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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
96
world-class

322 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 322
Hads: 871
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 7.62%
Wants: 259
Gots: 418 | FT: 44
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 (25) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 322 | Hads: 871
Photo of Mora2000
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
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 Huhzubendah
4.86/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by jayhawk73. Thanks Jeff!

2009 vintage

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. (461 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
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. (3,122 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.55/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (1,438 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage poured from a 500ml bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured a dark caramel brown color with a thin tan head mostly sticking to the sides of the glass. A steady stream of carbonation bubbles rises from the bottom of the glass.

The aroma really brings together the bourbon barrel and Old Stock flavors well. I get the bourbon, brown sugar and oak at first but as it warmed more of the caramel and dark fruits of Old Stock started to come out. It really comes together well and has a great range of flavors to it.

The taste also really brings all the flavors together very nicely. Bourbon, brown sugar, oak, dark fruits, caramel all compliment each other perfectly. A little bit of a bitter, balancing hoppiness is in the finish along with some brown sugar and bourbon lingering. It feels very well balanced for the style.

The mouthfeel is is on the heavy side and a little chewy. Carbonation is high for the style and gives it a bit of a silky, bubbly feel. I prefer much lower carbonation in the style, but it didn't detract from it that much.

Overall, it was a great beer. The barrel aging was really well done, it stands out but doesn't completely dominate. The bourbon was very flavorful and smooth and was the perfect compliment to the base beer. It had some great flavors to it and I really enjoyed sipping on it this evening. I'd say it deserves to be mentioned with the best of the style. (1,413 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
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. (438 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2009 bottle.

Appearance - Pours with a surprisingly large khaki head. Reddish clear brown body. No head after a little while and then it's mostly lifeless.

Smell - Oh nice. Strong bourbon aroma. Lots of oak. Lots of vanilla. Lots of toffee. Lots of awesome.

Taste - Slightly less awesome than the smell, but still fantastic. Bourbon is sharp but the caramel and toffee back it up. Fruity taste from the malts reminiscent of the base beer. Oaky flavor builds into a somewhat overpowering finish.

Mouthfeel - A little over carbonated. Not as boozy as I would expect, but it has a bite. Slow drinker. Lots of oak in the finish that I don't really love.

Overall - Everything I love about Old Stock with bourbon. Can't beat it. (764 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (1,537 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber with a one finger off white head. The reddish tinge is highlighted when held to light. The head recedes after a minute. This apparently has more carbonation than its brandy brother. The legs might even be better on this than on the other, despite the lesser ABV.

There's lots of toffee in the nose, with equally strong caramel. The bourbon is unmistakable. Vanilla is noticeable, and oak is in the background. The heat is much more noticeable here than it was in the brandy version. Dried and dark fruits are apparent, with lots of brown sugar.

The taste is brown sugar with boozy toffee and caramel. I'm surprised the heat is so strong on this 2005 beer. I thought it would be pretty mellow with nearly 4 years on it. This is much hotter than the brandy barrel. Some vanilla is noticeable, with some dark fruits and figs. There's a lot of bourbon in the flavor, which is awesome. The finish is strong with toffee and lingering brown sugar.

The beer is medium bodied. The carbonation is low, but it's a little higher than the brandy version. The mouthfeel is silky smooth with some viscosity. This is an excellent beer, though very hot. (1,157 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 barleywinefiend
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
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. (536 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Actually brought this back from my recent trip out to Ft. Bragg. Turns out I needn't have bothered, as the beer seems to be readily available in the DC and Baltimore areas. Oh well, at least it was a bit cheaper at the brewpub.

The beer pours a fairly dark amber color with pretty good head retention and fair lacing. On the nose I get a huge blast of vanilla, brown sugar, prunes and bourbon, with some underlying dry sherry as well. The flavor profile tends to replicate the nose pretty closely in this rich and intensely flavored beer. Mouthfeel is full with a long, sweet finish, though there's enough underlying hoppy bitterness to buoy the sweetness. As a result, drinkability isnt' too bad in this 13% abv. beer, as it's not at all cloying or heavy on the palate. Still, a little bit of this goes a long way, and I was very glad I had two friends to help me with my 500 ml. bottle.

A very nice beer from North Coast, though I'm not sure the $20 plus price tag is justified. Would have to think twice before buying another bottle of this. (1,046 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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! (2,153 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Jason, 500ml cermaic bottle into some snifters. Thanks for saving this one dude.

Poured a dark reddish-mahogany, big bubbles are formed and compromise a transient off-white head that fades to a thin collar. No lacing or real retention to speak of. Nose is caramel, gentle bourbon notes, butterscotch and hints of dark fruits in the periphery. Some alcohol notes too, a general sweetness is found throughout the nose. Taste is rich in caramel, butterscotch, vanilla and bourbon, although the bourbon presents itself in a harsher way than found in the nose. More alcohol and leather notes. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy, rich and relatively sweet. Medium-low carb, but on second pours this appears to be much lower than I initially gathered. Great drinkability, a true sipper. Decadent, and something to really be savoured. (835 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
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! (1,104 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
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! (683 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

From 500mL ceramic bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 5/22/12
*From notes

Vintage 2009

A: Murky apple butter brown in hue. As you'd assume, it's not what Charlie Sheen would call, "winning". A hard pour yields an extremely loose one finger head that fades almost immediately, and leaves no collar or lacing or lacing behind.

S: Holy Jesus, does this smell good. Kill me now and I'll bet you heaven smells just like this. Over a year in my cellar has done nothing but wonderful things for this beer, as it's overflowing with creamy vanilla, melted caramel, a bit of residual sugar, coconut shavings and some really top shelf bourbon. I can't think of a single thing I would change about this magnificent bouquet.

T: Luckily this beer tastes a whole hell of a lot like it smells. Sweet and boozy, yet it's in no way cloying. Toasty bramble, a touch of medium malt and plenty of wood and dark spirits. As it warms, I get a lot of high end apple brandy, and even some 20 to 30 year old tawny porto. Seeing how sturdy this is now, I guaran-damn-tee you this will continue to hold up for years to come.

M: Just not doing it for me. The bubbles are annoying, and it gets in the way of the beautiful flavor profile here. It just feels...I don't know...cheap, maybe? Swirling this with force in my glass really does help to alleviate some of this, but it's first impression was really weak.

O: Delicious. What a spectacular beer. Sure this was a bit pricey when I purchased it - I think around $18-20. But I'll be damned if I didn't have to pick my jaw up off the floor. A superlative achievement that reaches the lofty heights of the style. A round of applause for North Coast and this mammoth creation. (1,699 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.33/5  rDev 0%
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. (1,172 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle, opened in September 2012.

A - Loose, soda-like, khaki head settles quickly into a medium halo leaving trace amounts of lace. Cherry wood body.

S - Bittersweet chocolate, white chocolate, light booze, old wood, raisin, vanilla extract, toffee, butter scotch.

T - Milk chocolate, raisins, plum, soft boozy oak, cherry cordial, toffee, caramel, pumpernickel bread.

M - Full body, incredibly smooth, appropriately low carbonation, and nice staying power.

O - Great age. The integration, complexity, booze, and fruit are spot on. (542 characters)

Photo of aasher
4.76/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I decided to open one of these to celebrate my engagement yesterday. 2009 vintage. It's also fitting that this is my 500th bottle review.

It pours a nice mahogany in color, between light and medium in body, with a slight beige lacing around the glass. The aromas are of candied sugar, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, bourbon, and oak. If you let it decant and swirl it about a bit you get some really elegant brandy notes, even some apple brandy. It smells great. It tastes of vanilla, cream, brown sugar, oak, cherries, port, brandy, bourbon, and has a superb smooth creamy finish. It is as if all of my tastebuds stood up to applaud. It instantly makes your mouth salivate. It drinks so smoothly and definitely makes you pay attention. This is a superb old ale, and a phenomenal barrel aged beer, period. I knew this one would be pretty stellar but it still surprised me. What a phenomenal beer, phenomenal. (909 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured dark brown in color with ruby highlights that had a thin frothy head and left some good lacing sticking to the glass. Some very nice vanilla bourbon aromas are pretty strong on the nose alongside mild oaky, cocoa, and toffee notes. You could definitely smell the booze but its not overwhelming whatsoever. The vanilla and bourbon also dominated the palate with toffee, oaky, and cocoa accents but had mild butterscotch notes as well. There was lots of bourbon character but it was not hot at all, the booze was pretty well hidden. The brew was medium to full in body with a very pleseant amount of carbonation which had a sweet, bourbon, oaky, very mild boozy, and silky finish that lingered on the palate. Regardless of the ABV it drank better than I thought and was even more tastier than I thought. Very glad I got the chance to try this gem. (852 characters)

Photo of SadMachine
4.78/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from notes from 1/19/13

A- Pours a deep mahogany with ruby hues. A larger head and carbonation than expected considering the age, but it disappears quickly. Lots of alcohol legs.

S- The aroma is the thing dreams are made of! Big bourbon right off the bat, ripe prune, bourbon-soaked raisins, smokey oak, vanilla, perhaps a little banana, and did I mention bourbon?! Super complex, and I'm honestly a bit lost in it and can't decipher some of the aromas!

T- The flavor is nearly identical to the nose. The smooth bourbon and sweet, over-ripe dark fruits reign supreme, and balance each other well. Figs and maybe even a little apricot make their presence known. A hint of dark chocolate/cocoa make an appearance, and perhaps cherries. Alright, enough analysis, I just want to enjoy the rest of this wondrous brew!

M- The mouthfeel is creamy as velvet, with the slightest tingle of carbonation and heat from the alcohol.

O- This is without a doubt one of the best beers I've ever tasted! Absolutely astounding complexity and balance in the flavor, and an aroma that I'd love to be able to smell every day of my life! Please release another batch of this ASAP!! (1,172 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this 375ml bottle because I won a raffle contributing to a very worthy cause. The generous and inspiring BA that is behind all this? Tayner. Thanks Dana!

It's caged an corked and has some blue tape wrapped around the C&C.

A light pop when I removed the cork, it pours a realy dark brown, looked a colour of rust when pouring, with a 1 finger head of off white foam.

The smell is really nice. I smell some big notes of bourbon and caramel malt that bring a lot of sweetness but no really alcohol tones. Yeah, this is a *big* brew weighing in at an intimidating 14.6%abv but it doesn't come close to smelling boozy for how strong it is.

The taste is the...Wow! Bourbon and cararmel malt working in perfect unison. Some dark fruitiness follows, some toffee, a bit of chocolate like sweetness in the flavour, some spiciness but it is very light, no bitterness that I can detect....and yeah, quite a bit of warming from the alcohol but mostly after the swallow where it needs to be. The foam has disappeared now except for a ring around the glass but I'm more into tasting and enjoying this sucker than looking at it. What an Old Ale! I know I'll be sad when the last drop hits my gullet.

It has a medium body with light carbonation and it finishes with a nice last hit of bourbon goodness.

Drinkability? The abv will hold it back some but...really...for a beer this strong, I'm very impressed with how easy it goes down. North Coast, what can I say? Other than I love this brew! And to Tayner....thanks so much for the opportunity. If there's a brew you'd like to try, send me a BM and I'll do my best to find it for you. (1,630 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 10.19.12
2009 Edition, split two ways.

A - Pours a dark brown with a very few dark brown bubbles that are gone quickly.

S - Toffee and slight carmel, with some subtle booze.

T - More booze here, but still lots of carmel and toffee.

D - Lower carbonation and a medium body.

O - Sweet and carmel heavy with a small booze kick. (346 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.14/5  rDev -4.4%
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. (1,192 characters)

Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 322 ratings.