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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

782 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 782
Reviews: 316
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 8.13%
Wants: 248
Gots: 411 | FT: 39
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
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Ratings: 782 | Reviews: 316
Reviews by JoninVT:
More User Reviews:
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 RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This is a dirty brown in color with light orange highlights and a head that can't possibly keep up with the booze factor of this ale.

Smell - There's a huge cask nose here that is extremely woody. This is more like a fine aged bourbon than a beer. The whisky-like booze is prominent.

Taste - This really is like sipping bourbon. The rich American oak permeates the entire flavor profile and there is a musty aspect of this booze that reflects long cellaring. The malt is straight Kentucky bourbon and there's a rich cherry condition that begs for attention.

Mouthfeel - This is medium-bodied with a big alcohol presence that is somehow inviting.

Drinkability - I felt like a king sipping this ale. It is so well done and so incredible that you forget how hard it is.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.17/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a really nice beer. I'm just not sure it was worth $25 for the 500ml bottle.
In a snifter the beer was a ruby red color with just a rim of head.
Nice aroma of toffee, dark fruit, vanilla, and whiskey.
The whiskey aroma disappeared in the taste. Toffee and raisin. Kind of musty.
Very smooth. Didn't notice the alcohol at all, as contrasted with the regular Old Stock.
Very drinkable, but expensive.

Photo of Mora2000
4.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle. This is the 2009 vintage.

The beer pours a dark carmel color with a tan head. The aroma is full of bourbon, caramel and maple syrup. The aroma is definitely that of a bourbon-barrel aged beer and is quite enjoyable.

The flavor is more of the same. I get a lot of chocolate notes and caramel malt, as well as some bourbon and maple notes. There is also a little bit of vanilla from the barrel aging process. The alcohol is detectable but is not overpowering.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very nice.

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 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 Beerandraiderfan
4.14/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a chestnut brown, with a thin, flimsy head construed of mostly open bubbles, making a thin beige head. There's red in the edges color wise. I'm normally not a fan of the base beer, in fact, I let an ex chug a bottle of the 2000 a few years ago, that was hilarious. Anyways, the aroma is so nice and sweet in the bourbon barrel versions of these, complete 180 degree turnaround for my nose. Bourbon oak, sweetness, it makes an almost syrup/molasses like component come out of the beer. Plenty of carmelized vanilla oak notes. Pretty amazing stuff aroma wise.

For something of this massive constitution, the beer felt so much lighter. A nice sweet body, but it wasn't thick. Seemed like the barrel lightened the body and added so much flavor. Bourbon isn't hot at all, in fact, it comes off like a bourbon and brandy blend moreso than just bourbon. Sticky. Takes caramel, toffee and chocolate in a sweet form married with bourbon. That's how its done son. Even manages to have just a smidge of rum like raisin bread aspect to it.

Its a real expensive beer, so I only see myself, at $20 a pop (same price per oz as Black Tuesday), buying a bottle of this every 5-10 years probably.

Photo of pwoods
4.7/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Kels for sharing. And huge thanks to sprinkle for putting this beer out on the shelves.

500ml silk screened bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle says 13.16% ABV.

A: Pours a bronzen ruby that glows in the light. Very little head on the pour with no retention and just the slightest wisp of lacing... Looks like lots of barrel aging.

S: Nice rounded bourbon with a good amount of added sweetness. Not really getting any vanilla sweetness like you'd expect. Nice caramelly malts with a bit of added depth of brown sugar or light molasses. Some danky wood but subtle.

T/M: Unbelievable depth... So much more than I expected. I also expected at least a bit of alcohol heat/punch/sting... Just rounded, smooth, warming alcohol. Great bourbon flavor that compliments perfectly. Much more barrel than expected and I think this adds a ton to the depth. Much much deeper malts with stronger molasses and even some light fudge notes. Sweetness isn't nearly as strong as expected but is balancing and comes in with lots of dark fruitiness. Body is about full and carbonation is smooth as hell.

D: Drinks far too easy for being as big as it is. I have to force myself to take small sips and make it last. I'm actually pissed I didn't just take this whole bottle from Kelley.

Photo of 05Harley
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage, corked and caged

Purchased through Westlakeview Liquor's, Chicago, Illinois

Price - 24.99/bottle

Appearance: Pours ruby red with a 1 inch soda pop head that fades fast. No legs to speak of. In fact in a matter of minutes there's no sign of any bubbles ever being present. Upon close inspection one can see tiny bubbles streaming from the bottom of the glass and burst at the surface.

Smell: Pop the cork and BAM! Big hit of chocolate and bourbon immediately hits the nose followed by caramel and wood. This beer's aroma screams "enjoy me"!

Taste: Starts out sweet and quickly reveals the complex character it truely is. vanilla, raisins, caramel, ripe fruit and a touch of brown sugar. A gentle taste of bourbon rounds it out.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a medium to syrupy feel. No carbonation but it suits this one. A pleasent burn going down with a nice warming sensation. My taste buds just keep begging for more.

Drinkability: Delicious and well done. A beer I would shoot pool with in a bar on a Friday night. I would definitely not hesitate to finish a 750ml if it was offered. And probably stupid enough to try a second. My only complaint is the price and size...

Enjoyed another bottle of this the summer of 2014 with my son Bryan along with Firestone Walker 14, Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Bourban County Stout and this one blew his mind.

Photo of timc100
4.48/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Been saving this for a special occasion, so I enjoyed it with great anticipation.

A: Pours a murky, muggy brown with dark muddy ruby tinges on the edge of the glass. The head is expectably very minimal- just fizzes away within' seconds. Not the best looking beer - looks more like dirty murky brandy.

S: HUGE vanilla and coconut, caramelized/burnt brown sugar, gooey boozy caramel and raisins. There are more dark fruit notes of prunes and cherry juice that sit below the assault of boozy sweetness. Given this beer has been aging in the bottle for 2 years it's surprising how hot it still is and the booziness does get in the way some.

T: Just as big and boozy as the aroma. Rich, decadent, gooey caramel and booze soaked fruits. Sweet vanilla and some coconut as well as hints of oak. Very sweet but it balances out the abv well, though still pretty hot. Very intense

P: At first way over carbonated, but with some vigorous swirls of the glass it yields a near perfect body. Not incredibly viscous - fuller side of medium. Very smooth, allows the intense flavors to be enhanced and coats your mouth.

O: This is a stunning creation. Reminds me of the Bruery anniversary beers, but certainly it's own creation. Certainly not falling off at all, I imagine this one could cellar for another 5 years at least.

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 ONovoMexicano
4.76/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a teku glass, the head is rather fizzy and loud, but forms light, airy and wispy inside. Steady surging carbonation is visible in the amber/light brown body. 4.25

From the moment I uncorked the beer, sweet brown sugar radiated outward. It's a heavy presence but caramel, port, and raisin all mingle alongside. The party doesn't end there: vanilla, oak, sticky bourbon, and molasses ooze through too. The smell overall is dessert-like, delectable and perfect. 5

Taste does not disappoint. True to the nose almost to a T. Caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, oak, and some port-like raisin quality. I get oatmeal cookie flavors from sip to sip. The brew suggests bourbon but it stands on its own and has plenty more to offer, all delicious. 4.75

Very light on the boozy feel, with only a faint burn on the finish and that enhances the experience for me. I can savor the flavors and let the creaminess roll around on the tongue. The body is deceptive, finishing light and sweet, but it's chewy and almost silky beforehand. 4.5

Delicious. Damn delicious. It's damn expensive too, but I'm not the least disappointed and quite happy with this investment.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.05/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Last night I tried the Brandy Barrel aged...tonight it is the Bourbon Barrel aged and I can't help but compare the two. Please note, before drinking either follow the advice of the brewer...room temperature and let them breathe for about 15 minutes after you pour before indulging.

2005 Vintage aged 2 years in Boubon Barrels.

Pours a deep mahagony with almost no head as expected from a very high ABV brew.

Aroma is 'in your face' bourbon, dark brown sugar, candied dark fruits.

Mouthfeel is creamy and 'hot'.

Taste is intensely sweet boubon with oak notes....dark candied fruits like dark raisins, plums, prunes...lots and lots of brown sugar and still a touch of alcohol. Bourbon predomidates followed by the alcohol.

Aftertaste is candied bourbon and hot alcohol.

This is still a very hot and slightly too sweet beer. It has aged for 2 years already in the barrel but may benefit from another two years away from the wood and in the bottle.

Definitely a sipper....but a great sipper at that.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.26/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Love the bottle, too bad the price is so high.

A: Pours a dark ruby/brown color with a small off-white head forms, comprised of rather large bubbles, and dissipates rather quickly. Very thin lacing forms, but does not last.

S: Really great bourbon aroma, lots of vanilla and caramel. Slightly sweet with some brown sugar and a hints of wood.

T: Similar to the aroma, brown sugar, vanilla, caramelized sugar, and some molasses. The bourbon comes through very nicely.

M: Medium to full bodied, but not overly thick. Drinks smooth.

O: A very nice beer, not hot or boozy. Like the BBL version much more than the regular version. Too bad the beer is so expensive. Love the cool bottle...but have to assume that it adds to the price..so why bother?

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich bourbon aromas. Pours very dark borwn with a quick dissipitating head that results in a small topping of beige head. Carbonation is surprisingly strong for a 2009, justifying the difficulty in taking out this cork(yes I used a corkscrew and I am not a total weakling). A very special ale, rich malt and quality bourbon, with a bias towards being sweet. A nominal coconut taste and butteriness in the finish. A sipper. Thanks to my Southern trading partner. Oakiness is deep secondary and mellows and balances. Being a Canadian, I am neutral and not gaga about bourbon. Had again 5 months later and big coconut and bourbon smell. Buttery mouthfeel, full, but also with sourness from bourbon.

Photo of zaphodchak
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 vintage

Caramel color and legs instead of lace. Some slight foam that subsides quickly.

Thick bourbony nose.

Magnificent richness, full of bourbon, vanilla, oak, and everything I might ever ask for. Super warming.

Nice and smooth, supports the powerful flavor.

This is fantastic, probably not worth the price, but pretty great. Excellent pairing with aged gouda.

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 SpeedwayJim
4.27/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jeremy (JAXSON) for this one. Poured from a ceramic 375ml corked and caged bottle into a Darkness snifter. This is the new 2009 release.

A: Cork is near impossible to get out and robs me of my manhood as I struggle with it. Standard pour yields a .5 finger coarse, slightly grainy light caramel head with moderate retention. Beer is an attractive, clear dark amber. Lacing is spotty and with no cling. Great legs though. An attractive brew overall but nothing over-the-top.

S: Nose reminds me why I loved barrel-aged beer so much. Subtle notes of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, and sweet booze. Super appetizing and makes me salivate a little. Very rich.

T: Opens sweet caramel apple, brown sugar, molasses, and toffee. Dates and figs come in towards the middle and serve to sweeten an already candy-like brew. Vanilla notes linger in the background with the bourbon barrel-aging providing a bit of spice. Flavors integrate extremely dry. End is brown sugar and caramel with a syrupy, maple finish and a sweet light caramel aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Silky and smooth in the mouth but the bubbles make this seem thinner than it really is. Slightly abrasive going down. Heat is present but subtle. Finish is slightly dry and short with a lingering aftertaste. Could be a bit flatter but impressive overall, especially considering the high abv.

D: Can't believe I'm saying this but this beer is worth its ridiculous price tag. Barrel-aging is very subtle hear and well done so it doesn't crush the complexities present, but rather serves to enhance them. Worth picking up to see how it'll evolve and perhaps get better with time.

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

500ml bottle, Star Liquor - very pricey, so I must have been feeling rich when i purchased this

2009 cellar reserve

appearance: served in my ale asylum chalice, rich garnet-mahogany body, active carbonation that triggers a rush of foamy tan head with no lace

smell: rich malts, smooth bourbon, creamy caramel, dark fruits, brown sugar

taste: bourbon, oak, vanilla, lots of wonderful toffee, creamy caramel, dried dark fruits. This is a lovely beer - if not for the price tag, would certainly be worthy of an additional purchase. CW BB Barleywine makes for a strong alternative.

mouthfeel: rich, full bodied, perfect alcohol warming sensation

drinkability: good

Photo of Mavajo
4.07/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 4

Dark caramel color with a billowy cream/tan head. Aroma is mainly bourbon and caramel malt. Much of the same in the taste -- bourbon, big time caramel, vanilla. Very good taste -- Old Stock is a great candidate for bourbon barrel aging, since it already carries many of the falvors that bourbon aging imparts.

My major knock on this is the mouthfeel. Way, way overcarbonated in my opinion. Totally effervescent, almost like a soda. It gives it a sensation of being way too light and thin. That's not what I want from a 13% ABV barrel aged beer. It's odd, though, because this is the second time I've had this beer, and I don't remember it being over-carbonated the first time.

Photo of dbossman
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy, dark brown with a foamy, quickly dissipating head and little lacing--very still

S: This has loads of bourbon, vanilla, oak coming through; sweet yummy maltiness

T: Bourbon, of course, but also dark fruits: cherry, plums, etc.; oaky with some vanilla; this is delicious and surprisingly simple

F: A touch thin but fairly nice medium body with a nice amount of carbonation--especially considering how still the beer looks

O: A boozy bourbon bomb but still warms you on a cold day--quite the beer

Photo of cjacobsen
4.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(A) Murky brown with a red tint to it. Pours with some head but ends up with none.

(S) Smells of booze, bourbon and the soaked oak. Has a bit of biscuit with fig and molasses to tie in. The nose is quite complex and big. It changes and enhances as it gets warmer. The bourbon comes out and some more sugars and raisin follow.

(T) Figs and other dark fruits along with a wet roast malt grain. The bourbon is there and opens up more with the warming in the glass. The alcohol is still pretty at large. I get a bit of toffee mixed in there as well.

(M) It's got a flatter smooth feel, almost oily. It's got a decent body to it but it's far from chewy.

I wasn't sure what to expect and with the reviews being so high, I had big expectations for it. It definitely lived up to it though. This will only continue to mature and get better as some time piles on to it.

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

A bunch of these bottles started popping up around me and headlong about it before, I had to give it a try, even at $23 a bottle.

Pours a dark brown. You can still see through it a bit. Decent head but completely dissapated to a thin ring around the glass.

Aroma of dark fruits and lots of caramel. You can smell the bourbon a bit and it's got a sort of port aroma to it. Very deep and complex.

Tastes just as it smells. Lots of complex dark fruits and slightly sweet caramel with some bourbon and port type flavors. Awesome Beer.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Maybe a little too much carb. But nice viscosity.

Overall an awesome beer. Worth the $23 to try but I am seriously trying to justify buying a couple more to throw in the cellar.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.32/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

09 vintage

Pour was deep brown, very little head. Almost a bit thin for the massive nose and flavor.

Rich and creamy. Toffee and caramel galore. Soft vanilla. Smooth bourbon.

Very similar to the nose. Sweet candy and vanilla bourbon. The finish is loaded with toffee and leather.

Very moderate carbonation, a bit too much. Light body.

Pretty good, a great winter sipper. price sucks but worth it.

Photo of nickd717
4.44/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle shared by dbuckingham at a beer event I held in SF to celebrate my liver surviving another year (not taking that for granted!). Huge thanks to David for this awesomeness.

Pours clear medium brown with a small tan head that fades.

Aroma is awesome - caramel, toffee, bourbon, oak, and vanilla. This is a great base beer that really stands up well to the barrel aging.

Flavor is sweet and bourbony with spice. Caramel malt and toffee are huge in this one, and you get some oak/vanilla from the barrel, as well as maybe some sherry.

Smooth and medium-full on the palate with low carbonation, which is appropriate in this beer.

Really excellent overall. Just as good as the brandy version. Going to have to make the trip up the next time they release this bad boy.

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Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 782 ratings.