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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.

327 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 327
Hads: 915
Avg: 4.35
pDev: 13.33%
Wants: 263
Gots: 423 | 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 (29) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 327 | Hads: 915
Photo of pmlondrigan
3.9/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Old Stock Cellar Reserve pours transparent ruby/garnet red with deep brown edges and a half finger loose tan head. Head fades, but it's to be expected from such a beer. Aroma is sweet, hot and full of vanilla, oak, cherrys and candy. The flavor is the same. Sweet, hot and full of vanilla and oak. This beer is slightly cloying, and finishes sloshy. Nice and thick on the palate, the beer holds onto carbonation well for a bohemoth. It's hot period. Somehow this beer looses complexity from the barrel, the straight stuff has more depth but that isn't to say this does not taste amazing.

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Photo of djmichaelk
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very pretty 500ml corked & caged bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a rich, translucent brown, almost like maple syrup. I managed a finger or so of head, with very little retention or lacing, which is not surprising given the abv.

S - Plenty of bourbon to go around here, but not so much that it comes across as boozy. Brown sugar and toffee, some vanilla, and a slight nuttiness. Excellent.

T - Vanilla wafer, almond, toffee, and bourbon immediately jump out at me. The bourbon is exceptionally well-integrated, at once both obvious and subtle. I was going to mention peanut brittle but I've seen creme brulee in some other reviews, and that sums this up perfectly. Awesome tasting brew.

M - Great carbonation, with a rich, creamy feel. While it's a very strong beer, at over 13%, there's little to no burn.

D - It's always tough for me to rate a beer this strong highly in the drinkability category, but this one deserves it. I could go on drinking this until I fall over. And then drink some more from a sippy cup. The only problem is...

O - ...is the price. This is a phenomenal beer, and I'd love to have more of it. But at the price, I doubt I'll buy more than another one or two. Even at the lowest price that I've seen of $22, it's hard to swallow. Then again it's probably the closest I'll get to the brandy version from a few years ago, so I might grab a few more.

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Photo of mhksuccess
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on NYE from bottle poured into snifter glass
the cork comes pop out of the bottle like a champagne boom
the appearance is nice reddish color little head
the smell is amazing overwhelming bourbon and boozy smell
the taste somewhat differ although it is still overwhelming bourbon
followed by a toffee and slight hint of vanilla but I tend to
not find it all that boozy for a 13% + beer granted it has a little age on it now
the mouthfeel is smooth and it definite a slow drinker
the only downfall to this beer is the price as it is $20 + for 500 ML but
as with anything in life nothing good is free
so I would definite buy again actually I am sitting on another bottle lol
but would recommend if you havent tried and have a chance you must

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Photo of Arenbeer
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9floz bottle into a goblet glass

2009 Vintage

A- Pours a murky almost muddy water reddish brown with 1 finger of off white head that dissipates quickly. Not much lacing but leaves some beautiful alcohol legs on the side of the glass.

S- Up front the barrels come through with strong musty oak, vanilla, and coconut, but what stands out the most is the delicious smelling bourbon notes. Also getting caramel or toffee, rum soaked rasins, dark fruits, tobacco, and molasses.

T- Exactly like the aroma but a million times better. Sweet and complex bourbon with tons of vanilla, coconut, leather, and a nice booziness in the finish that's very pleasant and warming. A lot of caramel and toffee, dark fruits, burnt sugars, molasses, and maybe some tobacco.

M- Medium creamy body with a fairly high amount of carbonation that is almost to much for this style of beer. Just doesn't feel right to me. Finish is wet and warm from the alcohol but very soothing.


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Photo of Brez07
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewing from notes 1 month old. Served in a snifter

A: Dark mahogany color. At first there is a 1/2 fizzy head, but expectedly this disappears within a minute. Leaves good "legs" each swirl of the glass

S: Nose consists of caramel, vanilla and bourbon. Lots of bourbon, right up my alley. Slight nuttiness. Sharp booze finish

T: Booze hits you up front but smooths right out. Lots of bourbon characteristics. Toffee, vanilla. Caramal sweetness. Slight dryness from the barrel. Some dark fruit manages to come through

M: Medium bodied. Some carbonation at first but smooths out. Woody, bourbon finish

D: Regular Old Stock is great but this one... she's a winner. I forgot all about her expensive tastes ($23/bottle) as we spent a nice half hour together. I hope she doesn't mind I have one of her twins sitting in my cellar

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Photo of Lerxst
3.23/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a murky brown with some ruby highlights. Tightly knit bubbles rise up quickly and form a khaki colored head that dissipated almost immediately and left no lace.

S-Nose is very subdued. Some toffee, caramel, dark fruit, vanilla. Just a hint of bourbon comes through and I have to inhale deeply to get it. Nose needs to be much more prominent.

T-Taste is a little better. A nice mellow bourbon flavor greets me along with dark fruit, vanilla, toffee and a bit of booze heat at the back end.

M-Body is on the lighter side of medium with harsh carbonation leading to a dry finish.

O-I had high hopes for this one, but it was kind of a let down. Perhaps its because I enjoyed Fruet 2 days ago. This one pales in comparison.

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Photo of flannelman808
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep copper with a light tan head.

S: huge bourbon nose which melds into bright fruity flavors and caramel. WOW

T: Amazing beer, albeit a dumb expensive one. That said it's worth every penny. Bourbon spicy sweet flows into staple barleywine flavors of ripe fruit, citrus, and toffee bitter tree bark.

M: rich

O: too expensive but amazingly good and I think probably will get better over the next few years.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage

Thanks to Johnny for talking me into this purchase, ouch, my wallet, good thing I bought two.

Dark brown, beautiful clear garnet in the light. A dirty tan hand quickly dissipated to a ring constantly supplied by lively bubbles up the side of the snifter.

Smells of bourbon-y goodness, oak, vanilla, candied plums, booze, and malts.

A nice bourbon flavor leads off the tastes, and moves towards some candied malt sweetness. Pungent dark fruits are present, and a smooth bourbon finish lingers for some time.

Feels medium bodied, leaning a hair toward light. Bubbly carbonation makes it feel a little lighter. Incredibly smooth, yet leaves a nice coating on the tongue.

I was hoping for a little more viscosity, but other than that, a stellar beer. I could have smelled this all day, but gave into the temptation to actually drink this, and was not disappointed.


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Photo of Mavajo
4.07/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 4

Dark caramel color with a billowy cream/tan head. Aroma is mainly bourbon and caramel malt. Much of the same in the taste -- bourbon, big time caramel, vanilla. Very good taste -- Old Stock is a great candidate for bourbon barrel aging, since it already carries many of the falvors that bourbon aging imparts.

My major knock on this is the mouthfeel. Way, way overcarbonated in my opinion. Totally effervescent, almost like a soda. It gives it a sensation of being way too light and thin. That's not what I want from a 13% ABV barrel aged beer. It's odd, though, because this is the second time I've had this beer, and I don't remember it being over-carbonated the first time.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.84/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy and ruddy amber, near to hazlenut in color. A spotty cap of foam forms and quickly evaporates into a gurgling brook of bubbles. No real lacing and some carbonation that is more than expected from the 13.16% ABV brew. One thing to note is the price: $19.99/bottle, which I believe is 500ml. That's a jumpin-jeehoosafat-load of cash for one beer!!!! Nose is ultra-robust, rich, sweet and engaging. Lot's of the bourbon notes right upfront, but it's less like booze and more like a bourbon soaked dessert. Some thick caramel candy notes, and a few other things that I can't place - maybe sweet dates and candied pecans. It's really awesome. Flavor is very dominated by the bourbon barrel aging. It blasts you right away and continues all the way through the drink. This characteristic actually tastes like a separate item - like it wasn't intended to be merged with the brew at all. It really tastes detached. Like you have to take a drink to taste the barrel aging, then another to taste the underlying beer. My guess is this needs to age a year or so to be really good. Some chewy notes right upfront, I feel as though I'm eating a caramel flavored brownie that is glazed with bourbon syrup. The underlying beer is good, I think, but it's so masked by the barrel components it's hard to appreciate. Overall, this beer is very unique and is quite fun, but is too one-dimensional this early for it to be at its best. Buy and hold.

What I like most: The Unique and luscious aroma profile.

What I like least: The XXX-rated price-tag and the one-dimensional flavors.

Verdict: Not worth the price tag right now, maybe after a year of cellaring. Worth trying if you run across it.

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Photo of trappistlover
4.36/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(375ml bottle courtesy of dionysus!). Pours dark copper with minimal head and a chunky head that quickly dissipates. Aroma has lots of bourbon, caramel, and some vanilla. Dee-licious! Taste is sweet, sweet sweet. And I love it. There is no alcohol burb at all; its noticeable only as it warms the throat and chest and still its gentle. Full bodied with an oily texture. Finish has just the slightest taste of alcohol. This is a wonderful beer

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Photo of kiddynamite920
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 Cellar Reserve.

A: Sizzling, effervescent head. On the darkish brown side with ruby and caramel highlights. Head is retaining well around the edge in a ring. Certainly up to par.

S: Aroma is unbelievably smooth and full of caramel, vanilla, bourbon, oak, brown sugar and a good reminder that this one is 13%. The barrel aging has certainly done this one well.

T: Bourbon flavors throughout, which works well with this old ale. Old stock being one of my favorite old ales, this definitely takes it a step beyond. Sweet vanilla and caramel mix with some spicy booze. Finishes sweet with a bit of heat in the back of the throat.

M: Get a bit of prickle, but this one really smooths out well. Alcohol heat doesn't really hit you until the back end. Only drawback is the body of the beer seems to have thinned. Leaves the lips sticky with a maple syrup sweetness.

O: Fantastic bourbon barrel beer. The bourbon doesn't take center stage, yet lingers throughout each sip. Really wish this beer wasn't so expensive, as I could see myself buying quite a lot of it otherwise. Great cellar candidate, and a great beer for a chilly night.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml creamic bottle into a snifter. Nervous about this one because at $25 a bottle its going to kill me if its not any good.

A Pours a dark mahogany color with a very short lived tan head.However there is a lot of bubbles in there still.

S The nose is dominated by bourbon lots of bourbon. There are also some nice notes of vanilla, caramel, and a bit of oak. A nice complex nose despite the strength of the bourbon.

T The taste follows the nose with lots of bourbon, vanilla caramel, and oak. Also as it warms alcohol makes an appearance but not in an overpowering way.

M Very smooth mouthfeel with just a bit of alcoholic warmth. I can't believe that this beer is over 13%.

Overall this is a great, very complex beer that is worth spending an evening sipping on. However that the price it is, this one is strictly for special occasions.

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.29/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

North Stock Old Stock Cellar Reserve is heavy, sweet, and boozy.

It poured the color of muddy water, with no head and no lace left behind. The smell and flavor were excellent and complex, with notes of vanilla, bourbon, and wood. The feel was smooth and slick, with nothing significant left behind.

Old Stock Cellar Reserve is an exceptional sipper. It would pair extremely well with an after-dinner cigar. It is heavy with alcohol and loaded with complex flavor. Although leaving no real feel, it does leave a great alcohol warmth. Be sure to share the bottle, and do not drink it alone, in the heat, as I did. It was very nice; however, it packed an alcohol-related whallop.

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Photo of pzrhsau
3.86/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Murky brown and amber color with a robust head that dissipates really quickly. It's like a soda type carbonation.
S: Rich scent of bourbon oak and some vanilla.
T: The wood gives the bourbon a nice balance and there is also a kind of wine driness and sweetness to the beer. Rich bourbon and vanilla notes come from the wood aging.
M/O: Very crisp carbonation couples well with the rich bourbon and oak flavors. This beer is very bold and flavorful which is what was expected from something like this. A little on the pricey side but a nice indulgence.

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Photo of hopsbreath
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half liter 2009 bottle split between two Portsmouth snifters and shared with TulipSnifter. Bought at Beaumont Market for $22.

A: Dark murky amber with voluminous white head that diminishes to a wisp ring. No lacing but none were expected. Great legs. 4.5/5

S: Nice smooth and mellow barrel character with minimal heat. No harshness at all with a lot of vanilla. The wood on this is pretty special. Outstanding. 4.5/5

T: Again with the sweet vanilla and limited booze. Peppery alcohol, butterscotch, toffee, and loads of other sweet bourbon characteristics come through on the palate. Damn is this smooth. 4.5/5

M: Moderate body with appropriate carbonation. Sticky finish. Good. 4/5

O: Good stuff but not worth the price tag. It's a solid four, but it you could score a half liter bottle for a better price it would be more appropriate. 4/5

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Photo of Odysseyalien
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a delicious upgrade from your standard Old Stock Ale. The barrel aging really adds a couple of layers of delicious to this brew. My only real objection is the price. Still, I'm going to go out and buy another bottle or two on payday.

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Photo of JLeege
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

'09 ~ 500 mL bottle ~ poured into a snifter.

Appearance- Pours a dark mahogany color with a bubbly one finger head. Quickly fades to virtually nothing. Active carbonation is noticed when held to the light. The initial head was quite impressive for a beer of this stature.

Smell- The nose on this is incredible. The bourbon is not messing around! Vanilla, caramel, woody, earthy. Some dark fruits as well.

Taste- Lots of sweet dark fruit on the front of the palate. Dried raison, cherry, dates. Then the bourbon hits you. Strong vanilla and caramel notes, with some chocolate, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Lingering oak and bourbon taste, with the fruit aspects still sitting on the front of the tongue. Sweet overall, but not cloying at all.

Mouthfeel- Higher carbonation than expected. But a medium, semi syrupy body. A little hot, but nothing terrible for a beer this big.

Overall- A very solid sipping beer. I wish it wasn't so expensive, but that makes this a nice treat.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

Let me start this review by saying the olive green color of this bottle is awesome. The cork on the other hand, was a major pain. Way to big for the bottle...

Poured from a corked and caged 500ml bottle into a North Coast pint glass...

A - Pours a dark mahogany with light brown hues and a one finger tan head that dissipates almost immediately. Not much lacing to be had here...

S - Vanilla, bourbon, molasses, and caramel. This one just smells smooth. No scent is over the top or to prominent. Very nice...

T - Amazing. Molasses, oak, vanilla, and caramel. Ends on a smooth bourbon note. Finish has a butterscotch taste that melds really well with the rest of the flavors. Really well balanced. For the abv, this one is really smooth...

M - Probably one of the downfalls on this brew in my opinion. I was expecting a more viscious mouthfeel. Instead, it tastes a little watered down. Also one can argue that there is a little to much carbonation. Really bubbly...

D - Took off a point for the high price tag. Nonetheless, this is a steller brew, and is probably one of the better tasting beers I have tried. Extremely tasty. Definitely something I would be interesting in trying again...


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Photo of OlieIPA
3.59/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by Pehlman and served in a short stemmed flute glass.

A: A deep dark brown body with light tints of red and orange around the edges. Supported a brief 1-finger head, but quickly disappeared. No lacing was apparent.

S: Brown sugar, caramel, bourbon and vanilla.

T: The initial sip has a strong bourbon/alcohol presence that is followed up with molasses, brown sugar and vanilla.

M: Thin on the palate with ample amounts of carbonation.

D: Good; has some complexity to along with the big and bold flavors, but the high alcohol content creates some fatigue.

Overall: A very good beer and very similar to the qualities you would find in a Lost Abbey brew. A try it beer! Cheers!

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Photo of vic21234
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Corked and caged 2013 Vintage poured into a snifter at room temperature.

A- Pours a clear and bubbly mahogany color with a small amount of fizzy off-white head that quickly fades.

S- Smells great, with notes of dark fruits, slight sweetness, and lots of bourbon.

T- At first taste is caramel and dark fruits. Then comes notes of sweet oak and bourbon.

M- Medium bodied, lightly carbonated, well balanced, drinks hot with a nice warming after each sip.

Great beer, and huge bourbon characters.

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Photo of IKR
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Medium reddish brown color. Frothy light beige head that dissipated quickly. Almost perfect except the head left too soon.

Smell: Bourbon & brown sugar.

Taste: Bourbon, & brown sugar. The combination at one point was reminiscent of root beer to me. Some faint vanilla notes creep in. The alcohol is unbelievably well-hidden for something 13+% ABV.

Mouth-feel: The fairly moderate body with a soft drink typer carbonation results in a fairly light overall feel.

Overall: Good beer but fairly pricey.

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Photo of ptykozoon
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lighter color and density than expected. Head vanishes quick into an island. Color is dark brown with highlights equaling a purple color held to the light.

Mainly caramel. Honey, chocolate, ripe cherries, milk chocolate, chocolate fudge, some bourbon in the background.

All these flavors so well balanced, chocolate and vanilla mixed with bits of maple, creme brulee and a touch of bourbon. The finish is absolutely phenomenal - rich caramel.

The beer is a bit thin, a touch watery, which is quite strange for a beer of this type. Quite less dominating than expected. Gets better as it warms up. Expertly mastered for 14.6%, the aging did well.


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Photo of cjacobsen
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(A) Murky brown with a red tint to it. Pours with some head but ends up with none.

(S) Smells of booze, bourbon and the soaked oak. Has a bit of biscuit with fig and molasses to tie in. The nose is quite complex and big. It changes and enhances as it gets warmer. The bourbon comes out and some more sugars and raisin follow.

(T) Figs and other dark fruits along with a wet roast malt grain. The bourbon is there and opens up more with the warming in the glass. The alcohol is still pretty at large. I get a bit of toffee mixed in there as well.

(M) It's got a flatter smooth feel, almost oily. It's got a decent body to it but it's far from chewy.

I wasn't sure what to expect and with the reviews being so high, I had big expectations for it. It definitely lived up to it though. This will only continue to mature and get better as some time piles on to it.

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Photo of zoolzoo
3.72/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours sort of a coffee bean brown, almost red from some angles. Barely a head, reduces to nothing. No lace or residue.

S: Nice aroma...plenty of sweet bourbon coupled with some dark fruitage. Sort of astringent and sharp though, alcohol is a bit stinging.

T: Bourbon is nice and big, along with toffee and vanilla. I have to say though, alcohol cuts in really hard mid palate (doesn't bother to wait for the finish). The finish is nice and sweet, though slightly astringent as in the nose. As far as bourbon beers go, this is getting closer to sipping a really smooth whiskey, though not quite. There is perhaps some faint hoppiness in the finish, though it could be the ABV kicking in.

M: Mouthfeel is good, perhaps a tiny bit thin. Alcohol presence is evaporative at times making this a real sipper, especially approaching room temp.

O: Not the smoothest bourbon barrel beer ever, by far. Everything is just a little thin, a little sharp. Still, plenty of flavor to enjoy here. Just take your time.

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Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 327 ratings.