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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

519 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 519
Reviews: 278
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 202
Gots: 322 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  13.16% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Vintages: 2005, 2009

(Beer added by: BeerBeing on 06-03-2007)
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Ratings: 519 | Reviews: 278 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bit the bullet and bought a bottle of this beer. I love Bourbon Barrel Aged beers as long as the aging it very pronounced. This beer poured out as a reddish brown color with a thin fizzy white head on it. The head didn't leave behind much of any lacing. The smell of the beer was pretty good. There were strong aromas of Bourbon, caramel, molassas, and some faint vanilla. The taste was pretty good too. The Bourbon kicked in on the tounge for a really nice sweet flavor. The mouthfeel was a little bit on the thin side I thought. My overall thoughts of this beer were kind of on the negative end. I liked the beer essentially but the price was hardest to swallow. The beer should have been much thicker I think, which would have given it a much better mouthfeel. I don't see myself ever buyng this one again, if you knock off about $15 off the price tag it might be worth it. There are better options out there but if you have deep pockets give this one a try.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2011 17:04:26 | More by Knapp85
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

4/5  rDev -9.9%

12-19-2011 23:12:55 | More by GRG1313
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

11-20-2011 05:41:49 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 edition:

Tawny in color, dense and oily, this beer appears to have a bit more carbonation than the brandy barrel version, though the head still recedes quickly. The nose is surprisingly hot despite having several years of age on it, but beneath the heat there's a lot of complexity; turbinado sugar, leather, spicy oak and boozy, caramelly bourbon. Alcohol and rich caramel hit the palate first, but it dries up a bit, allowing leather, tobacco, vanilla and fruit to come to the forefront before finishing with a resurgence of heat, tannins and caramel. Delicious stuff, though I prefer the brandy barrel version.

2009:

Dark brown, perfectly clear. Has a very pristine, filtered appearance. Pours with two fingers of fleeting tan head. Mellower than the '05, but less complex. Heavy on the oak and bourbon, feels a bit refined, but still quite good. This doesn't touch the 2005 Brandy Barrel Old Stock, but it's a good beer all the same. Probably more of an A- beer; my scores reflect the original 2005 bottling.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2009 23:38:26 | More by largadeer
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

11-15-2011 19:29:22 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours with a small head of off-white foam on top of a clear, dark amber-brown body. The head settles rapidly and leaves almost no lace on the glass.

S - A thick, sugary aroma of chocolate, raisins, whiskey, and alcohol.

T - Brown, malty notes of toffee, dark caramel, and unrefined sugar up front. Some fruity notes of raisins, caramel, and almonds come out in the middle with a bit of vanilla. Things finish up with stronger, boozy notes of bourbon, toasted oak, pepper, and a lingering alcoholic warmth the is grounded by moderate bitterness and a subtle note of pine.

M - A moderately thick body, slightly above average carbonation, and a fairly dry finish.

D - Well, this beer certainly wasn't cheap, but it sounded good and now that I finally got around to opening it, I am happy to say that it lives up to my hopes and dreams (more or less). The aroma is quite complex and really shows the benefits of the barrel aging; this beer smells more like strait up bourbon than it does barrel aged beer. In some cases that would be a word of warning (such as the beers that we have all had that just seem like someone poured bourbon in right before it was bottled) but in this case it works magnificently and manages to convey all that is good about bourbon with just a touch of moderating influence from the complex character of the underling beer. The flavor is no less excellent as the fruity notes play with the whiskey and just a touch of the intense, sweaty hop character that I remember from the unaltered base beer. Overall it is a very nice beer, and one of the better uses of whiskey barrels in brewing that I have come across.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2011 04:23:35 | More by nickfl
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.39/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewing the 2009 vintage, although I've had the 2005 on a few occasions as well. Served in a DryHop taster pint glass.

A - Surprising pop when I pulled out the cork. A finger of tan foam settles to a partial cap, thick collar, and specks of lace. Dark amber-brown body that's largely opaque.

S - Lots of bourbon, brown sugar, and oak, with secondary notes of vanilla, red fruits, licorice, and a bit of chocolate. Still pretty boozy, even after two years of cellaring, but not excessively so for 13+%.

T - The taste is quite delicious, with a nice blend of caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, and more peripheral flavors of bourbon, oak, and both dark and red fruits. Alcohol is better hidden here. Not overly cloying, with good balance between barrel flavors and sweet malts. There's perhaps a faint note of smoke and light hints of raisin and toffee as well. Rich and complex.

M - Smooth, creamy, medium-full body, with some mild tannins and oak late on the palate and some mild warming alcohol as well. Pleasant, lower carbonation that is sufficiently lively for the style.

D - Drink 'em if you got 'em. Quite good, and probably not going to get any better. Whatever gains there are to be made in the aroma will probably be lost in the taste. Looking forward to the new brandy release.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2013 19:47:38 | More by MasterSki
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank the whole thing alone, not the brightest of ideas but I've had worse. Beer is brown and hazy with a tan head that disappears quickly, no lacing low carbonation.

Caramel and bourbon, woody and sweet in the nose. Lots of candy.

Beer is medium in body and the base beer comes through more than I expected, so that's a good thing. Overall the bourbon brightens up the forward and midpalate in complexity. The malt character from the Old Stock is present and very nice. The finish is a little dry for the style but overall it a great beer. I wish it wasn't 20$ a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2011 04:20:30 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 04:09:36 | More by Mora2000
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 01/21/11 notes. Shared at a small tasting by nimbleprop; thanks Mac, another big want!

a - Pours a deep mahogany brown color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bourbon, oak, caramel malts, toffee, and vanilla. Also some sweet molasses or sugar.

t - Tastes of oak, bourbon, caramel malts, vanilla, sugar, and light fruit.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Nice mouthfeel that is easy to drink.

d - I thought this was a great bourbon barrel aged ale. The nose on this one is fantastic, full of bourbon, oak, and caramel, and the mouthfeel makes it very easy to drink considering the high ABV. Would love to try again, definitely a bottle to split with a few friends.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2011 19:32:42 | More by mdfb79
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.22/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Unibroue goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber with hints of red when the light hits it. There is a one finger head and the carbonation reminds me of soda. As the head fades, it leaves a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Simply amazing! Smells like vanilla and caramel with hints of dark fruit. I can definitely pick up the bourbon. Quite sweet, but still very balanced.

Taste: A lot like the smell, but not quite as smooth. A strong bourbon presence along with some caramel, vanilla, and dark fruit notes. The finish is quite hot. This beer is delicious.

Mouthfeel: This is the only place this beer falls down for me. Too thin and the carbonation is too high given the taste. The finish is warm and a bit dry.

Overall: The taste and smell of this beer are amazing, but the mouthfeel really took away from the beer. I really liked this beer, but given the price I don't know that'd I'd pick up another.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2011 03:54:32 | More by oline73
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

4.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a quickly dissipating, initially one-finger thick, tan colored head. The beer is a dark, rusted amber color, but shows a brilliantly clear, full cranberry color when held up to the light. Ample Bourbon and sharp oak notes greet my nose, but it is far more integrated and smoother than many Bourbon Barrel beers. In fact the barrel character is right on par with the Brandy barrel version; certainly dominant, but well integrated and pleasing to the olfactory senses. Notes of spicy Bourbon, vanillin, ample butterscotch laden oak, definite warming alcohol notes and a touch of spicy wood are all noticeable parts of the barrel aging. The barrel notes are well supported by a substantial, but clearly secondary, malt character; ample caramelized malt notes help to smooth out the barrel notes and especially marry well with the vanillin and butterscotch notes. Some berry-like fruitiness, a sweet nuttiness and toasty browned malts are also part of the malt profile. After my nose gets used to the aroma a bit the barrel character seems to die down a bit, but it never loses the ample warming note from the alcohol.

Sweet, but as was the sister brew, this is very light feeling for a beer of this strength. The alcohol is omnipresent and seems to quickly go to my head, though I would not characterize it as overly hot, merely substantially warming. Nutty flavors seem to accent wood derived notes of butterscotch and vanillin; the latter two being the more noticeable notes. The malt provides fruity notes of raisins and berries that, in combination with the booze, make this taste a bit like Brandy. This is clearly Bourbon influenced though as it has a characteristically spicy edge to it, especially in the finish. The barrel notes are huge here, somehow this beer holds them in check though; the base beer manages to keep the barrel from becoming overly aggressive. The Bourbon character somehow manages to be so present here in the flavor, but it still does not become disagreeable (am I becoming more used to Bourbon notes in beer, a distinct possibility, or is this just that well integrated).

Definitely harder than the Brandy barrel aged version, but not overly so and I can see this appealing more to some people. The sharper barrel notes, which the Bourbon brings out, are really nice though and make this beer different enough (in a good way) from the Brandy that I find that I am enjoying this beer far more than I thought I would. I really think that trying this beer after I sampled the Brandy one (separated by days) has made me enjoy this beer all that much more. If I had had it at the same time, or before the other one, I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much. The differences that my memory has played out seem to be the most intriguing part of this beer. What this relies on though is the fact that this beer, while clearly barrel dominated, does not allow the barrel notes to overwhelm & marginalize the base beer. In the end it is a little too alcohol accented in the flavor to be on the same level as the Brandy barrel aged old stock, but it is still damn tasty and quite close.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2008 04:45:52 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +12.6%

12-01-2011 00:53:20 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.13/5  rDev -7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle, 2005 Vintage,

A: Pours a murky brown with no head, yeasty look.

S: Classic bourbon barrel nose, vanilla with sweet dried fruit.

T: Raisins and dates, heavy on the dried fruit flavour mixed with the malt. Some aged barleywine style malt, hint of oxidation.

M: Full-bodied, very light carbonation, soft, a sipper.

O: Not as good as the brandy for me, but this was a delightful effort. I wonder what it tastes like fresh.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2011 02:34:11 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of mendvicdog
mendvicdog

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

10-12-2013 18:33:05 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

07-03-2014 22:16:30 | More by GClarkage
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.18/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

1 pint .9 fl oz/16.9 fl oz brown glass bottle coated in ceramic with hood-and-wire cap over a cork served into an EKU 28 snifter at me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof; I tried the regular version and was rather impressed. This is the 2009 cellar reserve.

A: Pours a one finger head of slight cream, good thickness, and great retention (~ three minutes maybe) for the ABV. Colour is a solid brown-black. It's generally appealing, but isn't particularly unique or special.

Sm: Bourbon, caramel, oak (up front primarily), almost a peat-like note, and cream. The main note is raisins, which doesn't work as well as it should. The oak resurges right at the finish, providing a sort of musty wood note that is more pleasant than it sounds. A moderate to strong aroma.

T: A nice little delicate blend of oak, light bourbon, some soda on the climax (which is unexpected), a hint of peat, light caramelized malts, and layered wood/oak undertones. The flavours of the regular old stock are but a shadow here, which seems to be to its detriment. The oaky complexity is nice, but the aging vessel tones seem to drown out the complex flavours that made me like the original so much. Some cream is present on the open. Sadly, some alcohol does come through in the early second act, which subtly affects the balance negatively. It remains well-balanced, but the build is far from ideal. I imagined the barrel-aged version of Old Stock would taste considerably better than this.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but coarse in the third act. It's not at all tailored to the flavours, but does manage to complement them in a general fashion. It doesn't get in the way, but it isn't helping all that much either.

Dr: For the high ABV, it's quite drinkable. But I don't know that it's at all an improvement upon the Old Stock ale, which in the Orange County store I purchased these beers at was only $3.99 compared to this version's hefty $22.95 price tag. I don't notice any benefits of aging. While overall it's an enjoyable beer, unfortunately it pales in comparison to the original. Its high price point and disappointing quality should turn off most beer fanatics. I'm regretful I took the plunge for this one, but I enjoyed it for what it was.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 02:11:29 | More by kojevergas
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage, consumed fresh:

Pours a deep, dark ruby red color with dark mahogany edges when held to a light source and a one finger fizzy, light beige head that quickly fades into a thin ring. Not much in the way of lacing.

Amazing aroma with lots of sweet bourbon, earthy oak, vanilla and marshmallow along with lots of earthy, leathery malt notes. Hints of toffee, caramel and hazelnut sweetness along with subtle booze. The barrel aging has done wonders for the nose of this beer and instead of smelling like a complete bourbon bomb, there is a lot of complexity. I smelled this beer for several minutes before taking the first sip. Amazing!

Soft carbonation up front with a silky medium body that has a complex flavor profile, slight alcohol heat and subtle warmth in the finish. As in the aroma, the barrel aging is prominent in the flavor. Lots of earthy oak, vanilla and prominent bourbon without being hot. Although the bourbon flavor is there it doesn't burn your chest or overpower the other characteristics. Lots of earthy, leathery malt with hints of toffee, hazelnut, caramel and biscuit. Sweet alcohol and dark fruit notes, mostly raisin, date, fig and plum. As mentioned above, there is only slight heat/warmth and the ABV of this beer is incredibly well masked. At this young of an age I was expecting this to be a complete boozy, bourbon bomb. Instead, it is a complex, flavorful, well balanced and quaffable barrel aged beer. I'm really looking forward to trying the brandy version and the earlier bourbon vintage.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 08:40:37 | More by corby112
Photo of imperialking
imperialking

Illinois

4/5  rDev -9.9%

02-16-2012 00:57:17 | More by imperialking
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 09:14:41 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a deep mahogany color with good carbonation and a nice tannish head

S: Nose is sweet caramel, brown sugar, booze, bourbon, vanilla,wood

T: Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, booze upfront, bourbon, wood and vanilla come in midway to the finish

M: Booze, sweet, sticky, big body but not as boozy as you would think

D: Good but there is no way this beer warrants $25 for the size. North Coast needs to learn that people will buy more for less. LA Angels Share is $17 so why would I drop an extra $8 on this. Overpriced and rated.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2011 03:38:22 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

03-04-2013 05:10:54 | More by yourefragile
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Deuane for picking this up for me several years ago.

A: The cork opened with little fanfare. Poured into a snifter, the old ale is dark, nearly black. A tan colored head of nearly half a finger boldly bubbled up on pour before disappearing quickly.

S: The bourbon is intensely strong. Heavy notes of vanilla, brown sugar and wood provide one hell of a punch. Caramel and darker malt aromas also come through.

T: The old ale is incredible. Bourbon flavors leap off the page with each sip. Dark sugars, vanilla and brown sugar all scream bourbon barrel. The flavors are intense and concentrated, completing integrated into the old ale. Caramel and darker malts, along with mild hops, mark the old ale aspect. Those flavors are nicely interwoven with the bourbon. A thick sweetness arises near the end of each sip, caramel and bourbon, what a way to end each sip!

M: Smooth bourbon, treacly caramel, extended time in a barrel. A triple threat that leaves me begging for more.

D: I'd never guess that this is almost 15%. The bourbon barrel has imparted one wicked flavor on the ale. Well done!

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2010 00:41:42 | More by akorsak
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks goes out to cyrusthepup for this brew.

16.9 oz.
Caged/Corked
Tan Bottle
2009 Vintage

Poured into a Westy chalice a very nice brownish color, very nice carbonation (HUGE POP), nice one-finger fizzy/foamy off-white head, with some nice small islands and sticky lacing left behind. The nose is sweet, malty, with some raisins, figs, plum notes, very nice touch of oak/bourbon, slight ABV note. The taste is absolutely amazing, sweet, malty, some very nice dark fruit notes, bourbon, oaky, slight cherry note. Medium Body, theres a nice lightness to this brew on the tongue, ABV is hidden very well. This is one amazing brew. Glad I finally got a chance to try it. Thanks Chris!

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2011 20:46:58 | More by Wasatch
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle purchased at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA. Corked & caged.

Poured into a DFH snifter, formed a 1" dark tan head above the cloudy burgundy brew. Head recedes sedately, with leggy slow-falling lace. Aroma is leathery sweetness with vanilla and coconut. Taste follows the nose, sweet to start, deep chocolatey tannins in the middle, and closes with boooze character and some warmth. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is quite good for a sipper. Good stuff, although not sure if it's $20 good. Anyways, a nice treat for a cold night.

1/16/08 - 4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5
375ml bottle obtained via trade with unclejedi. Thanks for the opportunity... Corked & caged.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1/2" tan head above the cloudy, barely translucent dark reddish brown brew. Head falls gradually, with lasting lace. Aroma is leathery dark malts coupled with lightly fruity alcohol. Taste mirrors the nose, rich aged maltiness coupled with dense but not overpowering alcohol character. Bourbon comes through in the warming aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth, but the warming is a bit intense, and drinkability is very nice. An impressive nightcap, for sure.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2011 03:01:32 | More by ppoitras
Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 519 ratings.