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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.

529 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 529
Reviews: 278
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 206
Gots: 319 | FT: 14
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 529 | Reviews: 278 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JimmyW
5/5  rDev +12.6%

JimmyW, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of towlea25
4/5  rDev -9.9%

towlea25, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of dprophet
5/5  rDev +12.6%

dprophet, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of JGuill
5/5  rDev +12.6%

JGuill, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of dbossman
4.22/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy, dark brown with a foamy, quickly dissipating head and little lacing--very still

S: This has loads of bourbon, vanilla, oak coming through; sweet yummy maltiness

T: Bourbon, of course, but also dark fruits: cherry, plums, etc.; oaky with some vanilla; this is delicious and surprisingly simple

F: A touch thin but fairly nice medium body with a nice amount of carbonation--especially considering how still the beer looks

O: A boozy bourbon bomb but still warms you on a cold day--quite the beer

dbossman, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of TAMU99
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Meridian Pint (Wash DC), shared with friends.

Uncorks like a champagne bottle. Poured into a snifter. Thick, crystal clear amber color. Little head or lace. Scent is intoxicating - like caramel vapor. Tasted like oaked candy with caramel notes and a nutty undertone - almost a tawny port feel. This is a tasty after dinner beer. Certainly not a session-type beverage, but well worth the price of the bottle. Feel was smooth and clean. Overall, I'd have this again and recommend keeping a few bottles in the cellar. Very nice beer.

TAMU99, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of Damian
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 500 ml/ 1 pt. 0.9 fl. oz. (16.9 fl. oz.) corked and caged bottle purchased at Berman's Wines & Spirits, Lexington, MA
2009 vintage
Served in a snifter

The beer poured a translucent, rusty-amber color and was topped by a thin film of tan bubbles. Within a few seconds, the bubbles dissipated and left behind a ring of froth.

The aroma was spectacular. Bourbon notes came through front and center. Loads of vanilla and toasted coconut. Super strong dark fruits. Raisins and dried figs were quite apparent. Lots of brown sugar sweetness. Hints of blackstrap molasses. Rich and malty. I could hardly stop myself from smelling this brew.

The flavor profile was nearly as impressive as the nose. Bourbon again played a major role. Vanilla and dark fruits came through strong on the front end. Raisins were quite noticeable. Lots of rich caramel maltiness and dark fruit sweetness. Very port-like. Notes of leather appeared in the center. The finish was dry, oaky and slightly tannic with a good dose of booziness. Nevertheless, for a 13-plus percent ABV beer, the alcohol heat was well contained.

Aside from the lackluster appearance, the only other aspect of this beer that did not impress me was the mouthfeel. The liquid was lighter bodied with a crisp, zippy, fine bubbled effervescence. For a 2009 vintage barrel-aged beer, I was expecting something with minimal carbonation and would up getting quite the opposite. As the beer sat, the carbonation settled down to a more appropriate level.

Twenty-three dollars is a lot of money to spend on a 16.9 fl. oz. bottle of beer, but my girlfriend and I thought that Old Stock Cellar Reserve was well worth the price of admission. This is barrel-aging at its finest.

Damian, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of kojevergas
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.

kojevergas, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of mjmadsen21
5/5  rDev +12.6%

mjmadsen21, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -21.2%

ygtbsm94, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of bespin15
5/5  rDev +12.6%

bespin15, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of mikehblack
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Dark hazy brown/red. Small off-white head quickly dissipates. Tons of alcohol on the glass.

S- Bourbon, raisins, vanilla. Some alcohol.

T- Vanilla, molasses, bourbon, toffee, raisin, fig, brown sugar.

M- Medium mouthfeel, hardly any alcohol burn. This beer is amazingly smooth.

O- I've been wanting to try this for a long time and it has definitely lived up to my expectations. Really shows how taking an already great beer and throwing it in a barrel yields phenomenal results. North Coast succeeds again with this bourbon barrel offering.

mikehblack, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of crbooher
5/5  rDev +12.6%

crbooher, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of glid02
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

glid02, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of Boonedoggle
4.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving Type: Vintage 2009 500mL into brandy snifter

Appearance: Pours a half finger head . It's a dark dark beatuiful red.

Smell: Smells of rich bourbon and sweet raisins.

Taste: Very smooth. There's a very slight burn from the bourbon barrels, but not overpowering. It's just enough mellow the beer and give that bourbon taste. Tastes of raisins and milk chocolate.

Mouth: A medium bodied beer. I say medium because I feel it should be heavier, but it's actually quite light.

Overall: This beer is very smooth. I imagine aging in bourbon barrels really mellows this beer out. I originally thought this was a 2011 brew, but after realizing it's 2009 the smoothness of the beer makes more sense. I imagine the alcohol and bourbon burn is more apparent for a young brew so a year or two in the cellar would do this beer a great deal of good.

Boonedoggle, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of mdaschaf
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Love the bottle, too bad the price is so high.

A: Pours a dark ruby/brown color with a small off-white head forms, comprised of rather large bubbles, and dissipates rather quickly. Very thin lacing forms, but does not last.

S: Really great bourbon aroma, lots of vanilla and caramel. Slightly sweet with some brown sugar and a hints of wood.

T: Similar to the aroma, brown sugar, vanilla, caramelized sugar, and some molasses. The bourbon comes through very nicely.

M: Medium to full bodied, but not overly thick. Drinks smooth.

O: A very nice beer, not hot or boozy. Like the BBL version much more than the regular version. Too bad the beer is so expensive. Love the cool bottle...but have to assume that it adds to the price..so why bother?

mdaschaf, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of Beerontwowheels
4/5  rDev -9.9%

Beerontwowheels, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of scottfrie
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into AVBC snifter. 2009.

A: Pours an extremely dark ruby red with a couple fingers of rather fizzy head that bubbled away into a faint collar. Rather active carbonation in this one.
S: Big rich notes of bourbon barrel dominate followed by complex scents of raisins, toffee, butter, vanilla, and a hint of molasses and milk chocolate.
T: Follows the nose. This beer is fairly sweet but it goes well with the spicy and buttery bourbon character. Smooth notes of caramel and chocolate mix flawlessly with spicy barrel, vanilla, butter and molasses. This is one smooth and rich beer. Raisins and brown sugar bring up the finish, and the aftertaste is full of very mellow and smooth bourbon and vanilla. I get a few notes of dark fruits and vinous flavors as well.
M: Full body, thick, greasy, smooth and slightly warm mouthfeel, with full but soft carbonation.
O: Exceeded my expectations. The bourbon definitely adds another layer to the complexity of the flavor. Thing was well worth the exuberant price.

scottfrie, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4/5  rDev -9.9%

coreyfmcdonald, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of smibroncos
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

smibroncos, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of laituegonflable
3.68/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried as a head-to-head with 2011 ordinary Old Stock.

Pours a very dark brown-red colour, little bit of cloud. Head is non-existent, really, just a rim of bubbles with mild cloud and a small bit of lace. Looks heavy, but lacklustre in all the important ways.

Massively sweet and nutty, with an effect I didn't think was possible- sharp coconut. It's coconut so pungent it assaults your olfactory in an almost spicy way, balanced with some coriander maybe? Pepper, vanilla and peanut brittle on there as well, but that coconut is iconoclastic. It makes me rethink what bourbon-ageing can do.

Taste is an impressive - for the most part - sweetness that burgeons with caramel toffee, pecan and some rye notes. Bourbony coconut comes through midway and really invades the late-mid with a hot booze that dried up on the finish, palate-wise. Kind of ends like a manufactured spirit, with the natural flavours getting soaked up by a black hole of booze, although a pinch of that coconut lingers. I don't mind it, but it's a bit hot and just short on the palate; would have liked more exploration of the complexities.

Big and full but that hot booze is a constant companion, from start to finish.

A bit too big for the container - let's just say I can see cellulite hanging out the hotpants of this beer.

laituegonflable, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of rhhjr
5/5  rDev +12.6%

rhhjr, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of Casterbridge
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Casterbridge, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of emdawg
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

emdawg, Jan 01, 2012
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 529 ratings.