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.

317 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 317
Hads: 850
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 7.62%
Wants: 254
Gots: 418 | FT: 43
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 (24) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 317 | Hads: 850
Photo of kels
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The 2009 version, in a 500 mL, corked and caged, brown silkscreened bottle. Notes that it comes in at 13.16%. Big thanks to sprinkle for the surprises on the shelf at Crown in downtown Indy on New Year's.

From the pop of the cork I can tell this one's going to be a good one. Pours a rich pecan-nut brown with some light apricot highlights. The viscosity of the beer can be seen as the richer, darker hues show at the bottom of the glass and the lighter more transparent hues sit atop. The initial fizzy off-white head fades out immediately and leaves just a little bit of spots of lace atop the liquid. Alcohol content is clear as the legs of the alcohol wash the sides of the glass without lace after every drink.

Aroma is much more subtle than expected. I definitely get the bourbon - it's rich and bold and sweet. A bit of toffee comes through in the malt comes through followed by a light lurking alcohol vapor.

Oh. My. Goodness. This beer is heavenly. It is so deep, so rich, and so layered. The sweetness of the malts is close to honeylike accompanied by hints of toffee. The bourbon comes through beautifully; its richness is full of the oak, vanilla, and a deep cherry-like fruitiness. The alcohol is surprisingly subdued. It creeps behind all the deliciousness with a wonderful warming fullness. Body is soft, full, warm, wonderful. The carbonation is moderate and perfect.

This beer is absolutely incredible. It is everything I could have wanted in the style and more. From the first sip to the last, this beer continuously amazed me. It is so smooth and so well-done. I'm so glad I got the chance to experience it. If I were reviewing this beer on Iron Chef, I'd say drinking it is like falling into a warm feather bed, enveloping me in heavenly sleep. (1,772 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky dark brown with light brown head. Plenty of visible carbonation. Nose is simply divine, among the best noses I've had in years. Rich, sexy enticing vanilla bourbony rum-like notes just call you in like a siren song. Dark rum like qualities lead into some smooth bready textures and flavors with some soft butterscotch. Light heat, syrupy mouthfeel, and finishes like a liquer. Wow. (395 characters)

Photo of 05Harley
4.59/5  rDev +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. (1,377 characters)

Photo of ritzkiss
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage brought out at a super night out on the patio - thanks for hosting Viggo and thanks to Ian for the bottle! I'm not much for reviewing at social gatherings but hard to pass this one up.

Great looking ceramic bottle, pour is a dark brown with hints of amber, small head with just a touch of lace.

The smell is amazing - loaded up with bourbon and oaky vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, leather. A touch of dark fruits. Smells super yummy. Smooth flavor, just sultry in the mouth. Again, loads of bourbon and vanilla but they don't overwhelm the base which has some great dark fruits, nuts, leather, a hint of earth and tobacco, toffee going on. Just a hint of alcohol but mostly you're aware of the size of it through the full, round body that suits this beer to a tee.

A fantastic treat on a good night. Definitely not going to pass this up if I see it again. (873 characters)

Photo of BostonHops
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml corked & caged bottle served in a snifter.
2009 vintage.

FWIW, review #250.

pours a translucent chestnut/mahogany tone with ruby red highlights; yields a rapidly lapsing 1" foamy tan head. a bit of patchy lacing but really nothing to write home about on that front. nose though is fantastic; a no holds barred bourbon bomb - clearly the centerpiece here, with everything else being almost complementary. secondary notes of brown sugar, vanilla, and molasses.

mmm, taste follows the nose well, imparting huge flavors of the bourbon, brown sugar, butterscotch, vanilla, and a touch of molasses. wow, pretty amazing stuff... dare i say exceptional. the finish is a bit boozy but at north of 13% ABV i think that's got to be expected. medium plus bodied mouthfeel with carbonation that is slightly above average for the style.

overall this is a truly outstanding beer. fairly cost prohibitive at ~$24 for the 500ml bottle, but if you're looking for a special occasion brew, this one will not disappoint.

originally reviewed: 04-05-2011 (1,042 characters)

Photo of foogerd
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ML dark khaki/brown ceramic bottle.

A- Dee p mahagony opaque body some tan head which dies out and leaves a bit of lacing.

S- Smells like the Gods of bourbon left me an early christmas present. Theres tons of this sweet delicious bourbon character that takes on so many forms. I get chocolate bourbon, vanilla,melted milk chocolate and raisins soaked in bourbon. The nose is definitely a harbinger of great things to come.

T- Much sweeter than I expected, but a huge wave of sugary sweet bourbon hits you. Totally balanced nothing out of whack here. I even taste some smokiness and wood character, I would imagine thats due to the barrel aging. Alcohol is not harsh here at all, it does let you know its there but in a way that complements the bourbon. I really dont see room for improvement this totally sold me.

M- Definitely a bit of thick chewiness character here but not in any way comparable to a bourbon barrel aged stout. Very smooth on the palette a pleasure to drink.

D- Yes the abv is high but its totally drinkable. This one is going to hurt your wallet I picked it up for 23.95, but it is something that has wowed me for the first time in a long time. Worth seeking out. (1,192 characters)

Photo of perrymarcus
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml corked & caged bottle served in a snifter.
2009 vintage.

FWIW, review #250.

pours a translucent chestnut/mahogany tone with ruby red highlights; yields a rapidly lapsing 1" foamy tan head. a bit of patchy lacing but really nothing to write home about on that front.

nose is fantastic; a no holds barred bourbon bomb - clearly the centerpiece here, with everything else being almost complementary. secondary notes of brown sugar, vanilla, and molasses.

mmm, taste follows the nose well, imparting huge flavors of the bourbon, brown sugar, butterscotch, vanilla, and a touch of molasses. wow, pretty amazing stuff... dare i say exceptional. the finish is a bit boozy but at north of 13% ABV i think that's got to be expected.

medium bodied mouthfeel with carbonation that is slightly above average for the style.

overall this is a truly outstanding beer. fairly cost prohibitive at ~$24 for the 500ml bottle, but if you're looking for a special occasion brew, this one will not disappoint. (1,000 characters)

Photo of Chaney
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Jayhawk73 for bringing this one to a small tasting. I vote Jeff for Mayor!

2009 Vintage:

A: Beautiful, glistening, dark brown color, with a clear disposition and no head whatsoever... but that's not the point here anyway.

S: Liquify some almonds, pour the juice into a glass, add some bourbon, high grade malt to it, and age it. Then, stick your snout down in the glass, and this is what you get. Amazing!

T: Sweet, but in a good, candy-like way. The bourbon was totally present, but it meshed well with the malt and hop profile.

M: Fairly well carbonated for this style, and the sweet lingering was pleasant. Virtually no lacing, and the alcohol warming was perfect on a cool night.

O: I've tried lots of Old Ales in my time, and this is certainly one of the best. This one is expensive were sure, but it's worth every penny in my opinion! (856 characters)

Photo of leroybrown10
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage poured into a crystal snifter. Pours a cloudy rusty brown color. Small cream colored head disappears quickly leaving behind no lacing. Looks sticky/syrupy.

Rich sweet aromas of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, sugar cane and molasses. Muted bourbon. I've had more recent vintages where the bourbon was more pronounced. A bit boozy on the back end.

Amazingly smooth flavor. Sweet and boozy blended perfectly. Rich caramel malt, toffee and molasses. Muted dark fruits. Overripe plum, hints of date and sweet raisin. Oak barrel. Something reminiscent of sticky bread pudding.

Rich mouth feel bordering on syrupy. Smooth and oily letting flavors spread and linger. Moderate carbonation. Boozy but not overmuch.

This is an amazing beer from North Coast. This review reflects an updated score. My original was 4/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5 for 4.47 total. That was a 2013 vintage on draft that was about 1 year old. That was excellent, this was beyond that. Highly recommend letting this beer age as it becomes truly exceptional. (1,047 characters)

Photo of azdback
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml. bottle from matttYCE (or Centennial) poured into a Bruery tulip. Dark brown or caramel color. Highlights aren't giving up much light either. Head was a pretty bright white, spritzy one finger that receded rather quickly. Lace doesn't exist as a beer lace but more as a wine lace of alcohol oils but that is to be expected at 13+%.

Nose is fantastic. Barrel is first with it's vanilla, charred wood, sweet bourbon and then comes the other great dark roasted flavors. A bit of coffee and bitter sweet chocolate, tart fruit and of course some alcohol. Just draw dropping.

Taste is sweet, caramelized sugar or caramel cubes, some vanilla and charred oak, green apple jolly rancher. The barrel is there but in a much more subtle way. The alcohol is masked very well. There is just a bit of the 13% there but very minimal. The aftertaste is on the tart side, fruit roll ups maybe?

Mouth is rich but light. Carbonation is light as well with a medium body and a pretty long and wet finish.

Overall I really enjoyed this. I had initially turned down buying this because of it's price tag but great traders, matttYCE and Centennial both sent be a bottle as an extra (don't know who's I just drank). Even after receiving this for free it still took me almost a year to finally crack it. It was well worth the wait. If you have the chance to trade for this or just pick it up off the shelf do it, you won't regret it. (1,418 characters)

Photo of kzoobrew
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at cellar temperature and poured in a snifter. Deep ruby red body. Very fizzy carbonation, one of the first beers in a long time you could hear the bubbles pop to clearly. Even after the head fades you can hold your ear to the glass and it sounds like rice krispies. One finger sandy white head fades nearly instantly, a scant ring is left around the glass.

A heavy handed dose of caramel and brown sugar greet the nose. The bourbon is assertive but not dominant, to be honest the booze takes of more of a spiced rum aroma. Oak and vanilla are strong through out. Absolutely a beautiful smelling beer.

Sweet caramel and brown sugar come across the front of the palate with a soft creaminess. Darker raisin and molasses flavors lay across the midpalate. Bourbon and oak flavors come in to focus near the back of the palate. This is not to say the bourbon was not noticed previously, the flavor is just so well integrated it does not stand out til it reaches the back of the tongue.

Medium bodied, the bodied is a bit lighter than I anticipated. The lighter body should not be held against it, I feel it is quite appropriate and enhances the experience. The carbonation fade quickly, I am pleased with a semi still beer in this instance.

Tremendous beer, very impressed with the product. The alcohol is masterfully masked. For a beer that should be a sipper, it can be difficult not to sip rather quickly. The price may deter some, but those who bite the bullet will be rewarded. Glad to have had the chance to try this one. (1,534 characters)

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed on 4-20-11
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A – Poured two fingers of foam, foam dissipated quickly. Brown reddish in color, good amount of carbonation present

S – Malty, heavy bourbon notes. Not much hop aroma being picked up

T/M – Smooth bourbon brew with sweet malts. Medium to lighter bodied brew with bourbon driving this bus

D – Excellent brew. Great birthday gift from Shango42. Big thanks for that. Nice easy sipper. Took about an hour to drink this bad boy. Couldn’t do more than a bottle of this. I am sitting on another bottle and very much so looking to see how this brew ages! I recommend picking up one or two and trying it!! (668 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance: Formidable deep caramel with a frothy cream head on the pour that dissipates to almost zero. No lacing.
smell: There's the bourbon. Sweet molasses and vanilla. Pleasant and complex.
taste: Oh that's good. I love me some Old Stock and the barrel aging has turned it into a better version of itself.
mouthfeel: Full and satisfying.
drinkability: Like a musclebound and sophisticated nice guy. Very smooth and mellow for such a big beer. BTW, my 09' bottle has this at just over 13% (not the 14.6 listed here).
I was hoping this wouldn't be so good so I wouldn't have to shell at $20+ for more....

Edit - 1/20/13: Sadly, i'm drinking the last bottle I stored away. Upped the overall to a 5. Amazing brew. So, mellow after 2 years. Lots of discussion around this guy being overpriced but I figure it's comparable to a great bottle of wine and in comparison it's actually cheap. (888 characters)

Photo of Givemebeer
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle share. Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

A: Deep red brownish color. Head fades quickly leaving no lacing.

S: Vanilla, bourbon, dark fruits.

T: Follows the nose with the addition of a tiny bit of coconut. Malty goodness. This is heavenly.

M: Medium bodied and silky smooth. The sweetness of it lingers and I wish it never left me.

O: Worth the high price charged and could probably be cellared a few more years, but doesn't need to be. Bottle is attractive you can tell that North Coast is proud of this beauty. Definitely a good purchase. (556 characters)

Photo of HattedClassic
4.61/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Stored for four years under poor conditions.

Pours very light head that dissipates immediately. .The beer is a deep reddish brown that is opaque. Just looking at the beer gives the impression that it's going to be a bit thick to drink. The alcohol is very visible on the glass even though the beer does not leave any lacing.

A heavy vanilla smell that dominates any other smell that might be there. The other smell are fruits like dried peach and possibly dried out plum or at least some sort of dark fruit with a hint of alcohol. (Warning: Cellaring this for four years and then sniffing it will get you drunk.).

A heavy vanilla presence with a bit of coconut and a sweet malt taste. Very few words can describe how sweet and delicious this beer is. The tongue is completely dominated by sweet malts that stay with you afterwards.

Light but biting carbonation and heavy bodied beer. The beer has a thickness to it that is similar to some of the stronger bourbon aged imperial stouts but not as syrupy. Silky.

An absolutely wonderful beer that has aged well over the past four years. (1,134 characters)

Photo of Bung
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml 2009. Had this a few months, decided to pull it out for my 35th birthday.
Looks like liquified brown sugar. Nice carbonation throughout, though just a thin layer of off white head.

Aroma, malty caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, bourbon-y oak, all solidly there.

Wow is there a lot of vanilla in there. Layered molasses, malt, Werthers original, brown sugar, peaty-earthy barrel. Finishes with a lasting caramel/vanilla/brown sugar sweetness.

Warming near full body. Coating but not quite creamy. Other than the warmth 13% is very well hidden.

An even better version of the already outstanding original. (610 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'13 vintage, purchased at Premiere Gourmet in Buffalo, NY.

This one pours a murky brown, with not much in the way of head or lacing.

This one smells awesome, tons of brown sugar, molasses, caramel, and bourbon, just exploding out of the glass.

Once you get to the flavor though, there's some unmistakably strong coconut flavors. It's amazing how they can get such a strong coconut flavor without actually adding any. Magic of the barrels, I guess. This one is a malty dream, so much caramel and brown sugar, with a really rich bourbon flavor folded in. The bourbon is not super strong, and doesn't stand out compared to the other flavors in this one. It's just a nice component. This is definitely sweet, but is elegant enough to never be cloying.

This isn't syrupy, which is nice, it actually has a decently creamy mouthfeel, with a lower level of carbonation, and a pretty thick body.

I think this is a slight bit better than the brandy variant, but both are fantastic. (976 characters)

Photo of heysuz
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Intro: 16.9 oz. poured into large snifter glasses.

Appearance: Dark rich mahogany color with a medium thick brown head and lacing that disappears quickly.

Smell: Pronounced bourbon smell with hints of toffee and vanilla. Pretty complex layered aroma. Very enticing. Given the hype of the high price point, the smell makes you eager to taste.

Taste: Malty with toffee notes and slight bittersweet chocolate. The strongest influence is the bourbon flavor but surprisingly no real alcohol taste, very crisp and clean. Definitely think this is the best attribute of the beer although it has an outstanding aroma too.

Mouthfeel: Clean strong flavor without an aftertaste that has a smooth almost creamy feel.

Drink: Even though it has a strong bourbon tone it is very easy to drink because of its clean and crisp flavor. I could easily drink a couple more.

Conclusion: Pricy but very enjoyable. While trying not to justify the cost, it is very clean, rich, dessert type ale rather than a football session chug-a-lug beer. Everyone should try it. (1,047 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 edition, purchased from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA. Brought back to Sydney, and shared with @LaitueGonflable comparing it to the 2011 regular Old Stock Ale.

Pours a pleasant deep and slightly hazed red-brown hue, deep like mahogany. Head forms solidly at first, giving a crown of gauzy beige bubbles on the top of the glass, but this settles out to a ring above the thick, toffee-like body. Gelatinously thick in the glass, but very little carbonation, meaning it doesn't effervesce pleasantly when tilted. In all other respects though, it's a very good looking beer.

Nose is spectacularly gorgeous, bringing to bear all the best things about a development in bourbon barrels. Big, smooth, rich sweetness with fragrances of vanilla and toffee. This is balanced by a slight redolent boozy quality, that never gets to sharp or astringent, but adds its potency to the mix, allowing a build up of other complexities. Deep, sweet, luscious. It's a phenomenally good nose.

Taste is similar, with big oaky characters giving vanilla and smoothness, and surprisingly adding very little tannin. The flavours are themselves exceptionally smooth, even though the feel is prickled with a touch of the booziness and a slight fine carbonation. This pleasantly cleans out the palate, without ever compromising the rich sweetness.

Absolutely gorgeous beer, and head and shoulders above the regular edition. This has mellowed, added complexity and integration in equal measures. It leaves it smooth, supple and seductive. This is one sexy fucking beer. (1,555 characters)

Photo of Sunhunters
4.63/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: 500mL 2009 Reserve Bottle (corked w/cage) into Bordeaux-style stemware.

Appearance (3.0) - Deep amber, translucent. A dirty gold at the very edge when held at a steep angle in the glass. Thin, unimpressive head that dissipated immediately.

Smell (5.0) - The initial gasses that escaped as the cork came loose were yeasty and hot with alcohol. In the glass the aroma is still very boozy and warm, with an aggressive and unmistakable bourbon-ness. On the back side of the nose are subtler notes: sassafras, sugar cookie, plump golden raisin, cola... perhaps a tiny hint of very ripe banana bread.

Taste (5.0) - Semi-sweet, strong sweeps of raisin, molasses, Madagascar vanilla. Subtler notes of cola and sassafras (as in the aroma). The beer leaves the tongue bathed in a musty, sugary goodness that is forcefully reminiscent of dried Medjool dates. The boozy heat that held sway over the aroma is very diminished on the palate. The bourbon and oak influences are detectable, but only to a lesser degree, lending a good dollop of sweet grain and mild spice to the tail end of the flavor.

Mouthfeel (3.5) - The viscosity of the alcohol does little to augment the medium-thin body of this beer. Though big enough to satisfy, the body falls short of my expectations for such a deep, rich, and flavorful composition. The carbonation that was conspicuously absent in the pour is unpleasantly willing to show its face in the mouth. With mild agitation the beer becomes champagne-like on the tongue.

Overall (4.5) - The 2009 Old Stock Cellar Reserve loses points in my book due to its absent head in the glass, as well as its bizarre willingness to carbonate to excess in the mouth. Beyond that, this is one of the finest tasting and overall best strong (old) ales that I have ever enjoyed, and is certainly a world-class offering. My hat is off to North Coast for improving upon their already top-shelf Old Stock Ale. If you have a taste for strong ales, barrel aged ales, bourbon, or barley wines, then you are doing yourself a disservice if you haven't tried this magnificent beer. It is certainly worth the sticker price here in Cali (only $15.99 at my local booze-of-all-kinds-bazaar). (2,200 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.63/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2009 bottle purchased and poured at The Porter Bar in Atlanta on 11/23/14. Pours deep dark brown with no head at all. Beautiful aroma of vanilla, caramel, lots of smooth bourbon still present, oak, toffee, marshmallow. Flavor follows with a big bourbon punch that is very mellow, sweet brown sugar and caramel, vanilla marshmallow notes, a hint of chocolate, smooth oak. Wow this is good. Chewey body with low plus carbonation, coats the mouth. This was really nice and the bottle was clearly well-kept for the past few years. Just a really nice beer.

Updating with a 2013 edition and the fresher bottle is superior and world class. Just delicious. Get as many of these as you can find. (695 characters)

Photo of ChrisPro
4.64/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

500 mL bottle, 2009 batch.

After a long fight with the cork, managed to pop the top

A - Pours a clear dark ruby with some light tan bubbly head. Managed to get a finger's worth, but it dissipated quickly.

S - Bourbon definitely hits the nose, but not in an overpowering way. Some nice toffee aromas, along with caramel and big fig. This is a great complex nose

T - Very sweet rich caramel, then a nice balance of bitterness to just barely cut the sweetness. The bourbon lingers on the finish for a while leaving great vanilla.

M - Very sharp carbonation on the tongue. Actually feels thinner than regular old stock and I'd say medium body. A nice buttery slickness as well.

D - Hands down one of the best bourbon aged beers I've had. So well balanced and sickenly drinkable. This is incredibly drinkable and hard to not just gulp it down. (846 characters)

Photo of rand
4.64/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 batch, poured from 500 mL stained-glass bottle to snifter

Accidentally posted this in then non-reserve Old Stock, 11-23-13

A: Deep mahogany in color, opaque and murky. A small, effervescent head forms early, but quickly dissipates, seemingly under its own weight.

S: Bourbon first, but quickly followed by vanilla and oak. The malty bouquet is big and pronounced, with a mash-up of toffee and grainy scents. Ample booze helps propel the bold bouquet.

T: The brew hits your flavor sensors with everything at once - the bourbon and oak and toffee-vanilla malts paint your palate immediately, as they've become almost singular with age. There's a subtle raisin-y fruit note mid-sip, quickly followed by warming booze and a distant hop astringency that dries the palate slightly. Long finish, boozy and sweet.

M: The mouthfeel is nearly perfect for the style - stodgy and chewy and viscous, but aging has produced ample carbonation to cleanse the palate. It's almost refreshing. (984 characters)

Photo of larryarms847
4.66/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark caramel brown and sits very dark brown in the glass with a slight amber hue and a thin layer of tan foam.

Dark fruits, heavy bourbon, toffee, and caramel.

Caramel, toffee, and dark fruits right up front with a strong bourbon finish with a touch of vanilla to note.

Heavy bodied, light-nearing medium carbonation, fruity esters, sweet, warming bourbon.

Overall, definitely different, but very tasty. (413 characters)

Photo of flexabull
4.66/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dull brown color with a small head.

Aromas are outstanding. Lots of molasses, oak, bourbon, spices, and dark fruits.

Beer has a wonderful taste. A great after dinner sipper. Smokey, with oak, bourbon, and toasted malts. A bit sweet and caramel like with some stewed dark fruit flavors. Finish is a bit creamy, with just a hint of warmth from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. But feels a touch thin for my tastes.

Drinkability is great. This is obviously a sturdy beer clocking in at 14+ ABV. But it is so tasty and interesting. This beer is a pleasure to sip, and actually doesn't taste like a beer that has such a high ABV, the alcohol is hidden rather well. (677 characters)

Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 317 ratings.