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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

317 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 317
Hads: 851
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 7.62%
Wants: 255
Gots: 418 | FT: 41
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 (24) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 317 | Hads: 851
Photo of beergoot
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unique label info: 2013 Cellar Reserve version, ABV of 14.1%

Murky reddish-brown body with a thick, fluffy head. Rich caramel nose; toffee and dried nuts. Deep caramel sweetness; toffee; boozy; hint of bourbon; slowly developing hop bitterness at the finish. Heavy body; thick and chewy.

Malt forward with a slowly developing yet ultimately satisfying bourbon tinged finish. Bold, complex, and deeply satisying. (413 characters)

Photo of gatornation
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a dark copper color with an off white head nice amount of lacing left on the glass
S-bourbon with oak toffee and caramel and bread notes
T-fantastic BA presence with the base beer nice notes of wood and malts with some dark fruit
M-medium carbonation with loads of BA notes slight alcohol burn
O- a great BA brew very tasty 500ml was the right size its pricey but worth a try (384 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark caramel color with a huge two finger tan head. Was not expecting such a great head from this one. Looks amazing.

S: Bourbon, molasses, wet wood, some toasted brown sugar, freshly baked banana bread and maybe just a touch of leather.

T: This base beer is so amazing, I really don't think you can do wrong with it. It's fantastic alone, it's great in brandy barrels and this is amazing as well. Caramel, toasted biscuit, and a good amount of bourbon. The finish brings just a hint of the alcohol, but it gives just a touch of dryness, rather than burning the hell out of you. 14%? What 14%. I may like the brandy version better, but this is pretty tasty. (672 characters)

Photo of DrunkAl
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 label (January 2015 release) 500ml bottle. Flat, murky brown pour. Aroma is bourbon, touch of sweet dark fruit. Taste is caramel, vanilla, bourbon. Malty. Slightly boozy but very easy to drink. Other than the price, $23 for a 500ml, I have nothing to complain about. (271 characters)

Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle

Look - Pours a dark chestnut brown with white effervescent head. Head dissipates quickly with small to medium bubbles. No clinging. Once head disappears the color is shown to be a deep ruby red when held to light. Resembles a liquor. 4.5 paws.

Smell - Deep, rich dark fruit notes of date and fig. A bit of caramel. A slight hint of creme brulee. Roasty and nutty, with a walnut astringency. 4.5 paws

Taste - Rich nutty flavor melded with chewy fruit. Very boozy finish, but seems to work well with the other flavors. Woody bourbon flavor is there, with only the slightest hint of vanilla. 4.25 paws.

Feel - Somewhat thin, surprisingly bubbly. Not much tingle on the tongue, but most prevalent on the sides. 3.75 paws.

Overall - A delightful beer, but a little too hot at this point. Give it a couple years to mellow and this would be a heavenly treat on a warm night. 4.25 paws. (912 characters)

Photo of Catracho5
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle poured into a Belgian style tulip

A: Dark red, amber, head dissipated fairly quick, tiny bubbles streaming, looks pretty thin, no lacing at all.

A: Big bourbon up front, sweet caramel, coconut, very sweet aromas, alcohol is noticeable, smells like a barley wine

T: Big bourbon, toasted coconut, sweet caramel flavors, I am picking up the base beer, getting that Old Stock Ale flavor slightly in the middle, it's really hot when it's cold but taste really good as it warms.

M: Medium mouthfeel

O: World class, big bourbon, toasted coconut, sweet aromas, warms up really well, more flavors as it warms, really nice, worth the $25 for 500ml bottle, not sure, but if this was around $16-18 I would stock up and cellar a few. But the price is the only concern I am not at all disappointed with the beer, cheers! (825 characters)

Photo of M_chav
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky-brown with nice carbonation - not the prettiest looking beer but appropriate for an old ale. Smells of dark fruits, reminds me of a barleywine. Tastes very good, lots of sweetness up front, dark fruits, and booze is present but not too forward. Could sip on this all night, delicious. (300 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.76/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a teku glass, the head is rather fizzy and loud, but forms light, airy and wispy inside. Steady surging carbonation is visible in the amber/light brown body. 4.25

From the moment I uncorked the beer, sweet brown sugar radiated outward. It's a heavy presence but caramel, port, and raisin all mingle alongside. The party doesn't end there: vanilla, oak, sticky bourbon, and molasses ooze through too. The smell overall is dessert-like, delectable and perfect. 5

Taste does not disappoint. True to the nose almost to a T. Caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, oak, and some port-like raisin quality. I get oatmeal cookie flavors from sip to sip. The brew suggests bourbon but it stands on its own and has plenty more to offer, all delicious. 4.75

Very light on the boozy feel, with only a faint burn on the finish and that enhances the experience for me. I can savor the flavors and let the creaminess roll around on the tongue. The body is deceptive, finishing light and sweet, but it's chewy and almost silky beforehand. 4.5

Delicious. Damn delicious. It's damn expensive too, but I'm not the least disappointed and quite happy with this investment. (1,159 characters)

Photo of larryarms847
4.66/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark caramel brown and sits very dark brown in the glass with a slight amber hue and a thin layer of tan foam.

Dark fruits, heavy bourbon, toffee, and caramel.

Caramel, toffee, and dark fruits right up front with a strong bourbon finish with a touch of vanilla to note.

Heavy bodied, light-nearing medium carbonation, fruity esters, sweet, warming bourbon.

Overall, definitely different, but very tasty. (413 characters)

Photo of vic21234
4.84/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Corked and caged 2013 Vintage poured into a snifter at room temperature.

A- Pours a clear and bubbly mahogany color with a small amount of fizzy off-white head that quickly fades.

S- Smells great, with notes of dark fruits, slight sweetness, and lots of bourbon.

T- At first taste is caramel and dark fruits. Then comes notes of sweet oak and bourbon.

M- Medium bodied, lightly carbonated, well balanced, drinks hot with a nice warming after each sip.

Great beer, and huge bourbon characters. (502 characters)

Photo of Beersnake1
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from fridge temp to tulip. Dark brown with good carbonation. Smell was out of this world. Beautiful hints of caramel, vanilla, dark fruit, and bourbon. Reminded me of a world-class BA barleywine (e.g. Sucaba). Blew me away. The taste followed nicely, which was nice. Similar attributes as the nose. Feel was very nice, giving an overall stellar beer. I am extremely happy to have tried this! (407 characters)

Photo of gillagorilla
4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From bottle during a vertical tasting with 2014 Old Stock, 2012 Otsuchi, and 2011 Brandy.

Dark brown, with the BA versions being less carbonated.

Delicious with a decent amount of bourbon notes. (197 characters)

Photo of Devman171
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle, Vertical tasting with 2014 old stock, 2012 ostuchi, 2011 Brandy, 2009 Bourbon. All pour similar murky brown with the BA versions being fairly low carb. Aroma is dark fruits, light oak and bourbon, smooth booze and rich malts. (233 characters)

Photo of leroybrown10
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage poured into a crystal snifter. Pours a cloudy rusty brown color. Small cream colored head disappears quickly leaving behind no lacing. Looks sticky/syrupy.

Rich sweet aromas of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, sugar cane and molasses. Muted bourbon. I've had more recent vintages where the bourbon was more pronounced. A bit boozy on the back end.

Amazingly smooth flavor. Sweet and boozy blended perfectly. Rich caramel malt, toffee and molasses. Muted dark fruits. Overripe plum, hints of date and sweet raisin. Oak barrel. Something reminiscent of sticky bread pudding.

Rich mouth feel bordering on syrupy. Smooth and oily letting flavors spread and linger. Moderate carbonation. Boozy but not overmuch.

This is an amazing beer from North Coast. This review reflects an updated score. My original was 4/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5 for 4.47 total. That was a 2013 vintage on draft that was about 1 year old. That was excellent, this was beyond that. Highly recommend letting this beer age as it becomes truly exceptional. (1,047 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.63/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2009 bottle purchased and poured at The Porter Bar in Atlanta on 11/23/14. Pours deep dark brown with no head at all. Beautiful aroma of vanilla, caramel, lots of smooth bourbon still present, oak, toffee, marshmallow. Flavor follows with a big bourbon punch that is very mellow, sweet brown sugar and caramel, vanilla marshmallow notes, a hint of chocolate, smooth oak. Wow this is good. Chewey body with low plus carbonation, coats the mouth. This was really nice and the bottle was clearly well-kept for the past few years. Just a really nice beer.

Updating with a 2013 edition and the fresher bottle is superior and world class. Just delicious. Get as many of these as you can find. (695 characters)

Photo of jerefreakinmiah
5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchasedo from Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, CA through their website in May, 2014.

This was, without question, one of the best beers I ever had the pleasure of consuming. So glad that I was able to share it with 4 other people.

Smelled of gingerbread (WHAT? My thoughts exactly), honey, and bourbon. The bourbon smell had receeded quite a bit, but was still present. No oxidation.

This was a very drinkable beer. The 13.16% abv was NOT present at all. I tasted honey sweetness and a touch of bourbon. The sweet smell tricked my senses into believing that I picked up the presence of cinnamon and Christmas baked goods.

The brew changed so much as we sat and drank it. Hard to believe how mutable of a think beer is.

I wish that I had another 2-3 bottles on had to experience with time. (796 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a rich dark copper color.

The aroma is wonderfully sweet of brown sugar and caramel with lots of sweet vanilla and bourbon.

The flavor follows with that caramel sweetness, but without much chewy qualities. The bourbon drives throughout and there also is an apple pie spice throughout.

There's a medium mouthfeel and the alcohol is extremely well hidden.

A pleasant surprise as the beer has wonderful complexities and drinkability. (452 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up at Julio's a long time ago. 2009 Vintage. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a nice dark very slightly murky chestnut hue with a thin quarter inch head that fades quickly to leave a thin thin halo and light wisps.

S - Aromas of caramel, malts, very light bourbon. Zero alcohol. Faint honey like aroma. Surprised at how faint it is.

T - Taste is Nice sweet malts, caramel, toffee, burnt sugar, almost like a rolo candy due to the caramel and roast, the bourbon is incredibly mellow and smooth. Wish it was a bit more prominent but one must assume the age has done this.

M - Mouthfeel is almost sublime. Hardly any alcohol, faint carbonation, silky.

O - Overall, a solid old ale. May have waited a bit long on this one as the bourbon is awfully mild/mellow. Still, a tasty old ale though not quite worth the price. for the bottle size. (858 characters)

Photo of Jonada
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. 500ml bottle served in a snifter

Apperance: Pours a murky red/brown color with less than a finger of a light tan head that dissipates quickly to almost nothing. No lacing. Body is basically opaque. Not exactly a pretty beer, but that's not unexpected.

Smell: Bourbon, raisins, some oxidation, port wine, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla extract. Still a nice punch of booze in the aroma after a few years of cellaring.

Taste: Brown sugar, caramel, bourbon, sweet malt, dark fruit with a slight roast character in the finish and aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, but thinner than I was expecting (and hoping). Medium levels of fine carbonation. Still a sipper, but the aging has really mellowed this out.

Overall: An amazing beer. The barrel aging, and then further cellaring has done wonders for this. Super flavorful and complex, and while it still packs a nice boozy punch, it goes down smooth as hell. Mouthfeel could have been a bit thicker, but that's only a minor complaint. This could probably continue to age, but I can't imagine it'll get much better than it is now. Definitely trade for this one if you can. (1,138 characters)

Photo of markgugs
4.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2009 500mL ceramic bottle, cellared for about 10 mos., poured into a Lawson's snifter

A: Pours a murky chestnut brown, slightly reddish around the edges. Aggressive pour yields less than an inch of dark head that quickly disappears, leaving no trace that it was ever there.

S: Tons and tons of bourbon barrel-imparted notes, mostly vanilla and toasted coconut. It smells like the richest dessert! Supporting notes of caramel, toffee, sweetbreads and root beer.

T/M: Thick and viscous as you would imagine, with just the right amount of carbonation left. This is an incredible, incredible beer. Very rich, cola and root beer, melted caramel, strong bourbon presence in the finish - you get that warming, burning sensation in the throat and belly.

O: A tremendous beer, I'm almost regretting the decision to open it! Must find another. Well worth seeking out to try this one. (877 characters)

Photo of rand
4.64/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 batch, poured from 500 mL stained-glass bottle to snifter

Accidentally posted this in then non-reserve Old Stock, 11-23-13

A: Deep mahogany in color, opaque and murky. A small, effervescent head forms early, but quickly dissipates, seemingly under its own weight.

S: Bourbon first, but quickly followed by vanilla and oak. The malty bouquet is big and pronounced, with a mash-up of toffee and grainy scents. Ample booze helps propel the bold bouquet.

T: The brew hits your flavor sensors with everything at once - the bourbon and oak and toffee-vanilla malts paint your palate immediately, as they've become almost singular with age. There's a subtle raisin-y fruit note mid-sip, quickly followed by warming booze and a distant hop astringency that dries the palate slightly. Long finish, boozy and sweet.

M: The mouthfeel is nearly perfect for the style - stodgy and chewy and viscous, but aging has produced ample carbonation to cleanse the palate. It's almost refreshing. (984 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewing the 2009 vintage, although I've had the 2005 on a few occasions as well. Served in a DryHop taster pint glass.

A - Surprising pop when I pulled out the cork. A finger of tan foam settles to a partial cap, thick collar, and specks of lace. Dark amber-brown body that's largely opaque.

S - Lots of bourbon, brown sugar, and oak, with secondary notes of vanilla, red fruits, licorice, and a bit of chocolate. Still pretty boozy, even after two years of cellaring, but not excessively so for 13+%.

T - The taste is quite delicious, with a nice blend of caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, and more peripheral flavors of bourbon, oak, and both dark and red fruits. Alcohol is better hidden here. Not overly cloying, with good balance between barrel flavors and sweet malts. There's perhaps a faint note of smoke and light hints of raisin and toffee as well. Rich and complex.

M - Smooth, creamy, medium-full body, with some mild tannins and oak late on the palate and some mild warming alcohol as well. Pleasant, lower carbonation that is sufficiently lively for the style.

D - Drink 'em if you got 'em. Quite good, and probably not going to get any better. Whatever gains there are to be made in the aroma will probably be lost in the taste. Looking forward to the new brandy release. (1,290 characters)

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.94/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a date colored murky dark brown with no head and very little visible carbonation or sediment. The nose is potent bourbon caramelized sugars upfront, some dark dried fruits, tobacco, and muddled booziness when it warms. The taste is subtle bourbon, sweet sugar, but definitely on the dry end compared to where a stout or barleywine would be. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, thinner than expected, with good carbonation and a lingering sticky bourbon after burn. This is a solid beer, worth trying, but why the $30 price tag?? (544 characters)

Photo of ms11781
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed 10/12/2013. 500ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a deep, murky brown with reddish hues on the sides and bottom of the glass. At first the pour seems like this is going to be heavily carbonated as it produces a lively head and good amount of fizz. Both the head and the fizz disappear immediately, leaving no lacing and no sign of carbonation.

The nose is somewhat sweet and full of bourbon, vanilla, oak and dark fruits. None are overpowering and none really stick out more than the others but they are all there. The combination of aromas makes for an exceptional nose. Really nice.

The taste is a step up from the nose. Still a bit sweet but full of huge vanilla notes, along with some toffee and caramel. There are also huge dark fruits notes along with big bourbon and some wood. The is really outstanding.

Four years has smoothed this beer out incredibly. There is a slight burn but that probably more because the ABV is 13+% than anything the bourbon is bringing. The carbonation is low and the body is big, not huge, leaving to a heavy mouthfeel that goes perfectly with the flavors.

This beer is exceptional. I didn't have it fresh (which I guess was already 2 years old) but I'd imagine it has mellowed if it's this smooth now. The aromas and flavors are well integrated and are a great point right now. I can't imagine it'd get better than it is now but I also don't think a few more years will make it terrible. (1,445 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2009 batch.

A: Murky brown pour with a fizzy, soda-like light brown head. Head fades out very quickly with zero lacing and almost no retention.

S: Heavy bourbon. Caramel and LOADED to the gills with dark fruits. Heavy fig, raisin, prunes. Smells more like pure bourbon or even brandy for that matter. Sharp booziness.

T: Again with the heavy bourbon. Not nearly as boozy as the aroma but still strong. Lots of toffee, loaded to the gills from start to finish. Brown sugar and caramel sweetens everything but the toffee really shines. Dark fruits are heavy too, more raisin and fig. Sweet vanilla everywhere, especially in the finish and aftertaste. Notable oakiness in the finish and lingering for a long time between sips.

M: Very low carbonation and very heavy bodied. Thick.

O: Very interesting barrel aged old ale. It has held up well for the past 4-5 years. Very sweet, very heavy due to a high ABV and low carbonation. A sipper for sure. Luckily this is only a 16.9 ounce bottle, it would be tough to drink a 750 of this stuff (are you listening, Bruery?). Dessert beer for sure. Not far from drinking pure spirits, I wish the Old Ale aspect stood out a little more, even after the years this one's barrel presence is a bit overpowering. Maybe it just needs a few more years to balance out. I enjoyed it a lot but couldn't give it the higher scores that are typical. (1,378 characters)

Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 317 ratings.