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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.

670 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 670
Reviews: 300
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 7.9%
Wants: 240
Gots: 386 | FT: 28
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 (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 670 | Reviews: 300 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jayhawk73
4.73/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a dark brown/crimson w/ a really nice two finger cocoa head. Really nice carbonation and decent lacing, w/ is understandable at 13% ABV. Excellent Old Ale.

S- Bourbon, malt, oak, vanilla, whiskey. The nose is fantastic, and just a smidge under a 4.5 score. If the smell was a little stronger, or more present, it would be there in a heartbeat.

T- All the nose present here, and wow- it's jacked up a notch too. Incredible bourbon/whiskey/port aftertaste that lingers for a long time. I really can't imagine an Old Ale being better than this- this is an experience that can't be put into words.

M- There's so much going on here, I'm at a loss for words. Super complex and simply amazing feel on this beer. My description won't do it justice... Period.

O- This is the best Old Ale I've ever had, and one of the better beers I've had. Simply put, you owe it to yourself to pick this one up if you see it- whatever the price. Cheers.

Photo of ritzkiss
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage brought out at a super night out on the patio - thanks for hosting Viggo and thanks to Ian for the bottle! I'm not much for reviewing at social gatherings but hard to pass this one up.

Great looking ceramic bottle, pour is a dark brown with hints of amber, small head with just a touch of lace.

The smell is amazing - loaded up with bourbon and oaky vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, leather. A touch of dark fruits. Smells super yummy. Smooth flavor, just sultry in the mouth. Again, loads of bourbon and vanilla but they don't overwhelm the base which has some great dark fruits, nuts, leather, a hint of earth and tobacco, toffee going on. Just a hint of alcohol but mostly you're aware of the size of it through the full, round body that suits this beer to a tee.

A fantastic treat on a good night. Definitely not going to pass this up if I see it again.

Photo of thagr81us
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared this one with the group at the "Evening Wood" tasting graciously hosted by cmrillo! Also have to give a big thanks to womencantsail for shipping this one to after I picked it up while out in Cali early this year for the Bruery Reserve Society Party! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured ruby red with a very minimal off-white head. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wood, caramel, sweet alcohol, and dark chocolate. The flavor was of sweet malt, wood, sweet alcohol, and caramel. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a great brew. It really was a hit with most of the people at the tasting who got to try it. The bourbon barrel definitely is evident and blends really well with the other flavors going on in this one. This one was quite drinkable despite the high ABV. Really glad I got the chance to try and share this one!

Photo of Devi0us
3.83/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage poured into my trusted Tulip...

A- Pours a mucky brown color. Aggressive pour yields a 2 finger tawny head that vanished swiftly leaving no lacing whatsoever. What's intriguing is the longer this sits, the clearer it gets. Starts to look like Hennessy. I love me some Henny.

S- Right off the bat, you get an explosion of bourbon. Malts, bananas and caramel ease their way into the mixture. Did I mention Bourbon?

T- Tastes sweet up front but gives way to the burn. The alcohol heat may be too hot for some but it's right up my alley. Tastes alot better when it came close to room temp.

M- A decent amount of carbonation. Seems a bit thin to me.

O- This is definitely a sipper for sure. Im glad I was able to try this one but not worth the beefy price tag. 

Photo of rye726
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well, never had the chance to try either of the original releases, but glad to try this new Bourbon version. Poured into a snifter. Nice mahogany color wit a silky tan head. Nose has wood, vanilla, bourbon, bready malts, nuts, caramel, toffee, cherries and plums. Barrels really tansformed this beer into something special. Thick creamy body. Simply superb, worth the price tag.

Photo of tmoneyba
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown color with a moderate rocky off-white head that lasted with good lacing. Medium to heavy dark fruit, bourbon and malt aroma. Full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Full complex bourbon and toffee malt with a long complex finish with a small alcohol bite of long duration. This is a standout brew.

Photo of AgentZero
4.27/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I dig the ceramic bottle, although it seems to come at a high cost.

A - Dark amber color with a little bit of red in it. Looks brown sometimes. Small head that didn't stay for very long, some moderate lace.

S - Smells great, lots of caramel and dark fruit. Also has notes of leather, vanilla, crystalized brown sugar, molasses, bourbon, and alcohol.

T - Tastes is very good. Quite smooth, no real alcohol burn, nice toffee, vanilla, bourbon, caramel, and brown sugar. Little bit of leather and tobacco comes if you let this warm for a bit. Surpringly good.

M - Full bodied, moderately carbonated.

O - Really great beer, surprsingly good actually. Wish it did not cost so much so I wouldn't feel bad about buying it and drinking it more often.

Photo of billzav
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This barley wine is a deep mahogany color, with appreciative notes of bourbon and sweet caramel complimented by dark fruit, peppery spices, vanilla, and a hint of chocolate in the backbone. There’s a rich oaky character from the barrel aging, and this wonderfully complex beer is velvety smooth from start to finish. Surprisingly, the considerable alcohol content isn’t too noticeable.

Photo of oline73
4.24/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Unibroue goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber with hints of red when the light hits it. There is a one finger head and the carbonation reminds me of soda. As the head fades, it leaves a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Simply amazing! Smells like vanilla and caramel with hints of dark fruit. I can definitely pick up the bourbon. Quite sweet, but still very balanced.

Taste: A lot like the smell, but not quite as smooth. A strong bourbon presence along with some caramel, vanilla, and dark fruit notes. The finish is quite hot. This beer is delicious.

Mouthfeel: This is the only place this beer falls down for me. Too thin and the carbonation is too high given the taste. The finish is warm and a bit dry.

Overall: The taste and smell of this beer are amazing, but the mouthfeel really took away from the beer. I really liked this beer, but given the price I don't know that'd I'd pick up another.

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 500ml corked and caged bottle into Snifter.

A. 2 finger head. Not great retention, but good for what it is. Decent lacing. Poured pretty thick out of the bottle. Color is amber brown.

S. Wow. Carmel, raisins, figs, brown sugar, molasses, oak, vanilla, alcohol. Has some sour tart cherry smell. Smells pretty amazing. Big bold and warm smelling.

T. No surprise that there is all kinds of things going on in the flavor too. Dark fruit, raisins, figs, brown sugar, molasses, caramel, vanilla, oak, cherries. Very complex flavor. Alcohol comes out quite a bit more as it warms.

M. Full bodied. Medium carbonation. Has some lingering sweetness.

O. Overall this is a big ol Old Ale. Lots of aroma and flavor. Very complex but not over the top. Definitely packs a punch. Wish I had gotten more of these.

Photo of Knapp85
4.04/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bit the bullet and bought a bottle of this beer. I love Bourbon Barrel Aged beers as long as the aging it very pronounced. This beer poured out as a reddish brown color with a thin fizzy white head on it. The head didn't leave behind much of any lacing. The smell of the beer was pretty good. There were strong aromas of Bourbon, caramel, molassas, and some faint vanilla. The taste was pretty good too. The Bourbon kicked in on the tounge for a really nice sweet flavor. The mouthfeel was a little bit on the thin side I thought. My overall thoughts of this beer were kind of on the negative end. I liked the beer essentially but the price was hardest to swallow. The beer should have been much thicker I think, which would have given it a much better mouthfeel. I don't see myself ever buyng this one again, if you knock off about $15 off the price tag it might be worth it. There are better options out there but if you have deep pockets give this one a try.

Photo of sitarist
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another blind review via the blind bif's. Thanks to Brez07 for this one.

Pours a deep brown with hints of ruby red. Its not opaque, but very little light gets through. There is almost an inch of khaki colored head that falls to a ring. No lacing, it all slides back into the drink. My olfactory receptacles are overwhelmed by bold aromas. Plums, brown sugar, sherry/port, oak, teriyaki, and as it warms I get lots of smooth bourbon. Its barrel aged, but what style? Horehound, teriyaki, port wine, cinnamon, cracker-jacks, toffee, and hints of bourbon are some of the flavors that I detect. Just like an great bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon; this is way out of my league, but highly delicious. The mouthfeel is absolutely perfect! Its body, carbonation, and viscosity are well suited. An outstanding beer. The whole is greater than any one component.

Im pretty sure this is a bourbon barrel aged beer, as for a style Im still at a loss. My guess is a Barrel Aged Dubbel, or Barleywine.

Its a 2009 Old Stock Ale Cellar Reserve aged in bourbon barrels. Wow, a huge want of mine!

Thank you so much Matt.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.41/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer at my rehearsal dinner at Brasserie Beck May 27th 2011.

A: Thin crimson brown look with a small tannish head that dies to a small ring. OK.

S: Very nice bourbon soaked oak infused malt smell. Dark as night with dark fruit tones and some vanilla. Leather, butterscotch, toffee and caramel are all there.

T: Great overall with a lot of the smell: Vanilla, caramel, alcohol heat/complexity like a fine bourbon itself, toffee. Like a huge malty dessert.

M: Not as hot as expected with lots of savory and sweet notes. Plenty of carbonation.

O: Great experience, might be worth the price it had in stores.

Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.29/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of Tilley4
4/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like the regular Old Stock quite a bit so I'm hoping the barrel aging will make this one even better...

Lots of sweet boozy malts highlighted by a tangy fruitiness like peaches or pears or something of the sort... I would say its almost like an citrusy hop aroma but its different than that... Very prevalent bourbon aromas as well... It's not hard to find the barrel here...

Wallop of sweet bourbon soaked fruitiness with hints of cocoa and spiciness as well... Bourbon is right up front although its more the taste and not so much the booze... Not quite as smooth as I was hoping it would be. Still a bit rough around rhe edges and it seems like this could use another year or so... Its still good, don't get me wrong but I think it could be better...

A good brew for sure but something has me thinking I should have waited til 2012 to open this up...

Photo of alleykatking
3.42/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 375ml. 2009 bottle.

A- Pours a reddish brown color. No head showed with this beer but there were a couple bubbles and that was it. No lacing at all but this beer does show some legs.

S- Alcohol right off the get go in the aroma. Darker fruits with caramel malts come out but these quickly get masked up by bourbon and light oak. This has a light sherry tone to it as well but mixed with bourbon.

T- Sweet caramel malts in the front of the beer gets a dose of alcohol soaked darker fruits in the front. There is another alcohol like character in the middle which shows almost a sherry flavor mixed with barrel notes. Bourbon soaked fruit gives out more of strong hard alcohol flavor in the ending of the beer.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is light for the style but fitting for this beer. Darker fruits and alcohol are left on the palate. Aftertaste is hot alcohol, bourbon, darker fruits. Flavors were a little underbalanced overall in this beer. No off flavors but the barrel age could have calmed this beer down a little more. High alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This beer needs some aging on it. The ABV is high and it shows in the flavor which I didn't care for. Hard alcohol like tones to this beer should die down with some more time to it. As of now I thought this beer was a little above average but not by much.

Photo of hopsbreath
4.23/5  rDev -4.5%
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

Photo of Alpar
4.54/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Trappistlover for this tasty treat!

I hate to keep giving the beers I've been reviewing such high marks but they, to me, are all top notch beers. With that said her we go!

A: Somewhat murky ruby with a head that dissipates quickly.

S: Yup, that is a damn fine beer. Smells like bourbon and candy. Very sweet smelling but with a bit of bourbon.

T: WOW! This has to be one of the best beers I've tasted. Almost like a barleywine. Kind of reminds me of 09' Gratitude but with less citrus in the mix. Very pungent vanilla taste a bit of oak from the barrel as well. Strong but smooth bourbon and hint of the base beer but not so much.

O: For $25+ a bottle this better be amazing and it is! Worth trying once and buying another to age. Thanks again to Dave for this!

Photo of KeefD
4.67/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another huge thanks go out to joshuaseresse for sharing this excellent old ale! Review from notes:

Dark brown color, some white bubble pop up, but are short lived. Plenty of malty goodness in the nose, big wafts of bourbon, light chocolate, and toffee. Yep, flavor is right on with the nose - chocolate, molasses, loads of caramel, bourbon, oak, and a good bit of booze, but it's not overdone. Damn, this stuff is delicious. Medium-full body, carbonation is actually higher than I expected for the style, but I dig that. I could easily sip on a couple bottles of this all night long, despite the strength. Fantastic.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.55/5  rDev -19.9%
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.

Photo of oglmcdgl
4/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

09 bottle split with onix1agr on the late.

A- a small cap of tan head that quickly vanishes to leave just a faint ring around the glass. Bordering on dark brown in color with a beautiful garnet glow when held to light.

S- caramel, vanilla, dark brown sugar with the smooth bourbon and light breadiness. I bet a bunch of toffee and its nice.

T- opens up bready and caramel sweet with a good amount of bourbon and a touch of vanilla. The barrel is big and slightly over powering to the rest of the brew. Some sherry like notes in the back.

M- about medium in body with a bright carb that really agitates the taste buds. Lots of heat still on this one.

O- this is tasty and well done but nothing all that spectacular. Ill try it on draft again if I see it but this bottle is far to pricey for another run.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.54/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Impressive as hell to see what the bourbon barrels do to the ever-tasty Old Stock Ale. More caramel. More vanilla. More chocolate. Smoother taste. ...All add to the tradition and regal character of well aged English Old Ales.

Pourig a deep crimson color with near clarity, the beer portrays a very mystic hue. The familiar part-loose, part-dense bubbles that comprise the head is a direct carryover from the original Old Stock. But the fleeting retetion and low level of lace shows how the barrel changes the beer's appearance. Alcohols and barrel aging degrade the head character just a bit.

Deep and succulent aromas of toffee and molasass also share the stage with vanilla, caramel, and chocolate for a deeply desert-like scent. Enough wine-like character to resemble cognac and enough sweetness to resemble rum, the aromas are dense, robust, and refined.

Flavors closely resemble the aromas but with few exceptions. The sweetness of caramel, molasass, etc... is balanced (and perhaps overshadowed) by a highly attenuated sugary/alcoholic taste that's very good, but not as succulent as the aroma. English fruitiness of figs and dates carry a nutty undertone with mature barley, fruitcake, and chocolate. Rum alcohols made a return with a cherry-like taste and boozy overall flavor. The barrel's bourbon, vanillans, caramel, and tanins all make a posative impact in taste to elevate the natural flavor of Old Stock but to contribute strength and nobility.

Rich and succulent to start, the beer quickly ushers in alcoholic warmth that further sweetens the beer before turning warm, and then slightly boozy. Medium early creaminess is quick-lived and develops quickly to heat and semi-sweet dryness in finish.

The Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Stock definately carries a masculine bourbon, caramel, vanill, chocolate character that is very shy in the original version. Somewhat of a caramel and chocolatey port or brandy, this is definately a beer for discriminating palates.

Photo of Pencible
4.32/5  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 +0.9%
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.

Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 670 ratings.