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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.

336 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 336
Hads: 956
Avg: 4.35
pDev: 13.33%
Wants: 267
Gots: 439 | FT: 47
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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 (25) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 336 | Hads: 956
Photo of Jimmys
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle. kept in my cellar since its release in early 2011. poured into taster.

A: slight haze. brown body, not dark or light brown. vivacious carb ripping to the surface.

S: a lot of bourbon, booze is there, but not insane. a slight dry cocoa powder. chocolate. residual sugar is strong. caramel. molasses.

T: starts hot, lots of chocolate. booze is greater on the drink than the nose. a lot of oak. maple syrup. finishes sweet. some fruitiness as well. pretty well balanced between sweet, fruity old ale and boozy bourbon oak flavors.

M: moderate amount of carb. full bodied. carb is high, a little different for the style.

D: good, super mellow. highly drinkable. plenty of complexity without being too big. which is impressive considering this big time abv. ready to be taken out of the cellar.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour for Best Damn Night Of The Barrels held at The Beer Company in San Diego, CA.

2009 vintage.

Pours a clear brown with a foamy beige head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, toffee, bourbon, and wood. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some great barrel aged aromas and flavors.

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Photo of SadMachine
4.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from notes from 1/19/13

A- Pours a deep mahogany with ruby hues. A larger head and carbonation than expected considering the age, but it disappears quickly. Lots of alcohol legs.

S- The aroma is the thing dreams are made of! Big bourbon right off the bat, ripe prune, bourbon-soaked raisins, smokey oak, vanilla, perhaps a little banana, and did I mention bourbon?! Super complex, and I'm honestly a bit lost in it and can't decipher some of the aromas!

T- The flavor is nearly identical to the nose. The smooth bourbon and sweet, over-ripe dark fruits reign supreme, and balance each other well. Figs and maybe even a little apricot make their presence known. A hint of dark chocolate/cocoa make an appearance, and perhaps cherries. Alright, enough analysis, I just want to enjoy the rest of this wondrous brew!

M- The mouthfeel is creamy as velvet, with the slightest tingle of carbonation and heat from the alcohol.

O- This is without a doubt one of the best beers I've ever tasted! Absolutely astounding complexity and balance in the flavor, and an aroma that I'd love to be able to smell every day of my life! Please release another batch of this ASAP!!

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Photo of BierJager89
4.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from the sexiest bottle I've ever seen into probably a snifter or a tulip or a goblet.

A: Dark brown, almost black with a very light brown head.

S: Excellent bourbon character, oak, vanilla, caramel, some raisin, rum, and dark fruit in the nose as well. Also that old ale smell. Whatever that is. It smells old. Odd that the nose of a beer can be the very definition of a smell, but old ales do it somehow. They all smell old.

T: Dark fruit with more great bourbon character. Oak, vanilla and caramel, my three favorite things in a beer. MASSIVE bourbon after taste which is more than delightful.

M: Medium-full bodied with decent amounts of carbonation.

O: If you can still find it, buy a bottle. The bottle itself is so damn sexy, and the beer is extremely tasty. Number 15 for me, as of writing this review, out of more than 600. By the way, I am starting at the top of my list and working my way down, so I keep saying how many beers I've had. That's not to brag, that's just to say how damn good these beers are to me. Sorry if it comes off braggy. I know there are people who have had WAAAAY more beers than me.

Quick edit: I don't like the beeradvocate system for rating, because the beer, right now, has an average of 98, I gave it a 97 on my blog, but my rating here says I gave it roughly 7% higher than the average rating. BA inflates. That's stupid, but then again their rating system isn't very precise. At least they don't inflate as much as Ratebeer. Dear lord.

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Photo of mhksuccess
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on NYE from bottle poured into snifter glass
the cork comes pop out of the bottle like a champagne boom
the appearance is nice reddish color little head
the smell is amazing overwhelming bourbon and boozy smell
the taste somewhat differ although it is still overwhelming bourbon
followed by a toffee and slight hint of vanilla but I tend to
not find it all that boozy for a 13% + beer granted it has a little age on it now
the mouthfeel is smooth and it definite a slow drinker
the only downfall to this beer is the price as it is $20 + for 500 ML but
as with anything in life nothing good is free
so I would definite buy again actually I am sitting on another bottle lol
but would recommend if you havent tried and have a chance you must

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Photo of Lerxst
3.23/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a murky brown with some ruby highlights. Tightly knit bubbles rise up quickly and form a khaki colored head that dissipated almost immediately and left no lace.

S-Nose is very subdued. Some toffee, caramel, dark fruit, vanilla. Just a hint of bourbon comes through and I have to inhale deeply to get it. Nose needs to be much more prominent.

T-Taste is a little better. A nice mellow bourbon flavor greets me along with dark fruit, vanilla, toffee and a bit of booze heat at the back end.

M-Body is on the lighter side of medium with harsh carbonation leading to a dry finish.

O-I had high hopes for this one, but it was kind of a let down. Perhaps its because I enjoyed Fruet 2 days ago. This one pales in comparison.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.36/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2009 bottle.

Appearance - Pours with a surprisingly large khaki head. Reddish clear brown body. No head after a little while and then it's mostly lifeless.

Smell - Oh nice. Strong bourbon aroma. Lots of oak. Lots of vanilla. Lots of toffee. Lots of awesome.

Taste - Slightly less awesome than the smell, but still fantastic. Bourbon is sharp but the caramel and toffee back it up. Fruity taste from the malts reminiscent of the base beer. Oaky flavor builds into a somewhat overpowering finish.

Mouthfeel - A little over carbonated. Not as boozy as I would expect, but it has a bite. Slow drinker. Lots of oak in the finish that I don't really love.

Overall - Everything I love about Old Stock with bourbon. Can't beat it.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

09 vintage

Pour was deep brown, very little head. Almost a bit thin for the massive nose and flavor.

Rich and creamy. Toffee and caramel galore. Soft vanilla. Smooth bourbon.

Very similar to the nose. Sweet candy and vanilla bourbon. The finish is loaded with toffee and leather.

Very moderate carbonation, a bit too much. Light body.

Pretty good, a great winter sipper. price sucks but worth it.

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up this bottle about a couple years ago. I've been letting it cellar until about a week ago. I was excited to finally open this up.

This is an extremely rich smelling beer. You get tobacco, dark fruits, oakiness, and definitely the bourbon. There is a lot of heat coming off of this beer.

I love the flavor of this beer. I continue to get flavor akin to the bouquet notes. In addition, I got a decent amount of caramel. These flavors coat the mouth with each sip. I recommend this beer by a fire from a snifter. They pair very well. Don't forget the smoker's jacket.

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Photo of champ103
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is an intense beer. You could almost mistake this for a port. This is a 2009 bottle.

A: The cork comes out with good gun smoke, and a nice pop. A dark brown/ruby color. At first a two finger bubbly tan head forms, but recedes noisily in a second to nothing. No lace. Looks very still.
S: Just an amazingly complex nose. Up front is light solvent like alcohol that works well, instead of overpowering everything. Chocolate, toffee, vanilla, oak, and toasted malts all intermingle. Dark fruits of plums and dates. Awesome.
T: Follows the nose. Chocolate, toffee, vanilla. Wood/oak from the barrels. Wonderful toasted malt flavors along with dark fruits. Cherries, plums, dates. Even some tobacco. Though that does not overpower at all, instead it compliments everything.
M/D: Surprisingly a medium body with high carbonation. Though that does not ruin anything. There is some solvent like alcohol, but still nothing that overpowers. Warming and enjoyable to sip on.

A monster beer with loads of complexities. With the age, and the typical character of the base, it seems more like port than a bourbon barrel aged beer. I really enjoyed it. A bit over carbonated, but still well done. Recommended.

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Photo of harrymel
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

'09 edition.

Haven't really taken the time to review this, although I've had it probably six or seven times before; I usually only open one with company and don't wanna be rude and review in front of them. This time - the bottle is allll mine!

Pours a nice amber with a fleeting finger of taupe foam - leaving an etched surface. Nose is immaculate - nougat, bourbon, vanilla, fine malt syrup, bits of toffee, some caramalized sugar (near true creme brulee toasting). Flavor is rich and decadent with some maple, bourbon, vanilla, rich malts, some really nice sugars and a caramel flavor. Medium bodied with prickly carbonation. I really dig this beer.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 10.19.12
2009 Edition, split two ways.

A - Pours a dark brown with a very few dark brown bubbles that are gone quickly.

S - Toffee and slight carmel, with some subtle booze.

T - More booze here, but still lots of carmel and toffee.

D - Lower carbonation and a medium body.

O - Sweet and carmel heavy with a small booze kick.

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Photo of Etan
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into a snifter. 2009 edition.

A: Pours a blackish maple color with a small off-white head.

S: Lots of barrel-aged goodness in the nose. Coconut, vanilla, brown sugar, cooked caramel, slight oak, chocolate, raisins, some mild heat.

T: Boozy raisins, vanilla and coconut, slight woody bourbon, sweet toffee.

M: Thick-bodied with high carbonation.

O: This smells and tastes great - the barrel-aging is stellar. The carbonation is a little too high, though.

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Photo of GoatsUdder
4.87/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The North Coast Brewing Company Old Stock Cellar Reserve Bourbon Barrel Aged edition is a winner! It pours as a full-bodied tawny ale, with a lightly rocky, but more creamy of a tan head. Your initial notes are of cider, but not a spiced cider more of that ripe apple scent you get standing under an apple tree in late October. Your first sip engulfs your pallet in a warm toffee apple with very slight hints of the ale's fresh form (that Toffee/Vanilla/Coffee vibe) but this early in the aging process you can already see how the ale has matured. The toasty marshmallow has rounded off into the toffee and the initial booziness has turned into that of ripe harvest fruits. It ends with a pleasant if noticeable warmth reminiscent of a bourbon spiked coffee on a foggy Mendocino morning.

I waxed poetic on this even further on my blog http://www.fugglybrew.com/2011/01/old-stock-cellar-reserve-2009-from-ncbc.html

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.14/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a chestnut brown, with a thin, flimsy head construed of mostly open bubbles, making a thin beige head. There's red in the edges color wise. I'm normally not a fan of the base beer, in fact, I let an ex chug a bottle of the 2000 a few years ago, that was hilarious. Anyways, the aroma is so nice and sweet in the bourbon barrel versions of these, complete 180 degree turnaround for my nose. Bourbon oak, sweetness, it makes an almost syrup/molasses like component come out of the beer. Plenty of carmelized vanilla oak notes. Pretty amazing stuff aroma wise.

For something of this massive constitution, the beer felt so much lighter. A nice sweet body, but it wasn't thick. Seemed like the barrel lightened the body and added so much flavor. Bourbon isn't hot at all, in fact, it comes off like a bourbon and brandy blend moreso than just bourbon. Sticky. Takes caramel, toffee and chocolate in a sweet form married with bourbon. That's how its done son. Even manages to have just a smidge of rum like raisin bread aspect to it.

Its a real expensive beer, so I only see myself, at $20 a pop (same price per oz as Black Tuesday), buying a bottle of this every 5-10 years probably.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.38/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Got this one from BOLTZ9555 in a recent trade. Cheers for the beers man!

From a 500ml corked and caged bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2009
Note: Drunk right after a 2007 bottle of the base beer

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, loose, fizzy, off-white or cream colored head with lousy retention. Head fades quickly to a ring only. Seal brown body, a touch darker than the base, and no carbonation evident. No real head remains and looks somewhat flat by the end.

SMELL: Lots of bourbon, vanilla and oak on the nose. Caramel, toffee and brown sugar as well, with hints of milk chocolate. The barrel plays a leading roll here for sure. Base beer is there and competes well with the barrel.

TASTE: Bourbon, oak and caramel sweetness, with vanilla and milk chocolate flavors as well. Lots of barrel again after the swallow, though the chocolate, toffee and caramel flavors hold their own against the strong bourbon oak barrels. Very flavorful, bold and lingering finish on this one.

PALATE: Huge disappointment here. Thin body and very light on the palate. Higher levels of prickly carbonation, goes down rough and finishes somewhat sticky. A scratch at the swallow and some big heat lingers.

OVERALL: Too bad the palat was so lousy, as it really didn't support the flavors like it needed to. The base beer wasn't killed by the barrels in this one, but the palate just couldn't bring everything into harmony. The look really suffered here as well, with an unatractive and fizzy head making a lousy first impression. I'd much rather have the 2007 base beer again, though if they carbonated this one right, it'd be really nice.

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Photo of Treebs
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

500 ml C&C bottle served in a Founders tulip. 2009 Cellar Reserve.

A: Pours a semi translucent deep brown and ruby combination with a light tan head forming on the pour. It recedes quickly to a thin ring. No real lace left down the glass, but there are some nice legs.

S: This smells incredible. It is barrel forward with some charred oak, smooth bourbon, and semi-sweet caramel. Dark fruits, mostly raisin, but a touch of fig newton is also present. As it warms more of the bourbon comes out in the nose with a touch of alcohol.

T: Lots of great flavors going on. Definite oak character with some bourbon, residual vanilla and a definite caramel sweetness. Toffee with some fig and sweet malts. There is a slight nutty quality to it as well and it blends with the overall sweetness nicely. There is some definite heat hitting the back of the throat, but it's a subtle warming which is very nice.

M: Medium to full bodied with a medium/low carbonation level. A touch of warming down throat greets each sip.

O: This is a great sipper. I smelled this forever before I finally took a drink. I enjoyed this one immensely and it is definitely in the top five old ales I've ever had. The barrel is nicely integrated and helps create another layer of flavor that definitely compliments the base beer.

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Photo of azdback
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml. bottle from matttYCE (or Centennial) poured into a Bruery tulip. Dark brown or caramel color. Highlights aren't giving up much light either. Head was a pretty bright white, spritzy one finger that receded rather quickly. Lace doesn't exist as a beer lace but more as a wine lace of alcohol oils but that is to be expected at 13+%.

Nose is fantastic. Barrel is first with it's vanilla, charred wood, sweet bourbon and then comes the other great dark roasted flavors. A bit of coffee and bitter sweet chocolate, tart fruit and of course some alcohol. Just draw dropping.

Taste is sweet, caramelized sugar or caramel cubes, some vanilla and charred oak, green apple jolly rancher. The barrel is there but in a much more subtle way. The alcohol is masked very well. There is just a bit of the 13% there but very minimal. The aftertaste is on the tart side, fruit roll ups maybe?

Mouth is rich but light. Carbonation is light as well with a medium body and a pretty long and wet finish.

Overall I really enjoyed this. I had initially turned down buying this because of it's price tag but great traders, matttYCE and Centennial both sent be a bottle as an extra (don't know who's I just drank). Even after receiving this for free it still took me almost a year to finally crack it. It was well worth the wait. If you have the chance to trade for this or just pick it up off the shelf do it, you won't regret it.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle, opened in September 2012.

A - Loose, soda-like, khaki head settles quickly into a medium halo leaving trace amounts of lace. Cherry wood body.

S - Bittersweet chocolate, white chocolate, light booze, old wood, raisin, vanilla extract, toffee, butter scotch.

T - Milk chocolate, raisins, plum, soft boozy oak, cherry cordial, toffee, caramel, pumpernickel bread.

M - Full body, incredibly smooth, appropriately low carbonation, and nice staying power.

O - Great age. The integration, complexity, booze, and fruit are spot on.

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Photo of arizcards
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 500ml caged and corked bottle from the Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa in late March for 15.99. Thought it would be appropriate for review 1000.

Brew poured a reddish-brown into my tulip with a bubbly tan head that dissipated quickly.

Nose is bourbon, vanilla, oak, and dark fruits.

Taste is sweet, dark fruits, bourbon, vanilla, and charred oak.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated.

Overall this is a pretty smackable rendition of Old Stock. The bourbon was very warming on the initial sip but as it warms the complexities from all of the flavors shine thru. Glad i splurged! Give it a shot if you got the coin and like the style!

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.29/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Pours an semi-opaque ruby red / brown color. The head dissipates rather quickly to nothing, so there is no lacing present.

Smell – Lots of bourbon, with light caramel, maple syrup, and vanilla.

Taste – Mainly bourbon. Also some oak, and a bit of maltiness.

Mouthfeel – A light carbonation, a slight bourbon burn, and a little too much bourbon in the aftertaste.

Drinkability – A fairly decent bourbon beer. As previously mentioned, just a little too much bourbon aftertaste.

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Photo of claspada
3.67/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fairly-deep brown color with an initially spritzy head that immediately fizzled down to nothing almost soda-like.

Aromas begin with strong, smooth bourbon. Tons of sweet vanilla, wood, and caramel. The sweetness is actually quite intense. Perhaps some brown sugar is there as well, but the focus is definitely the barrel.

The tastes begin with boozy bourbon along with some caramel, molasses and a hint of burnt brown sugar. Light vanilla there as well, but the bourbon dominates the overall flavor profile.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Finish is a tad boozy and sweet.

Overall I cannot call this a winner in my book only because it is a bourbon bomb still after 3 years. The base beer is such a solid offering that the barrel aging totally dominates the flavor profile. The base Old Stock only acts as a canvas for the bourbon; with so much bourbon flavor, I could just drink bourbon, especially for the elevated cost/small quantity of this brew.

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Photo of egrace84
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Sexy caramel/cola look to it. Poured aggressively and the head's gone before ya know it.

S: Smell is phenominal! Bourbon, toffee, vanilla, molasses, these are the things dreams are made of.

T: Taste follows the nose very closely in my opinion, but the bourbon makes its presence well known.

M: Light to medium bodied w/ the right amount of carbonation.

O: It's been a pleasure to drink this wonderful old ale. When done right, old ales are in my top favorite style to drink, and this beer does not disappoint. The only downfall to this beer is its price point, but we all need to treat ourselves sometimes. Find this one and enjoy.

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Photo of acceptmj
4.26/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: a nice maroon caramel color very small head from pour.

S: smell a slight maple.

T: had a strong maple flavor a little malty as well. you can taste the alcohol but its not overbearing and dissipates quickly.

M: light to medium body

O: had this with a friend both liked it very much worth the $23 i paid. almost reminds me of a Samuel Adams Utopias except a little watered down in flavor. def pick this up

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Photo of draheim
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle (2009) into a snifter. Pours a rich mahogany w/ a crackling 1-finger head that dissipates almost immediately. Looks almost still but there's some pretty good carbonation rising from the bottom.

Aroma is buttery rich vanilla, molasses, toffee, caramel malt, dark fermented fruit, warm booze. Just about every ooey gooey sticky substance you can think of is in here. A nice oak presence as well.

Taste is also rich, smooth, thick, chewy. Dark fruit, molasses, vanilla, brown sugar, sticky caramel, bourbon, oak. Alcohol numbs the tongue, warms the throat. This is a sipper if I've ever had one.

Mouthfeel of course is thick, coating, sticky. Just right for a beer this concentrated and intense.

Overall, this is about what I was expecting/hoping for. Layers of richness and complexity, hopefully only enhanced by 3 years in the bottle. Not an everyday beer by any stretch but a tasty, decadent treat.

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Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 336 ratings.