Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) - North Coast Brewing Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 525 | Reviews: 278 | Display Reviews Only:
4.25/5 rDev -4.1%
2009 vintage, poured into a tulip glass.
Holy no-head. The beer pours from the bottle a deep copper, dark but clear enough to see my fingers behind. The head is a weird mix of watery bubbles that disappear lickety-split, leaving the beer without any covering whatsoever.
The nose is awash in bourbon character: sweet vanilla, oak and buttery toffee. In the background are the dark fruit flavors of dates and raisins that make the regular Old Stock so distinguishable.
The flavor is a mix of my favorite sweets: Amarula cherries, vanilla ice cream, caramel, prune juice, brown sugar. It's a wonderfully sweet mix, yet the finish is just dry enough that it doesn't get cloying.
The integration of the alcohol is absolutely incredible. This thing is 28-proof, and I don't feel a hint of it. The carbonation is a fizzy medium, creating some bubbles in the mouth amidst a smooth medium-light body.
Why are you so expensive, Old Stock? I like you so much! I love your vanilla sweetness, your soft touch of alcohol. Plus, you're brilliant with cinnamon sugar pecans. I'd buy so many of you if you didn't cost so damn much.
01-10-2011 04:55:00 | More by Phelps
4.63/5 rDev +4.5%
The 2009 version, in a 500 mL, corked and caged, brown silkscreened bottle. Notes that it comes in at 13.16%. Big thanks to sprinkle for the surprises on the shelf at Crown in downtown Indy on New Year's.
From the pop of the cork I can tell this one's going to be a good one. Pours a rich pecan-nut brown with some light apricot highlights. The viscosity of the beer can be seen as the richer, darker hues show at the bottom of the glass and the lighter more transparent hues sit atop. The initial fizzy off-white head fades out immediately and leaves just a little bit of spots of lace atop the liquid. Alcohol content is clear as the legs of the alcohol wash the sides of the glass without lace after every drink.
Aroma is much more subtle than expected. I definitely get the bourbon - it's rich and bold and sweet. A bit of toffee comes through in the malt comes through followed by a light lurking alcohol vapor.
Oh. My. Goodness. This beer is heavenly. It is so deep, so rich, and so layered. The sweetness of the malts is close to honeylike accompanied by hints of toffee. The bourbon comes through beautifully; its richness is full of the oak, vanilla, and a deep cherry-like fruitiness. The alcohol is surprisingly subdued. It creeps behind all the deliciousness with a wonderful warming fullness. Body is soft, full, warm, wonderful. The carbonation is moderate and perfect.
This beer is absolutely incredible. It is everything I could have wanted in the style and more. From the first sip to the last, this beer continuously amazed me. It is so smooth and so well-done. I'm so glad I got the chance to experience it. If I were reviewing this beer on Iron Chef, I'd say drinking it is like falling into a warm feather bed, enveloping me in heavenly sleep.
01-09-2011 02:35:24 | More by kels
4.75/5 rDev +7.2%
Thanks to Kels for sharing. And huge thanks to sprinkle for putting this beer out on the shelves.
500ml silk screened bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle says 13.16% ABV.
A: Pours a bronzen ruby that glows in the light. Very little head on the pour with no retention and just the slightest wisp of lacing... Looks like lots of barrel aging.
S: Nice rounded bourbon with a good amount of added sweetness. Not really getting any vanilla sweetness like you'd expect. Nice caramelly malts with a bit of added depth of brown sugar or light molasses. Some danky wood but subtle.
T/M: Unbelievable depth... So much more than I expected. I also expected at least a bit of alcohol heat/punch/sting... Just rounded, smooth, warming alcohol. Great bourbon flavor that compliments perfectly. Much more barrel than expected and I think this adds a ton to the depth. Much much deeper malts with stronger molasses and even some light fudge notes. Sweetness isn't nearly as strong as expected but is balancing and comes in with lots of dark fruitiness. Body is about full and carbonation is smooth as hell.
D: Drinks far too easy for being as big as it is. I have to force myself to take small sips and make it last. I'm actually pissed I didn't just take this whole bottle from Kelley.
01-09-2011 02:12:00 | More by pwoods
3.45/5 rDev -22.1%
500mL ceramic bottle poured into a snifter; 2009 vintage
A medium brown body with a small, bubbly yellowish head that rises and falls rather quickly. No lacing left behind. This is a murky beer, not very attractive.
Boozy up front with a large dose of toffee and caramel. Some vanilla and oak with burnt brown sugar around the edges. I feel like the aroma has lost a great deal of its complexity from the barrel aging. It seems much more straightforward.
More of the same on the palate. Huge amounts of toffee, burnt brown sugar, vanilla and booze. All of the fruit flavors I got in the original are nearly gone. As I stated earlier, the complexity is practically washed away/masked by booze and vanilla.
Light to medium body and light carbonation. This is a lot thinner than fellow old ales. The boozy nature of this guy and the super high abv make this guy a sipper. And while I didn't fully hate this beer, I was definitely underwhelmed. $23 for this bottle and I felt as though it was above average.
01-08-2011 23:29:42 | More by ColForbinBC
3.25/5 rDev -26.6%
500mL painted olive green bottle that looks like it should contain myrrh. Cork is the wrong size for the bottle and is a big pain to remove. ABV is 13.16%.
Pours with a lot of crackly off-white head that is somewhat like coca-cola but with a little staying power. Color is a bit darker than the original, a dark brown/mahogany/cherry red.
Nose is dominated by rich sweet black vanilla bean and bourbon. Some faint notes of cherry juice and mulch come through. Reminds me a lot of Backwoods Bastard (Founders).
Palate is prickly right off the bat with booze. Big, fat, rich, oily, sticky, sweet, cloying, etc. This is a behemoth of a beer! The bourbon totally overrides the stock ale character. There's still a lot of raisin-y goodness in there, but it's sticky dark caramel and vanilla reduction all the way to the bank. Mouthfeel is cloying and aggressive.
Notes: You know, I really wanted this to be my new favorite. But as with most of my favorite beers, when they end up in barrels, I'm not always stoked. I wonder if the brandy barrel was better? I think I'm learning that I don't like barley-wine style things in bourbon, but do enjoy them in brandy. Hmmm....
01-08-2011 05:41:07 | More by SFLpunk
4.28/5 rDev -3.4%
A: Poured a deep mahogany color with good carbonation and a nice tannish head
S: Nose is sweet caramel, brown sugar, booze, bourbon, vanilla,wood
T: Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, booze upfront, bourbon, wood and vanilla come in midway to the finish
M: Booze, sweet, sticky, big body but not as boozy as you would think
D: Good but there is no way this beer warrants $25 for the size. North Coast needs to learn that people will buy more for less. LA Angels Share is $17 so why would I drop an extra $8 on this. Overpriced and rated.
01-07-2011 03:38:22 | More by barleywinefiend
4.4/5 rDev -0.7%
Bottle shared at Bailey's Taproom [2009 Batch]. I have to give a big thanks to JerrySievert for purchasing this bottle and then calling me over to get a pour into a Bailey's Snifter.
Poured a clear, burnt orange with a tiny, bubbly head that dissipate immediately. Looked like whiskey or apple juice.
Big boozy, bourbon, vanilla, malty aroma. Lower carbonation, sticky mouthfeel, not cloying in that sense. This had noticeably large amount of fruit flavors -- apples, apricots, dates, and cherries. Lots of malt sweetness, prominent whiskey alcohol kick, vanilla, turbinado sugar, toasted almonds, caramel/toffee and a pastry-like malt sweetness.
This would age quite gracefully. I have purchased one bottle for my cellar, I know it's extremely limited in Portland. But I feel another bottle would be great to be able to taste it in different aged stages.
01-05-2011 18:11:28 | More by boMD
4.28/5 rDev -3.4%
A bunch of these bottles started popping up around me and headlong about it before, I had to give it a try, even at $23 a bottle.
Pours a dark brown. You can still see through it a bit. Decent head but completely dissapated to a thin ring around the glass.
Aroma of dark fruits and lots of caramel. You can smell the bourbon a bit and it's got a sort of port aroma to it. Very deep and complex.
Tastes just as it smells. Lots of complex dark fruits and slightly sweet caramel with some bourbon and port type flavors. Awesome Beer.
Mouthfeel is perfect. Maybe a little too much carb. But nice viscosity.
Overall an awesome beer. Worth the $23 to try but I am seriously trying to justify buying a couple more to throw in the cellar.
01-05-2011 04:03:27 | More by PeprSprYoFace
4.53/5 rDev +2.3%
Poured from a corked and caged 500ml bottle into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to HollyAnn for the assist!
A: Pours a clear mahogant/caramel brown with russet tinting. A thin, off-tan layer of foam quickjly spreads out on top before completely evaporating away to a thin, bubbly collar. No lace.
S: Fantastic aromas of buttery caramel, barrel char, brown sugar/molassas, pan roasted nuts, cherry, toffee, maple syrup, and marshmallow.
T: Exactly as above. No joke.
M: Silky and slippery. Sweet, sticky, and coating. Excellent layer of spicy/peppery alcohol heat that tied everything up into such a fully realized package. Perfection!
D: What a treat, even though the cost per oz. was a little hard to swallow. That, of course, wasn't figured into the drinkability score. Has to be tasted to be believed!
01-05-2011 03:47:36 | More by GbVDave
3.78/5 rDev -14.7%
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.
01-04-2011 02:21:31 | More by SolomonGrundy
3.88/5 rDev -12.4%
2009 Vintage (released in 2010). Poured from the bottle into a NB globe
Poured out a deep ruby color with a thin bubbly head. When held to the light, the beer lights up into a bright ruby color. Slightly hazy but still a very nice looking body. Head eventually settles to be very thin, perhaps only a couple small bubbles in thickness. By the end of the glass, the head is all but gone. No lacing is present as the beer goes down the glass.
Tons of bourbon and vanilla. Some caramel shines through as well. As the beer warms up, alcohol heat begins to present itself in the smell but I was pretty much down to a couple sips left so it didn't bother me at all.
As with the smell, the bourbon and vanilla are the main flavors in this. However, there is no alcohol burn or taste at all, very well hidden. Caramel comes though at times in the finish of the beer for me. This really has taken on the characteristics of the barrel it was aged in because I really don't get any Old Stock at all in this. For me, I really like the bourbon sweetness that is present here, but it isn't overly complex. It may need some time for the bourbon to fade and let the other flavors develop.
Much lighter body than I was expecting. Carbonation isn't abnormally high, but the body is still rather thin (perhaps from the barrel aging). Since there isn't much alcohol heat, this goes down incredibly smooth and easy. Toward the very end, got a slight burn from the alcohol but nothing enough to make me change for score.
Overall, pretty drinkable. Really it was just a sweet bourbon beer. The alcohol was hidden well and if you really like bourbon you'll probably enjoy this beer. I wish it was a bit more complex but I'm hoping some time will help develop it more.
01-03-2011 00:33:07 | More by Swimsum
4.35/5 rDev -1.8%
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.
01-02-2011 08:01:04 | More by Gobzilla
4.35/5 rDev -1.8%
Split this with waltonc. Pours a rich golden brown with a frothy head. Smells of bourbon, vanilla, carmel apple, more bourbon, cinnamon, and burnt brown sugar. The taste follows the smell and it reminds me of Anchor Our Barrel Ale, as it is overall a fairly 'light' barrel-aged barley-wine (or old ale depending on definition). Medium to lighter bodied with ample carbonation. Actually could stand to tone down the carbonation a bit, but after it sits in a snifter for a while gets to an ideal carbonation on its own. This is very drinkable, and unfortunately has a very high price tag. I wish NCBC would have priced this more appropriately, but they went that route and thus, I'll search out other more affordable barrel-aged beers for enjoyment.
01-01-2011 08:37:41 | More by JoeySchlitz
4.3/5 rDev -2.9%
Bottle, poured into a Oakquinox tasting glass. This one comes out a carmel brown in color. It has a seemingly light consistency and a finger of head that subsides quickly. Lacing of small bubbles remain on top and continue to climb the sides of the glass.
The smell is alcohol up front, This one is hot! Carmel comes through next in a big way with a finish of vanilla and a small amount of malts.
The taste is great. A lot of Carmel comes right from the start. The alcohol is hidden fairly well. From the smell i thought i was gonna be drinking a glass of bourbon with some ale added. You can taste some vanilla and oak at the end with a small amount of malts that help to balance it out.
M- Overall this is a medium bodied beer with a small amount of carbonation. For the style, this could almost be considered light bodied. This one is a smooth drinker for the high ABV.
Overall, I really enjoyed this beer and am glad I have another bottle. I like sweet beers, so this one works, it is like eating a piece of carmel with a glass of bourbon to wash it down. The only downfall, the 25$ price tag for 500ml, come on!
01-01-2011 03:56:29 | More by GradyS1
4.88/5 rDev +10.2%
Thanks to Joeyschlitz for generously opening this on new years eve. Pours dark caramel with a bit of tan head. Smells like a bourbon caramel apple. Taste is all malt - sweet brown sugar, caramel, apples, bourbon and toffee. Very well rounded and complex. Body is medium with medium carbonation. One of the best beers I have had this year.
01-01-2011 02:13:14 | More by waltonc
4.18/5 rDev -5.6%
Big thanks to Kevin for sharing this one!
A-pours a cloudy dark brown liqud, hints of sediment, small tan head.
S-the nose has some light notes of wood up front, dark raisins, dark malts, notes of chocoalte and toffee, the bourbon is there in the back.
T-strong malt body to this, a little malt sweetness and raisins up front, toffee and chocolate malts, bourbon, actually rather sweet bourbon with a fair bit of heat in the finish.
M-full bodied and sryupy, this is pretty chewy, strong carbonation and prickly on the back of the throat.
D-this is pretty solid, seems well balanced and not oxidized. the bourbon is pleasant and light, the malt body is pretty huge and the base beer is well integrated, the heat is there but not offensive. the sweet raisins are nice to balanced the other flavors. good stuff.
12-07-2010 18:27:37 | More by cpetrone84
4.22/5 rDev -4.7%
Thanks for sharing Mikey! From nov 20th notes.
Deep mahogany pour with a touch of amber highlight. Small head, very little to no lacing.
Aroma is just hugely rich with tons of barrel character. Rich, slightly buttery caramels, toffees, toasty wood, sweet syrupy richness and caramelized flavors. Very slight oxidization peeking through at this point, but at no point was it a detriment to the beer. Vanilla, great deep fruity date note. Drinks great for the nearly 15% beast, still medium-full mouthfeel, low carb, great, rich beer to sip on.
11-25-2010 21:56:53 | More by Ineedabeerhere
4.33/5 rDev -2.3%
Did a side by side with the Brandy version and in my opinion the Brandy version was better.
The appearance on this one is a burnt copper color with lighter cocoa edges. It has a good carbonation but has no head and a very thick oily leg.
This smells like chocolate, toffee, plumbs and fig, sweet malt sugars, some vanilla along with a huge whisky presence. It has more sweet characters in the smell than the Brandy and reminds me of that general presence that a whisky barrel brings to a beer.
The taste is really good, with this one being a little less complex than the Brandy version but still very delicious. Lots of chocolate in this with a great underlying vanilla flavor in there as well. It has some hints of toffee and caramel, this is more of a dessert beer because of the array of sweetness' that it has. A bit of oak is present as well.
A good thick mouthfeel with a nice ABV presence makes this one a good 'winter warmer'. The thing about these beers is that they could probably last another few years, its really amazing how well these things are aging. I guess thats what happens when a world class brewery produces a world class Old Ale and barrel ages it. Damn.
10-19-2010 21:09:26 | More by Jmoore50
4.33/5 rDev -2.3%
Poured from the bottle into my Bruery tulip. Thanks for the trade, Jason.
The cork barely, barely pops. This will be low in carbonation, unsurprisingly. The pour is a murky dark chestnut, ruby highlights. This beer started out really murky, but some time in the glass seems to add some clarity... that's a weird effect. Can't say I've noticed that before. I might be losing my mind. A thin tan head dissipates instantly.
Smell is really nice, though surprisingly restrained. Bourbon, vanilla, sweet malt, caramel come through, but it doesn't burn the nostrils like I expect it might, at 15%.
Taste is excellent. Again, the bourbon is very noticeable without being overbearing. Sweet candy flavors - toffee, caramel, vanilla. Booze is nowhere to be found. On the one hand, this is not surprising, as this is five years old now. On the other hand, this is still 15% alcohol. So I'm still duly impressed. Seriously, where is the booze here?
Mouthfeel is good without being superlative. It's medium bodied, with very low carbonation. I would like a few more bubbles, but hey, this is a pretty old beer.
Drinkability is good enough. I am polishing this off pretty quickly. For the style, and for the amount of alcohol in it, it's quite drinkable.
Very good beer, I'm very glad I got a chance to try this one. I hope to get my hands on the brandy version at some point.
10-07-2010 00:03:24 | More by davod23
4.5/5 rDev +1.6%
Thanks to Sean(I think) for this one. Drank and compared side by side with the brandy version. The bourbon was clearly superior to me, and I believe that was the consensus among the group as well... The aroma on the bourbon is awesome, dominates the brandy, vanilla, wood, dark brown sugar...The taste is alcoholic bourbon vanilla, but it still works. A little caramel and chocolate too....So smooth and easy to drink.
A great beer, better than the regular and better than the brandy.
Re-review of the new bottle.
Tons of prune graham crackers which are awesome on the aroma and taste. A little sweet right but in time will be unreal.
09-11-2010 03:59:43 | More by jrallen34
4.18/5 rDev -5.6%
Bottle, pours dark chestnut brown with a thinn, fizzy head. Rich nose, quite boozy with raisins, pungent whiskey, a bit of vanilla. Flavor is quite different from the brandy version, more chocolate and vanilla sweetness in the mouth. Hot and pleasantly boozy, as expected. Nice sweetness with a lot of that vanilla but not an overly complex flavor. A little bit thin. Nice beer, but I don't think it's an extraordinary barrel-aged barleywine by any stretch.
09-07-2010 02:40:51 | More by JAXSON
4.33/5 rDev -2.3%
Poured with the brandy version and had side by side.
A - Looks like Brandy Old Stock (see review).
S - I'm digging the bourbon moreso then the brandy. I think the bourbon is smoother on the nose and I can also pick out dark fruits, caramel, toffee, and chocolate.
T - Bourbon, oak, chocolate, caramel, touch of dark fruits. Again, more smooth vs. the brandy. Perhaps this one is at its height while the brandy has some more aging left? Not sure exactly.
M - Medium, rich, light (barley any) carbonation.
D - I like this one better then the brandy version. Like I previously said, perhaps the bourbon is ready to drink now while the brandy has some more age left? Not sure, but I'll give it another year and I'll crack them both open again a revisit.
08-23-2010 23:15:28 | More by Sean9689
3.93/5 rDev -11.3%
Lightly chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks David.
Shared with my cousins to celebrate my aunt getting out of the hospital. They couldn't taste rarity, but I took a gamble anyway.
A: Pours an incredibly dark, but still clear (with enough light) reddish brown body. The head is a very short-lived cap of light tan bubbles, which vanish within 30 seconds. For an almost 15% beer, it's more than satisfactory.
S: Bourbon, caramel, oak, some vanilla. Raisins and brown sugar. It's a little boozier than its Brandy cousin, and not nearly as complex. The bourbon barrel doesn't complement this one as well, I feel.
T: Bourbon, caramel, toffee. Raisins, dates, brown sugar. Oak, vanilla. It's complex, but not as integrated as the brandy version. More heat in the finish.
M: Medium-full viscosity. While it doesn't singe my nose hairs, I say for the third time that it's hotter than its cousin. Not nearly as complex. The bourbon barrels just don't do a lot for this old ale.
D: I'd probably buy a few of the bourbon barrel Old Stock that is coming out again. However, I felt they had a huge hit with the brandy barrel version, and I'm disappointed that they bet on the wrong horse for the second iteration. Oh well...
08-17-2010 02:32:45 | More by Arbitrator
4.65/5 rDev +5%
A: It poured a total lack of color black. There was no carbonation at all nor was there even the slightest hint of any head. Looks perfect for a massive barrel aged beer.
S: The nose was a treat. Chocolate. BOURBON. caramel. oak. Vanilla. Just everything you thought it would be. Tons of sweetness. The alcohol was there but in the right amount.
T: If you like bourbon you will love this beer. It is not that over the top though but it is there. I got quite a bit more chocolate that previous reviewers got. The alcohol was warming and carried throughout but gave the taste something nice to hold it all together.
M: Wow. Just perfect. So smooth.
D: I would drink another bottle. This is a really really good beer. The insane rarity aside this is an amazing beer. Worth tracking down.
08-08-2010 22:57:24 | More by aerozeppl
4.75/5 rDev +7.2%
I waited a very, very long time to be able to get ahold of this one, After not being aloud to be at DLD, this year, I felt I had to open up something special to make up for it. Served at cellar temp and poured into a snifter this one was consumed on 04/24/2010.
Rich caramel colored pour with a light head of off white that caps it off rather nicely. Settling down it left a little bit of a light sticky lace along the sides. Aroma was the best I have ever come across. Rich toffee and butterscotch, tons of sweet nectar notes. Candy in all its glory. Perfectly aged with a smooth, perfect profile of vanilla, toffee, and rich butterscotch that will not let up. Rich bourbon flavor just rolls across the palate with a smoothness unlike anything I have run across before. Rich vanilla and boozy notes combine to form a perfect balance of rich sweet notes and oak soaked barrel flavor.
Incredibly complex and drinkable this was was everything I had wanted it to be and more. Quite simply one of the best beers I have had hands down. Go seek this one out now. It is dead on perfect.
04-26-2010 02:12:41 | More by mikesgroove
Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 525 ratings.