Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
96
world-class
343 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER STATS
Reviews:
343
Ratings:
1,003
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
13.56%
 
 
Wants:
275
Gots:
443
For Trade:
45
Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels)Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.16%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Vintages: 2005, 2009, 2013

Added by BeerBeing on 06-03-2007

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 343 | Ratings: 1,003
Reviews by Pahn:
Photo of Pahn
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

500ml bottle into a large wine glass. 2009 vintage.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one inch fizzy, popping light tan head that dissipates quickly. Pours a dark, semi-translucent red with many visible bubbles of carbonation climbing up the middle. Little to no lacing.

Smell: No effort required to take in a big, strong aroma from this beer. Bourbon, raisin, chocolate, toffee, and an interesting, uncanny aroma of birdseed. It smells like I could be in a pet shop or the grain section of a homebrew shop, and in both respects it smells comforting and good. The full, rich aroma of this beer only gets bigger (with some not unexpected booziness popping up after awhile) as the beer warms.

Taste: The first sip follows the smell almost exactly. Some rich, chocolate cake flavors quickly rise to the forefront. The bourbon influence reminds me of Bourbon County Stout.

Actually, a lot about this beer reminds me of Bourbon County Stout, all in good ways. The bourbon is deep but restrained; it doesn't feel like drinking bourbon flavored water like some BB aged beers, nor does it taste like drinking a spirit. In fact, the 13.16% ABV is felt only as a tiny solvent note in the finish and a long warmth in the chest.

After the bourbon, the flavors part ways with Bourbon County Stout, but match it in depth, complexity, and deliciousness. I can taste normal Old Stock underneath it all, with it's strong raisiny component, but there's so many more flavors, roasty and rich. The balancing act carried out by these bold, decadent flavors is outstanding.

Mouthfeel: At once on the light side of medium bodied but with a strong, creamy chewiness. For several sips it strikes me as distractingly overcarbonated, but the feel eventually balances out and is almost perfect. The "chewy" aspect of the feel never makes it all the way to "sticky". This is a bit hard to express, but it's a positive thing (it's not like peanut butter, it's like a thick but well-made chocolate cake--but light side of medium bodied... it's weird).

Drinkability: I normally keep price out of "drinkability", but paying $25 for a 500ml bottle makes me want to slam Old Stock Cellar Reserve for being so expensive... but I just can't. Frankly, I loved this beer. I was sad when it was done, and immediately wished I had bought more.

What can I say? $25 is just too much for a 500ml bottle of barrel aged old ale. There's no way around the fact that I would be significantly more comfortable paying $15 for this, and regardless of the cost to the brewery, I really can't condone the product. And yet... It's just so good.

 2,599 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of uvachief
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

 1,053 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

at long last i finally got to try this one. what a beer, almost entirely indistinguishable from the regular old stock, the barrel influence on this is huge, and bourbon flavors abound. its deep amber to mahogany in color, with a rusty off white head on it that clings to the edges of the glass as it slowly recedes. tons of oak and sweet bourbon on the nose, mixing an already caramel forward smell with dense sweet malt. booze seems restrained for the listed abv, but that changes with a little temperature. more oak than char on the barrel side of things in smell and taste, molasses and rich crystal malt, and some semi english yeast strain thats done all it could do. impressive depth on this, and still a pretty well hidden strength, although its warming going down for sure. i get interesting flavors of cedar and even cinnamon on the tail end of this, tied up in candy sugar and corn mashed spirit. surprisingly lively on the palate, definitely coating, but well enough carbonated for what it is, especially being a 2013 bottle. looking at the page here, it looks like they do a rye, a brandy, and a wheated in this series. i loved the bourbon one, but it makes me thirsty for these others. i think this falls somewhere near the english barleywine category, but its not like any of the other special strong ales, and despite my resistance, it really is worth the price of admission!

 1,389 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

 783 characters

Photo of DanGeo
3.85/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of t2grogan
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of tbryan5
4.51/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SanFranJake
4.91/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of DahWag
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of sabitu
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

 407 characters

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JakerLou
4.11/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of megamass
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of aquazr1
4.51/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Mora2000
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

 556 characters

Photo of chossboss
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Marius
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown pour with a generous amount of head with decent retention. Sweet and syrupy, very heavy on the bourbon, with additional notes of vanilla, maple syrup, some coffee, dark fruit and cherries.

 194 characters

Photo of Prospero
4.64/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Justin8mypants
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Franziskaner
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

 298 characters

Photo of bpfrush
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of warmbier804
4.41/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 343 ratings.