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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.

547 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 547
Reviews: 280
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 212
Gots: 320 | 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)
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Ratings: 547 | Reviews: 280 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Pencible
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a hazy mahogany with a bit of light tan head.
S: It smelled like strong bourbon and oak and vanilla, with honey wheat and toffee and a bit of copper.
T: It tasted like sweet dark fruit and honey wheat and bourbon and vanilla and oak and toffee. Lots of little subtleties below that, but very much overshadowed by the huge flavors up front. It had a sweet and hot aftertaste.
M: It was thick and viscous with lots of carbonation. Very nice, but too bubbly.
D: This was simply a delicious beer that was clearly intended to age for a long time. The alcohol was very noticeable, the flavors were all super bold (perhaps a bit rough still), and it seemed intentionally over-carbonated. In 5-10 years, the alcohol will have mellowed, the flavors will have softened, and the carbonation will have settled. At that point, this will be a top beer. Fresh, it's very enjoyable but not worth the cost. I'll be sitting on my extra bottles for quite a while.

Photo of jnn4v
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: light brown / stained hardwood color. No head at all. Some minor sediment. Translucent.

S: Amazing scent. Caramel, vanilla bourbon, shortbread, and butterscotch.

T: Clearly has a sharp edge to it with a strong bourbon taste, but honestly is very tasty to me (a bourbon fan). Cola, pumpernickel, caramel, rye, and other malty and bourbon and oak complexities all mingling.

M: Good carbonation, good viscosity, good density. All around nice texture.

O: Lovely beer with a lot of subtleties and complexity, despite the very strong bourbon flavors and 13% ABV. Seems like it'll only improve over time.

Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
4.22/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Lazy sunday afternoon, why not pop a nice sipper to enjoy.
Served at cellar temp.
When help up to the light, this thing has some real nice deep cherry hues, but is otherwise plum purple/black. The initial pour yields a rather vigorous tan colored head, holy carbonation. After the head dies down, a steady stream of bubbles consistently floats to the top. This much carbonation for a ~13% makes me a little nervous.
The bourbon aromas wafting out of the snifter are intense, coupled with a solid backbone of vanilla and toffee. I certainly cant be disappointed when i dont have to be anywhere near the glass to know whats laying within.
The flavors of the above mentioned are superb, but the carbonation level kind of gets to me. It should be mentioned that for the first half hour out of the bottle, its rather harshly carbonated, but it eases off a little bit after sitting for a while, and you start to get a little bit of creaminess out of it. Aside from this aspect, this brew has potential to become great with a few years in the bottle to mellow just a bit. Into the cellar my other bottle goes.

Photo of Mavajo
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Photo of Mora2000
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.

Photo of tbrown4
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared this bottle with my buddy Greg to celebrate a special occasion.

Duvel tulip

A - Murky dark brownish red. Very thin white head. Lots of carb streams. Looks a lot like cola.

S - Woody, bourbon, caramel sweet, strong alcohol

T - Savory, wood notes, obvious bourbon notes. Same caramel sweetness but with a rich sour & tart middle. Surprisingly finishes very clean with not much of an aftertaste.

M - Thin, fizy, light warmth

O - Very nice treat. This is a special beer. Very nice unique flavor profile for the style. It's easy to sip and I'm sure it'll develop and mellow out even more over time. It's quite pricey.

Photo of alexhahn82
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my first review, so forgive if its not a standard style one.

I said this is my first review, not my first beer. This beer is spectacular, after uncorking there are only mild notes of bourbon when smelling the bottle. After poor it is a deep amber to brown color, poured into a wide mouth balloon wine glass due to my lack of appropriate hardware on hand to pour in. Very effervescent, light in body, strong in bourbon finish. This beer is the creme de la creme if you are a bourbon fan searching for a bourbon experience.

Don't take this the wrong way, just the literal way, this beer is very light and airy, but finishes with medium to strong bourbon tones and highlighted by vanilla notes and finishes with an effervescent bite, almost like a bourbon flavored soda, like I said don't take it the wrong way, upon finish you can't help but imagine how incredible this beer will be in 2, 3, even 4 years down the road, a MUST have.

Photo of phishisphunk
3.58/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark clay looking bottle, corked and caged, served at cellar temp into a sniffer. A nice presentation from the folks at North Coast. Definetly something different.

A: a vigorous pour yields a transparent deep ruby red/brown ale with a short lived off white three finger head. The head recedes quickly with zero lacing left on the glass. After letting this one sit, it presents like a cognac with no legs....thin with little to no carbonation.

S: the nose presents a a bouquet of booze, toffee, carmel, and vanilla with hints of wet oak and coconut. The barrel is evident but I don't think the base holds it up enough and I'm fairly unimpressed.

T: the taste follows the nose pretty well. Vanilla, hints of coconut, with a mild tart berry like finish as it passes through the palate. The heat from the booziness is evident, but integrated well.

M: the beer feels smooth and well rounded. This one leaves you with a feeling of warmth on the inside. Overall the beer is still pretty hot.

D: I'm certainly glad to have tried and shared this one as I enjoy barrel aged beers, but something about this one didn't work for me and the old ale style. The body is a bit thin, it's pretty boozy, and the base beer feels emmacerated by the barrel. Most importantly, the hefty pricetag won't soon entice me into buying another. This one will hold up for a bit in the bottle if looking to cellar. Drink it if you must.

Photo of sweemzander
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500mL corked and caged bottle. 2009 Vintage. Huge thanks to cjacobsen for sharing!

(A)- Pours a deep dark toasted brown caramel color that produced some off-white to tan froth that dissipated quickly.

(S)- A really nice dry oaky bourbon aroma up front. Lots of rich caramel, toffee, fig, and bits of a charred wood and almost sings of some dark-ish fruits. Plenty of bourbon in the smell, but I like it.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. Lots of rich and sweet caramel, toffee, fig, and a nice dry toasted oak nuance. Fairly bourbon forward being this fresh, but still meshes well.

(M)- A surprisingly higher carbonation level for the style, but it helps this out alot. Very rich and bourbon forward, but it fits well and does not throw its hefty ABV around.

(D)- A fantastic sipping old ale. The bourbon really enhances this well without completely taking over the beer. If this was cheaper, I would be all over lots more of this for longtime aging; I can see this getting even better in a few years.

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed on 4-20-11
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A – Poured two fingers of foam, foam dissipated quickly. Brown reddish in color, good amount of carbonation present

S – Malty, heavy bourbon notes. Not much hop aroma being picked up

T/M – Smooth bourbon brew with sweet malts. Medium to lighter bodied brew with bourbon driving this bus

D – Excellent brew. Great birthday gift from Shango42. Big thanks for that. Nice easy sipper. Took about an hour to drink this bad boy. Couldn’t do more than a bottle of this. I am sitting on another bottle and very much so looking to see how this brew ages! I recommend picking up one or two and trying it!!

Photo of cjacobsen
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Photo of Drazzamatazz
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice lively pop to the bottle. First pour created a lot of fizz that quickly fades away to nothing, pretty expectable there. Beautiful glowing mahogany hue.

S: Lots of toffee and caramel in the base. Bourbon is very present along with vanilla from the wood. I'm getting some brown sugar and raisins. It smells almost like English bread pudding....yum. One of the most inviting noses I've experienced in awhile.

T: Bourbon is much smoother than expected here. Getting even more brown sugar and raisins than I did in the nose. Vanilla in toffee pop up right alongside one another. There's a lot of bourbon going on throughout the entire palette, but it never seems to overpower some of the more subtle flavors going on like maple syrup and ever so slight tobacco. Its just what you'd want from a barrel aged Old Ale; sweet, malty, complex, lots of bourbon and definitely wood presence.

M: Carbonation seemed like it was going to be prickly at first, but this one is intended to be sipped and once it opens up it mellows out perfectly. Medium body and definitely warming with each sip.

O: I hate to say it, but this one is worth the tall price and I'm definitely planning on going to get some more. A great base beer handled beautifully to create one of the most complex yet balanced bourbon barrel aged ales I've ever had. I can't wait to see how this one might age...and I feel like I won't be able to wait either.

Photo of snaotheus
4/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a large snifter shaped glass

Pours with surprising coarse carbonation, small fast-fading head, very active carbonation. Sort of a grayish brown color, somewhat cloudy (I poured to the last drop, so any sediment is mixed in with my beer at this point). Smell is alcoholic, damp, dark fruits like overripe cherries. Interesting.

Taste is surprisingly sweet, especially up front, but the alcohol really kicks you in the teeth at the end. It doesn't really detract from the beer (since that's pretty much an aspect of the style). I actually get a crazy mixture of fruit, and I can't identify much out of it, although I think I get a lot of black licorice or anise flavor, too.

Mouthfeel is rather thick and sticky, but somewhat lightened by the carbonation. Overall, pretty good.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.7/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ed for this one!

Served in a tulip glass, this beer is a crystal clear amber that glows a ruby port when held to the light. Head dissipates to a thin collar quickly while micro-bubbles break on the surface.

Smells of sweet biscuits and toasted marshmallows with a strong sting of oaky bourbon. There's a dry touch of earth and leather in the background along with a nice touch of alcohol.

The flavor was surprisingly subdued considering how present the aroma was. The taste seems dominated by a CO2 numbness that dissolves into sweet touches of caramel, sweet whole grain crackers and the oaky bourbon. Upon further review, this one seems to slip right over the tip of the tongue to engage deeper in the mouth. Perhaps a less intensive sip is in order to let this one really unfold.

Feels far more fizzy than anticipated: distractingly so. There I was expecting a dense and sweet sipper, this one foams up on the tongue to the point where I couldn't at times feel the denseness of the beer. I gave this many a swirl to get the CO2 levels down so that I could actually enjoy the delicate flavors. The alcohol seems to leave my mouth a bit numb!

Overall a tasty sipper. The CO2 and alcohol presence was a bit much for me, but it's still a nice treat.

Photo of IKR
4.03/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

Photo of david131
4/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A clear, deep ruby red liquid with some brown highlights and a creamy but splotchy off white head.

S- Bourbon- tobacco, raisins, and vanilla. Smells good, but I don't really get anything more out of it.

T- Bourbon and caramel. Not a lot going on, just a bourbon beer.

M- A little on the thin side. The alcohol presence is warming but not hot.

D- For the ABV, this is remarkably smooth. The alcohol is well hidden, but the beer does not stick out as something special. It is an excellent bourbon beer, but that is about all it is.

Photo of yemenmocha
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky dark brown with light brown head. Plenty of visible carbonation. Nose is simply divine, among the best noses I've had in years. Rich, sexy enticing vanilla bourbony rum-like notes just call you in like a siren song. Dark rum like qualities lead into some smooth bready textures and flavors with some soft butterscotch. Light heat, syrupy mouthfeel, and finishes like a liquer. Wow.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Split with Amyliz4. Served in a Hill Farmstead glass. 2009 Vintage.

I'll start off by saying that this is the best off-the-shelf beer I have had in a long, long time.

Pours a fairly-deep brown color. Head is extraordinarily weird. It fizzes up like crazy at first and then immediately dies down to nothing. Very reminiscent of cola in that way. In color, too, I suppose. The nose leads with a strong aroma of smooth bourbon. Some molasses and brown sugar are in the background, but the focus is definitely the barrel.

Flavor is much more complex and oh so incredibly smooth. Bourbon hits from the start along with some caramel, molasses, and a hint of burnt sugar. Light vanilla there as well. Bourbon dominates. Mouthfeel is medium and beyond smooth. Simply incredible. This was a sipper, for nothing other than pure enjoyment. Huge fan and I hope they do this more often. Also, please release the brandy version again!

Photo of Brez07
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
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

Photo of Wasatch
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.
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!

Photo of CampusCrew
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: darkish brown with nice head retention

smell: loaded caramel/vanilla, sublte bourbon

taste: slight nutty, balanced, low hop profile, smooth with hints of caramel and bourbon. Not over bb aged

mouthfeel: medium to full bodied

drinkability: this was a rare treat and worth the money

Photo of emmasdad
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. This is the one beer that pissed me off more than any other because of the price. I love Old Stock, but had no plans to overpay for this one. My wife, however, had other plans, and picked this one up for me in San Diego as a gift for passing the bar.

This beer was awesome. Poured a beautiful dark red color with a little tan head. Aromas of bourbon, raisins, vanilla, alcohol and a little caramel. Medium to full bodied, with flavors of bourbon, vanilla, maple syrup, dark fruits, toffee, oak and alcohol. An excellent beer, but way overpriced.

Photo of perrymarcus
4.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml corked & caged bottle served in a snifter.
2009 vintage.

FWIW, review #250.

pours a translucent chestnut/mahogany tone with ruby red highlights; yields a rapidly lapsing 1" foamy tan head. a bit of patchy lacing but really nothing to write home about on that front.

nose is fantastic; a no holds barred bourbon bomb - clearly the centerpiece here, with everything else being almost complementary. secondary notes of brown sugar, vanilla, and molasses.

mmm, taste follows the nose well, imparting huge flavors of the bourbon, brown sugar, butterscotch, vanilla, and a touch of molasses. wow, pretty amazing stuff... dare i say exceptional. the finish is a bit boozy but at north of 13% ABV i think that's got to be expected.

medium bodied mouthfeel with carbonation that is slightly above average for the style.

overall this is a truly outstanding beer. fairly cost prohibitive at ~$24 for the 500ml bottle, but if you're looking for a special occasion brew, this one will not disappoint.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in my DFH tulip glass and the head formed and faded immediately. It was almost metallic gold/brown in color. Totally vanished and leaves a dark brown beer with slight light getting through around the edge. No lacing at all.

The aroma is fantastic and combines vanilla, bourbon with a slight brown sugar background. A very slight hint of alcohol. But I would have never guessed 13% from either the aroma or flavor.

Very nice beer. Brown sugar out of the gate with lots of vanilla and bourbon. Reminds me a little of a Sugar Daddy with the caramel flavors. Just like the aroma, there is a slight hint of alcohol at the end. The oak continues to come out as it warms and the vanilla stretches from front to back in the flavor profile.

A touch of a warming effect and a prickly carbonation. Wouldn't mind if there was a touch less carbonation.

Would be interesting g to try this next to Older Viscosity. Not saying they taste the same, but they are similar in some ways and I'd like to compare. I perceive that to be a bigger beer in body and how it lays on your tongue.

Very nice beer.

Photo of nickfl
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.

Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 547 ratings.