Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) - North Coast Brewing Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 525 | Reviews: 278 | Display Reviews Only:
4.33/5 rDev -2.3%
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.
04-29-2011 04:09:36 | More by Mora2000
4.38/5 rDev -1.1%
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.
01-22-2011 19:32:42 | More by mdfb79
4.1/5 rDev -7.4%
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.
02-02-2008 04:45:52 | More by Gueuzedude
4.13/5 rDev -6.8%
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.
05-21-2011 02:34:11 | More by Halcyondays
3.18/5 rDev -28.2%
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.
01-14-2012 02:11:29 | More by kojevergas
4.43/5 rDev 0%
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.
01-20-2011 08:40:37 | More by corby112
4.6/5 rDev +3.8%
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.
12-22-2011 09:14:41 | More by lacqueredmouse
4.28/5 rDev -3.4%
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.
01-07-2011 03:38:22 | More by barleywinefiend
4.6/5 rDev +3.8%
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!
02-11-2010 00:41:42 | More by akorsak
United Kingdom (Wales)
4.33/5 rDev -2.3%
Pours no head. Color is a murky copper.
Aroma: Warming bourbon, vanilla, caramel. Creamy. All malt. Nice oak. Good -bals.
Taste: The taste reminds me of the Bruery's -bal aged beers, which I think are awesome. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, and chocolate. All malty goodness. Very warming.
Mouthfeel: Warming and smooth. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends warming and dry.
Overall, this was a really nice old ale. Very Bruery0like. Good -bals. I like the bourbon flavors a lot. Solid. I definitely dark lorded this bottle.
02-01-2011 23:48:27 | More by mothman
3.55/5 rDev -19.9%
Old Stock Ale Bourbon pours a old ale reddish brown color. With a slightly hard pour no head came up just some popping bubbles. A few swirls managed to produce some small white bubbles. No lacing, pretty much what I expected.
S- Right out of the bottle this pretty much smells like alcohol and malts. As this opens up the alcohol remains but a bunch of dark fruit and caramel come out wih the bourbon not far along. Some traces of sherry and sugars are there too. A very nice rich smelling beer with dank bourbon. This needs to be room temp to fuly understand
T- As with the smell this was pretty standard cold but got better when it came to. Loads of rich sweet malts with caramel. Not much hops as they faded, nothing at all really. The alcohol which usually distracts me from the beer works well in this. Bourbon soaked dark fruit like plums plus figs and raisins. Some hard alcohol like tastes, this one is great when it is warm, pointless to drink any other way.
M- Well above medium bodied with pretty low carbonation but there is some there. This one is sweet but boozy and still a bit hot after two some years. On par with an english old ale in which I believe this was inspired by.
D- 13.16%, that is alot, and it is noted in the taste. While the ABV is high this is very drinkable although it needs to be sipped and one is plenty although I kind of want to crack another one right now. Insanely expensive, kind of a rip off.
05-20-2011 21:36:35 | More by BARFLYB
4.78/5 rDev +7.9%
Thanks goes out to cyrusthepup for this brew.
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!
04-10-2011 20:46:58 | More by Wasatch
4.3/5 rDev -2.9%
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.
02-13-2011 03:01:32 | More by ppoitras
4.33/5 rDev -2.3%
500 ml bottle into snifter, 2009 vintage. Pours a dense very hazy dark ruby red color with a small foamy light khaki head with poor retention, that reduces to a small lacing ring that lingers. Alcohol legs on the glass with no lacing; and some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, prune, pear, vanilla, toffee, coconut, oak, clove, bourbon, caramel, toast, brown sugar, molasses, light chocolate, tobacco, pepper, and oak/toasted earthiness; with some slight booze. Damn nice aromas with good complexity and balance of malt and bourbon barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, prune, caramel, toast, vanilla, toffee, coconut, oak, clove, bourbon, brown sugar, molasses, light chocolate, tobacco, pepper, and oak/toasted earthiness. Lingering notes of dark fruit, caramel, vanilla, toast, toffee, coconut, oak, clove, bourbon, brown sugar, molasses, light chocolate, pepper, and toasted earthiness on the finish fora while. Fantastic complexity and balance of malt and barrel flavors; with a great malt/bourbon flavor balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very slick, creamy, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an fantastic barrel aged old ale. All around great complexity and balance of malt and bourbon barrel flavors; and quite smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.
11-21-2013 05:18:09 | More by superspak
District of Columbia
4.88/5 rDev +10.2%
Bottle shared by jayhawk73. Thanks Jeff!
The beer is a crimson / brown / ruby color, with just a fleeting glimpse of a head. The aroma is simply fabulous. Delectable bourbon, oak, malt. Perfect blend of flavors. This beer tastes amazing. Incredibly smooth, time has served this old ale very well. The $20+ price tag is a bit steep, but wow, this beer delivers. Alcohol presence is completely unobtrusive. I highly recommend this beer. A must try.
09-25-2011 18:20:26 | More by Huhzubendah
4.75/5 rDev +7.2%
2009 Vintage - sampled 26/10/11.
I was surprised by how loud a 'pop' I got prying out the cork; while the head itself didn't last long, bubbles continue spew atop the surface like it were the Stromboli volcano. It's no shocker that at more than 13% alcohol lacing fails to stick to the glass, although a piano could stand on the legs left. Like its ceramic bottle, the beer's deep chestnut-y coloured body is opaque, revealing nothing to the light.
There's no mistaking the bourbon in the aroma - it's as Ann as the nose on plain's face - but a particularly dark wild honey does come over the senses, with the raisin, brown sugar and resiny, bitter hops of standard Old Stock Ale not far behind. Of course, digging your way through the vanilla - not that you'd want to - requires a drilling rig and there's enough wood spice to make you sneeze. But that's all part of the charm.
Book it boys, this flavour is 5-oh. I'm no sucker for big bourbon flavours - in fact, a regrettable experience involving far too much of it and an 18 hour overnight bus trip without water makes me rather sensitive to the stuff - but even me (and my occasional gag reflex) must concede that North Coast has found the perfect balance of gooey heated butterscotch, vanilla bean, and malty-rich old ale.
Usually a beer with this much alcohol would upset even those with a cast iron stomach but despite the tremendous presence of bourbon flavour, the amount of perceivable alcohol is shockingly low. This is a sipper, to be sure, but less out of necessity than of just not wanting the glass to run empty. A *pint* of near 14% beer sounds ridiculous, but this is a bourbon-barrel aged beer I actually can (and want!) to drink in a 500ml serving.
Old Stock Cellar Reserve has all the flavours and complexity of bourbon but with the drinkability and thick, malty body of beer. It is, for my money ($25 dollars), one of the best bourbon-barrel aged beers I've ever tried, hands down. You get what you pay for; this has definitely been an out-of-the-ordinary experience. It is every bit as good as people say it is. A wonderful testimony to the American craft beer revolution!
10-27-2011 01:49:35 | More by biegaman
Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 525 ratings.