-fantastic BA presence with the base beer nice notes of wood and malts with some dark fruit
M-medium carbonation with loads of BA notes slight alcohol burn
O- a great BA brew very tasty 500ml was the right size its pricey but worth a try

Photo of notchucknorris
4.48/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark caramel color with a huge two finger tan head. Was not expecting such a great head from this one. Looks amazing.

S: Bourbon, molasses, wet wood, some toasted brown sugar, freshly baked banana bread and maybe just a touch of leather.

T: This base beer is so amazing, I really don't think you can do wrong with it. It's fantastic alone, it's great in brandy barrels and this is amazing as well. Caramel, toasted biscuit, and a good amount of bourbon. The finish brings just a hint of the alcohol, but it gives just a touch of dryness, rather than burning the hell out of you. 14%? What 14%. I may like the brandy version better, but this is pretty tasty.

Photo of DrunkAl
4.24/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 label (January 2015 release) 500ml bottle. Flat, murky brown pour. Aroma is bourbon, touch of sweet dark fruit. Taste is caramel, vanilla, bourbon. Malty. Slightly boozy but very easy to drink. Other than the price, $23 for a 500ml, I have nothing to complain about.

Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
4.28/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle

Look - Pours a dark chestnut brown with white effervescent head. Head dissipates quickly with small to medium bubbles. No clinging. Once head disappears the color is shown to be a deep ruby red when held to light. Resembles a liquor. 4.5 paws.

Smell - Deep, rich dark fruit notes of date and fig. A bit of caramel. A slight hint of creme brulee. Roasty and nutty, with a walnut astringency. 4.5 paws

Taste - Rich nutty flavor melded with chewy fruit. Very boozy finish, but seems to work well with the other flavors. Woody bourbon flavor is there, with only the slightest hint of vanilla. 4.25 paws.

Feel - Somewhat thin, surprisingly bubbly. Not much tingle on the tongue, but most prevalent on the sides. 3.75 paws.

Overall - A delightful beer, but a little too hot at this point. Give it a couple years to mellow and this would be a heavenly treat on a warm night. 4.25 paws.

Photo of Catracho5
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle poured into a Belgian style tulip

A: Dark red, amber, head dissipated fairly quick, tiny bubbles streaming, looks pretty thin, no lacing at all.

A: Big bourbon up front, sweet caramel, coconut, very sweet aromas, alcohol is noticeable, smells like a barley wine

T: Big bourbon, toasted coconut, sweet caramel flavors, I am picking up the base beer, getting that Old Stock Ale flavor slightly in the middle, it's really hot when it's cold but taste really good as it warms.

M: Medium mouthfeel

O: World class, big bourbon, toasted coconut, sweet aromas, warms up really well, more flavors as it warms, really nice, worth the $25 for 500ml bottle, not sure, but if this was around $16-18 I would stock up and cellar a few. But the price is the only concern I am not at all disappointed with the beer, cheers!

to view more.
Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 787 ratings.