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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.

533 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 533
Reviews: 278
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 210
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: 533 | Reviews: 278 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jmoore50
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.


Jmoore50, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of davod23
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

davod23, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

jrallen34, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of JAXSON
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

JAXSON, Sep 07, 2010
Photo of Sean9689
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Sean9689, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
3.93/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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...

Arbitrator, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of aerozeppl
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

aerozeppl, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of mikesgroove
4.75/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

mikesgroove, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of nickd717
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle shared by dbuckingham at a beer event I held in SF to celebrate my liver surviving another year (not taking that for granted!). Huge thanks to David for this awesomeness.

Pours clear medium brown with a small tan head that fades.

Aroma is awesome - caramel, toffee, bourbon, oak, and vanilla. This is a great base beer that really stands up well to the barrel aging.

Flavor is sweet and bourbony with spice. Caramel malt and toffee are huge in this one, and you get some oak/vanilla from the barrel, as well as maybe some sherry.

Smooth and medium-full on the palate with low carbonation, which is appropriate in this beer.

Really excellent overall. Just as good as the brandy version. Going to have to make the trip up the next time they release this bad boy.

nickd717, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of tpd975
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the one and only daknole.

A: Pours a dark brown hue with a small tan head. Light retention with some legs.

S: Aromas of sweet malts, bourbon, oak, and vanilla.

T: Lots of dark fruit, and sweet candy malts. The barrel melds perfectly. Light oak, sweet sweet vanilla, and the perfect amount of bourbon.

M: Fairly full in body, smooth, light on the carbonation.

D: Very I am honored to have tried this one Dakine!

tpd975, Mar 11, 2010
Photo of akorsak
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Deuane for picking this up for me several years ago.

A: The cork opened with little fanfare. Poured into a snifter, the old ale is dark, nearly black. A tan colored head of nearly half a finger boldly bubbled up on pour before disappearing quickly.

S: The bourbon is intensely strong. Heavy notes of vanilla, brown sugar and wood provide one hell of a punch. Caramel and darker malt aromas also come through.

T: The old ale is incredible. Bourbon flavors leap off the page with each sip. Dark sugars, vanilla and brown sugar all scream bourbon barrel. The flavors are intense and concentrated, completing integrated into the old ale. Caramel and darker malts, along with mild hops, mark the old ale aspect. Those flavors are nicely interwoven with the bourbon. A thick sweetness arises near the end of each sip, caramel and bourbon, what a way to end each sip!

M: Smooth bourbon, treacly caramel, extended time in a barrel. A triple threat that leaves me begging for more.

D: I'd never guess that this is almost 15%. The bourbon barrel has imparted one wicked flavor on the ale. Well done!

akorsak, Feb 11, 2010
Photo of largadeer
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 edition:

Tawny in color, dense and oily, this beer appears to have a bit more carbonation than the brandy barrel version, though the head still recedes quickly. The nose is surprisingly hot despite having several years of age on it, but beneath the heat there's a lot of complexity; turbinado sugar, leather, spicy oak and boozy, caramelly bourbon. Alcohol and rich caramel hit the palate first, but it dries up a bit, allowing leather, tobacco, vanilla and fruit to come to the forefront before finishing with a resurgence of heat, tannins and caramel. Delicious stuff, though I prefer the brandy barrel version.


Dark brown, perfectly clear. Has a very pristine, filtered appearance. Pours with two fingers of fleeting tan head. Mellower than the '05, but less complex. Heavy on the oak and bourbon, feels a bit refined, but still quite good. This doesn't touch the 2005 Brandy Barrel Old Stock, but it's a good beer all the same. Probably more of an A- beer; my scores reflect the original 2005 bottling.

largadeer, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of HopHead84
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber with a one finger off white head. The reddish tinge is highlighted when held to light. The head recedes after a minute. This apparently has more carbonation than its brandy brother. The legs might even be better on this than on the other, despite the lesser ABV.

There's lots of toffee in the nose, with equally strong caramel. The bourbon is unmistakable. Vanilla is noticeable, and oak is in the background. The heat is much more noticeable here than it was in the brandy version. Dried and dark fruits are apparent, with lots of brown sugar.

The taste is brown sugar with boozy toffee and caramel. I'm surprised the heat is so strong on this 2005 beer. I thought it would be pretty mellow with nearly 4 years on it. This is much hotter than the brandy barrel. Some vanilla is noticeable, with some dark fruits and figs. There's a lot of bourbon in the flavor, which is awesome. The finish is strong with toffee and lingering brown sugar.

The beer is medium bodied. The carbonation is low, but it's a little higher than the brandy version. The mouthfeel is silky smooth with some viscosity. This is an excellent beer, though very hot.

HopHead84, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of Bitterbill
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this 375ml bottle because I won a raffle contributing to a very worthy cause. The generous and inspiring BA that is behind all this? Tayner. Thanks Dana!

It's caged an corked and has some blue tape wrapped around the C&C.

A light pop when I removed the cork, it pours a realy dark brown, looked a colour of rust when pouring, with a 1 finger head of off white foam.

The smell is really nice. I smell some big notes of bourbon and caramel malt that bring a lot of sweetness but no really alcohol tones. Yeah, this is a *big* brew weighing in at an intimidating 14.6%abv but it doesn't come close to smelling boozy for how strong it is.

The taste is the...Wow! Bourbon and cararmel malt working in perfect unison. Some dark fruitiness follows, some toffee, a bit of chocolate like sweetness in the flavour, some spiciness but it is very light, no bitterness that I can detect....and yeah, quite a bit of warming from the alcohol but mostly after the swallow where it needs to be. The foam has disappeared now except for a ring around the glass but I'm more into tasting and enjoying this sucker than looking at it. What an Old Ale! I know I'll be sad when the last drop hits my gullet.

It has a medium body with light carbonation and it finishes with a nice last hit of bourbon goodness.

Drinkability? The abv will hold it back some but...really...for a beer this strong, I'm very impressed with how easy it goes down. North Coast, what can I say? Other than I love this brew! And to Tayner....thanks so much for the opportunity. If there's a brew you'd like to try, send me a BM and I'll do my best to find it for you.

Bitterbill, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of scottoale
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Once again a big thanks to Skye for sending me this beauty of a beer. 2005 Cellar Reserve in a 375ml. brown cork-finished bottle. Poured into a Duvel tulip a dark coppery-brown (almost rusty) with a 1/2" of tan bubbly and very short-lived head. Although the cork barely gave a pop when released, the carbonation was just fine for this brew. The brew settles still with no lace.

Big rich sweet malty nose with a heaping load of bourbon and oak pulling through. A great smell but seems to have a bit less depth in the nose than their brandy barreled version.

The flavor doesn't disappoint, but again I'm comparing it to their other version for reference. It's got plenty of your great BA qualities here, but it's not as smooth and blended like the brandy Old Stock. Big chewy malty base with molasses, prune, fig, raisen, licorice, vanilla, oak and an abundance of essence of bourbon. Very pronounced and with a bit of bite. Nothing that a little more age won't cure here. Overall, very very tasty...love these kind of brews immensely.

Sweet and strong yet balanced very well with it's medium chewy body and the pleasant warming finish. I could drink this stuff day in and day out, but it's potency and availability would never let this happen. Awesome brew!

scottoale, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of gford217
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this gem in a trade with Solomon420 a few months back. 375mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark hazy caramel brown with a small cream-colored head that hangs around as a decent collar for a while and doesn't leave much lacing.

The first aroma out of the bottle was the bourbon which remained the dominant smell throughout. There are plenty of other things in the nose with some caramel sweetness, figs, raisins and molasses. On top of all that is the vanilla from the barrel.

The taste followed the aroma but with more of the underlying beer coming out. The sugary sweetness comes out more aggressively and the bourbon plays a more supporting role (which is a positive for me).

The mouthfeel is sticky sweet and medium bodied with minimal carbonation. There is a slight alcohol burn through the finish.

This is a great, great beer and very drinkable given the ABV. A (very) small notch below the Brandy Barrel, but that's pretty good company. Big thanks to Damian for sharing this rarity.

gford217, Jan 15, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dusky ruby with maraschino cherry highlights when the glass is backlit with weak sunshine. Too bad the khaki colored crown fizzed away to near nothing inside of several minutes. The only thing left is a thin rim of bubbles along the circumference of the laceless snifter. Barrel-aged beer can often look like this, so I won't be too harsh.

The nose is an omen that good things await on the taste buds. Possibly even great things. The beer smells like Jamaican dark rum at least as much as it smells like bourbon whiskey. It features the molasses of the former and the caramelized sugar, vanilla and toasted oak of the latter. The power is unquestioned, but more depth is needed for a bigger score to be considered. Not surprisingly, that depth arrives once the beer loses its slight starting chill.

Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Bourbon Barrel) is the quintessential slow sipper of a high-powered old ale. I now wish that I had reviewed one of the several Old Stock vintages currently in my cellar to see what the barrel aging added. Or possibly subtracted, as that also sometimes happens when beer is aged in liquor barrels.

There's quite a bit of overlap between the two styles, but this could also be considered an English barleywine. It's malt-dominant, is relatively light of body, and the ingredients are all imported from England (Maris Otter malt, Fuggles and East Kent Goldings hops). On second thought, there may be more hoppiness than most British brewers would be comfortable with.

Flavors include dark toffee, dark butterscotch, bourbon-soaked raisins, crushed vanilla beans, a shot of blackstrap molasses and a double shot of tawny port. The beer's vinousness is as wonderful as it is unexpected... and I just got ouzo with that last sip. It's too bad the bottle only contains 375 ml because it's difficult to get one's palate around this much complexity given slightly more than 12 ounces of beer.

I've decided to bump the mouthfeel score up a notch because it improves a little with warming. Even though it's no more than light-medium for the style, there's a hint of oily viscosity on the finish that is, again, reminiscent of an aged port. Once a few minutes of light fizziness have passed, the carbonation is appropriately sedate.

Old Stock Ale Cellar Reserve (Bourbon Barrel) is great beer. Though I much prefer bourbon whiskey to brandy, I'm sure that Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Brandy Barrel) is outstanding as well. The neck label indicates that this offering is part of the 'American Artisan Series'. That's North Coast Brewing in a nutshell: American artisans.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of Crosling
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark bronze colored beer. Very nice aroma showcases notes of chocolate, brown sugar, caramel, maple and sweet bourbon. Flavor is very complex, but still a touch hot and slightly too bourbon accented. Still has some serious malt depth to it, with notes of melted caramel, chocolate, cocoa and toffee. Very nice natural carbonation. These BA Old Stocks are beauties.

Crosling, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of Overlord
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to Jwolfie70 for his incredible generosity over the weekend. Had a chance to sample this along with some other rare brews, as he cracked open his cellar (it took some cracking) to break out some of his Cable Car, Cuvee de Tomme, and other delicacies.

Pours a surprisingly thin looking dark brown with a small deep tan head that quickly vanished. I'll be frank: not an appealing looking beer.

Thankfully, it smells and tastes a lot better than it looks. The bourbon is very well integrated. Frankly, it puts some other offerings I've had recently to shame. Vanilla, wood, and the earthy bourbon-ity are in the head and the flavor right from the get-go. Sweet malt and a dark fruit background make for a truly great beer (though it's definitely a sipper).

Overlord, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of JDV
4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by BlackForestCO. Thanks Jake!
Pours a rich brownish color with a haze. Smell is sweet, fruity, and smooth bourbon with vanilla and hints of oak. Nice complex, delicious smell. Taste is oaky and bourbony with a great balance of hops and malt. Not overly strong flavored with sweet malt and really tasty. Warming alcohol, but not obtrusive in the least for me. This stuff is awesome.

JDV, Jul 01, 2008
Photo of Floydster
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12.7 ounce corked and caged bottle ordered and shipped from the brewery over the telephone for about ten dollars, poured into a pint glass

A-Deep mahogany brown color, small 1/4 inch vanilla colored head, went away pretty quickly which is what I was expecting anyways, not much retention, only a hint of lacing at the very beginning

S-Bourbon that was not overwhelming but more subtle than you might think, sweet vanilla, lots of oak, good amount of caramel, toffee, black cherries, a slight scent of coffee oddly, booze, milk chocolate, and other dark fruits

T-The bourbon made a complex beer even more complex, thankfully it did not take over though, it just added richness to certain characteristics and added some sweet and spicy notes, started off with a caramel malt taste, hint of bread in the middle but mostly toffee and vanilla, finish was spicy with sweeter whiskey and not the overly burning kind, one beer that really changed by being in the barrel without having that component completely take it over, even more balanced now, not overly sweet or hot anymore, very enjoyable

M-Spicy, smooth, sweet, and inviting mouthfeel, nice level of carbonation, tons of small bubbles the entire time through surprisingly, medium body which was impressive after being in a barrel but it is thick normally, taste lingered quite some time

D-For almost fifteen percent this brew goes down like water, alcohol is hidden so well, light on the stomach, smooth as can be and only warm going down, whole bottle was easy to drink even though I certainly felt it afterwards

This beer was phenomenal and I was not expecting it to be this good, standard Old Stock from past years was not that great the first few times I had it but the barrel aged version is a whole different story, I usually prefer brandy barreled stuff more and I cannot wait to open that bottle in a few weeks, would drink again in a second, highly recommended

Floydster, May 31, 2008
Photo of SacoDeToro
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice ruby copper with a small dense off-white head.

The aroma was full of medium dried fruits, heavy caramel and vanilla with bourbon accents. There was a noticable alcohol presense.

The flavor of the beer had intense caramel and vanilla flavors and rich maltiness that coated the mouth. The hops had a slightly earthy character and balanceed things nicely. The bourbon came through well and blended nicely with the other components of the beer. Some faint woody oak came through in the finish as well.

The body was full and the mouthfeel was slightly viscous and creamy. The alcohol was noticeable, but for a beer that's nearly 15%, this was amazingly drinkable.

This beer has an array of well-integrated flavors, but it didn't seem to match the complexity and magic that I found in the brandy barrel version. Still, this is an amazing beer and certainly one of the best offerings from North Coast.

SacoDeToro, Apr 29, 2008
Photo of hoppymeal
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a fairly murky brown in color with amber hues, an average size light tan head fades quickly. Fairly still after that even when agitated in the glass. Outstanding aroma of rich aged maltiness, prunes and raisins mix with a bourbony alcohol warmth. Great leather qualities in the nose when agitated along with some dry woodiness. Taste is a nice soft sugary caramel and toffee flavor up front with a decent amount of sweet vanilla before a decently dry and woody finish that shows its alcohol strength. Mouthfeel is medium in body, a little sweet stickiness on the lips, and a slight bite on the tongue followed by the warmth of alcohol. Great beer, outstanding aroma, alcohol shows itself but in the right proportion, pretty balanced for 14.6. I could spend a fortune on this if this were available on a regular basis.

hoppymeal, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

huge thanks to kirok1999 for this brew! 2005 vintage.

A - cloudy dark reddish brown with a slight offwhite head.
S - intoxicatingly rich caramel, dark ripe fruits, slight bourbon and oak with an alcohol warmth.
T - vinous sweet malts combine with a light oak, vanilla bourbon note.
M - full bodied, lightly carbonated, mouthwarming.
D - dangerously drinkable. A sipper to be sure but smooth and oh so approachable.

I love the bottle, I loved this beer. Time has served this quite well and while I was apprehensive reading this as 14.6% abv, I am quite happy to note it drinks much lighter.

barleywinebrewer, Mar 28, 2008
Photo of Bierguy5
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 oz. 14.6% ABV. Cloudy, chestnut color. Thin tan head disappears immediately.

Bourbon, oaky aroma. A bit of vanilla, figs, dates and caramel. A whiff of alcohol as well. Nice aroma.

Big bourbon edge up front. Vanilla and slightly toasted oak flavors. Figs, dates, and a good amount of caramel. All of this while not being overly sweet.

Full body, low carbonation. Very warming. Very complex and enjoyable. A sipper for sure. I think that I liked the brandy version a bit more. This one seems a bit hotter.

Bierguy5, Mar 23, 2008
Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
98 out of 100 based on 533 ratings.