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Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Brandy Barrels) - North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Brandy Barrels)Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Brandy Barrels)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

256 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 256
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 4.52
pDev: 7.74%


Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  15.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Vintages: 2005, 2011

(Beer added by: BeerBeing on 06-03-2007)
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Ratings: 256 | Reviews: 81 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.1/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage.

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, bread pudding, brandy, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with brown sugar, toffee, and brandy flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of wood bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with absolutely phenomenal brandy barrel aged aromas and tasty flavors that unfortunately don't match up to the smell.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2014 05:53:15 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Turbid cherry tobacco that looks darker and less lucent than the bourbon aged version from several days ago. Unfortunately, this one had the same sort of fizzy, gone-within-a-minute crown of beige colored bubbles. Spotless snifter then... spotless snifter now.

Even though bourbon is at the top of my 'most favored liquors' list (along with Scotch), and brandy doesn't even make the list, the aroma is just as wonderful with respect to this ale. Let's chalk it up to an outstanding base beer. Dark caramel, brown sugar and vanilla are beautifully accented by brandy.

Drinking Cellar Reserve (Bourbon) alongside Cellar Reserve (Brandy) would not have been smart given their generous ABVs (which are hidden very well, by the way). That's the only way I could have picked a winner, though, because they taste similar. Old Stock Ale is the (probably) delicious common denominator. While I haven't yet had the pleasure, I have no doubt that OSA will be right up my old ale alley.

This beer is just as well-integrated, if not even more so. The vinous fruitiness of the brandy complements the remainder of the flavor profile in outstanding fashion. Dark toffee and dark butterscotch are still present, as is the ouzo/anise/black licorice that was appreciated in the bourbon version. There are sherry notes as well, which is odd.

The body/mouthfeel is similar in that it's a wee bit lighter than I'd like. Warming helps to some extent and the laid back bubbles are just what the doctor ordered. Besides, liquor is thin and it delivers loads of flavor.

In the final reckoning, I'm unable to pick a winner between bourbon-aged Old Stock and brandy-aged Old Stock. They're both fantastic and they both deserve to be released again. Consider yourself fortunate if you were able to lay your hands on either one. Thanks to the incredibly generous Talisker for providing me with both.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2008 16:35:13 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.95/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was simply floored to come home today to find a bottle of this in the mail. I have been dreaming of trying this one for as long as I can remember. Old ales have become a favorite of mine, and from what I hear it really does not get better then this. Served at cellar temp and poured into an oversized wine glass, this one was consumed on 01/23/2009.

In a word perfect. This beer was soo sublime in every way it is hard to put into words. The pour was wonderul. From the rich caramel color that came out of the bottle to the nice puff of off white that graced the top, it was just spot on for the style. The aroma was loaded with brandy and vanilla notes. Hints of oak and rich toffee notes are just all over this one. Smooth as could be with hardly a hint of alcohol even as it approaches 12 percent, is an achievment in of itself. The vanilla and toffee notes in here were sublime. Perfect balance here of flavors as the I sat and enjoyed this one till almost 2 am at this point and I still have a half glass to go. This was exactly what I wanted, just what it should be, and well, well worth the wait.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2009 06:07:36 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.65/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Intensely brandied and with the firm foundation of Old Stock Ale, this ale zings with savory, spicy and sweet flavors that carry a seriously adult attitude.

Brandy-Barrel Cellar Reserve Old Stock Ale kicks off with a creamy brandy pour- its color is a tawny ruddy brown with dark crimson threads. Mostly clear, its brandy and port influences reign even more true. Its part-froath, part-spritzy head is tarnish and only hangs around for the first few minutes of the session as the beer's alcohol has certainly compromised its foam character to further reinforce its brandy, cognac or sherry-like appearances.

Its incredible aromas are poignant, succulent, sweet and powerfully complex as the malt opens up with toasted maple and butter pecan notes. Its fruity follow-up includes all things dark and dried fruit- cherries, dates, figs, raisins, plumbs prunes and stewed red grapes. As the alcohol intensifies, the scent of undeniable brandy comes to mind, but so do more savory and sweeter alcohol is port wine, sherry, rosey and with cognac-type spice.

And then to taste, much of the same transpires as the malty sweetness of toffee, maple, butter, nuts and toast saturate the taste buds. As the complex alcohol flavors fold in, the sweetness turns to savory flavors of sherry, umami-rich soy, light sauce, light tar and an almost salty-meaty combination rises. The brandy influences are dense and condensed allowing the grape to turn more plumby, raisiny and rich with dates and figs. A tinge of cherry and oak signal a turn to closure while sharp peppercorn, cognac, and lacquer.

Its full, yet understated body is dense and creamy-sweet early while the malts and alcohol sweetness blankets the mouth, but its relatively moderate attenuation dries the beer's finish into a semi-drinkable, feathery texture that gives greater rise to the impressions of alcohol to really spice things up as the beer closes. Its long, spicy and savory finish is the perfect after diner digestive- paired with nuts, blue stilton and great company.

The beer is incredibly complex and it reveals a lot of aromas, tastes and texture in short order. It's put together beautifully as all the flavors strike the right place on the mouth and at the right time. The fruitier and spicier taste from brandy barrels give the ale something unexpected and truly majestic!

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 16:08:14 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.8/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big, big thanks to mcallister for hooking me up with this one. Shared with bmanning, Amyliz4, and Heather at a recent tasting.

Very slight hiss as I popped the cork out. Poured into a Portsmouth tulip.

A: Pours a very dark bronze with a miniscule tan head that ends up sticking around of the edge of the glass the entire way down.

S: Very complex. Lots of dates, caramel, and dark fruits. Almost a strong Belgian dark without the standard yeast. Great old ale scents, alongside hints of brandy and a god amount of vanilla. Nice raisins and a bit of butterscotch and toffee as well.

T: Beautiful notes of sherry, vanilla, dark fruits, raisins, and bits of butterscotch. Notes of sweet brandy make their way in as well, although after five years in the bottle, this isn't too hot.

M: Medium bodied with very low carbonation. Minimal alcohol heat, given that this one is almost fifteen perfect.

D: Absolutely incredible. Big thanks again to mcallister for getting this one out to me. Fairly low alcohol on an extremely complex beer. This has aged wonderfully, and I would be very happy to try it again in the future.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2010 00:50:58 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.53/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2005 Old Stock Ale aged in brandy barrels. WHERE DO I SIGN UP?

Appearance: Pours a cloudy brown body with a bubbly, short-lived tan head.

Smell: Exquisite nose full of rich caramel, lush dark fruits, light brown sugar, vanilla, brandywine, and even a hint of bread.

Taste: Immensely flavorful and quite sweet. Dark caramel and honey with stewed fruits. Nice oaken qualities, with tastes of vanilla and wood. The brandy brings plenty of flavor to the beer, never overpowering, but instead melds very well with the original Old Stock. Never any bitterness. Fruity, warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Luscious, velvety body. Moderate carbonation. Warming alcohol.

Drinkability: An awesome beer. North Coast is playing for keeps! I certainly can't see me ever being able to try this one again and that's just a tad depressing.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2007 08:33:39 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this a long time ago in a trade with KAME - looks like he hasn't been online for a few years, but I'll give him a shout out all the same. Served in a Hill Farmstead glass.

A - Quick-dissolving thin tan foam settles to a big-bubbled ring, leaving a few spots of lace. Dark brown body with some reddish highlights to it. It's about what you'd expect from a 15% old ale.

S - Oak, brandy, brown sugar, raisins and other dark fruits, pleasant oxidation, a hint of smoke and tobacco.

T - Sweet brown sugar, bread, dark fruits, mild port-like oxidation. Alcohol is extremely mellow for the ABV. Tastes like an old old ale. Lightly oaky finish, and less brandy character than in the aroma.

M - Creamy, full-bodied, low carbonation, minimal alcohol heat. I keep returning to mellow as a descriptor.

D - I've had this a few times over the years, and it's never blown me a away. I certainly don't think it's improving, but it doesn't seem to be falling off precipitously either. North Coast - please make a new batch. Pretty drinkable for the ABV, and a moderate improvement over regular Old Stock.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2011 04:24:34 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

4.22/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A careful pour produces a frothy, fairly large bubbled, dirty, light amber tinged, tan colored head that dissipates fairly quickly. The beer is a concentrated, rich amber color, but shows a brilliantly clear, bright red, cranberry color when held up to the light. As I pour this beer ample notes of buttery oak greet my scent receptors. Upon closer inspection it is confirmed that the oak plays a major role here; ample butter oak notes dominate, but aromas of vanillin, deeply caramelized wood & malt, intermingling though somewhat subtle fruit and berry notes, as well as lightly spicy oak towards the end. Wow, the aroma is really growing on me; at first I was disappointed that it was so barrel influenced, but the particular barrel influence here is so smooth and enjoyable. The base beer definitely plays a supporting role here in the aroma (really contributing to the substantial caramelized notes), but this is the most fantastic smelling, barrel dominated beer I have ever experienced; I cold go on smelling the beer for quite some time.

Chewy, substantial, but not overly viscous, for a beer of 14.7% alcohol this is down right light in body. A carbonic bite yields to a substantial fruity caramel not, which then moves to a spicy, clearly barrel influenced shot of Brandy character in the finish. Sweet flavors are here, but not in a sticky manner, in fact this is even a bit dry. Up front flavors of caramelized raisins and berry notes mix very well with oak components of butterscotch and vanillin. The finish is definitely quite warming in character (warm hues radiate down my throat after each sip), but not overly hot or aggressive. Brandied grape notes are definitely quite noticeable at times, but seem to mix / meld into the caramel / toffee and butterscotch notes pretty well. The hop character, that is so scathing in fresh samples of the normal Old Stock, plays a surprising mellow role here. The hops contribute a soft bitterness in the finish that is barely noticeable under the alcohol and barrel flavors, while the normally pungent hop flavor is all but a part of a movie extra here; hints of citrus, and a touch of pine is about it. This still has that leathery, substantial malt depth that I love in the original, in fact it is this malt character that really allows the Brandy barrel to really shine here.

The mix of caramelized malt / wood notes and butterscotch oak character in the nose is incredible. The barrel influence here is huge, but amazingly it marries extremely well with the base beer, or at the least it is not a harsh, overwhelming barrel character. Visually this beer was a bit disappointing with the quickly disappearing head, but when you take into account the alcohol percentage the head was actually quite substantial. I really like that the body of this brew is not overly thick, though this is most definitely a sipping brew; it could use / stand up to a bit more residual malt character though. This really is such a great, flavorful beer, but in the end it is the lack of extra malty oomph that keeps this from being the perfect marriage between barrel and malt. Still a fantastic brew, but at times it can even be a bit thin when compared to the ample brandy barrel notes. Don't get me wrong though, this is a fantastically tasty brew. The fact that the flavors from the barrel are so well integrated and somehow not overwhelming despite being dominant really makes this an incredibly enjoyable brew (pick up the base beer flavors a bit and this would be perfect).

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2008 03:59:35 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.72/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks goes to IntriqKen for this one. Pours a darker brown. On the first pour I guess I was going a wee bit too gentle and no head formed. At the end there was a thin creme head though. Nose was strong with alcohol with some wood and a sweet tone mixed in. I got a little worried when I took a whiff because it was leading me to believe it was going to be unbalanced and a bit intense. But hey...that wasn't the case at all. Extremely smooth flavor profile with sherry character and some vanilla and a nice overall sweet tone. Really beautiful. Feel was smooth and a bit slick. Lower carbonation, but it makes no difference. This is really a great beer. Exceptionally made and so smooth to drink. Easily a substitution for any after dinner drink, it also could be a great gateway beer to showcase the possibilities of what can be done. I want more, and I want it now.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2008 15:00:33 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375 mL bottle, 2005 Vintage,

A: Pours a murky brown with a light white head, mild lace.

S: Very grapey, armangnac like, spiced bread.

T: Lots of malt with not a hop to be found. Molasses, raisins and Pedro Ximinez sherry, very tasty.

M: Full-bodied, quite smooth and well balanced, never cloying.

O: This is certainly holding up well, and I am very happy I got to try this rare bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2011 02:31:00 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Deuane for bringing this one home from a CA trip in 2007. Surprisingly, I've never had the original Old Stock ale.

A: The ale has a dark red hue that could pass for a glass of cabernet. Without any outside influences, the ale looks black. An off-white head sits in a thin band at the top of the beer.

S: A heavy grape presence indicates the brandy barrel, rich and boozy it doesn't pull any punches. Toffee and molasses are strong, big enough to get through brandy.

T: A malty delight wrapped in the delicious strength of a brandy barrel. Let's start with the brandy, bold and warming. A red grape profile, fortified to astronomical proportions, really jumps out of the glass. A distinct vanilla flavor also springs from the barrel. The ale behind the barrel is thick and malty. Toffee is prevalent but the rest of the body is nicely hidden behind the barrel.

M: The brandy is hot, burning the tongue with each sip. Behind the burn, the brandy is pleasant and multi-dimensional. The late rush of vanilla is a nice aspect.

D: The ale is hot but never reveals its ~15% price tag. The brandy really works amongst the malty depths of the Old Stock.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2009 01:22:56 | More by akorsak
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle obtained via trade with unclejedi. Thanks for the opportunity... Corked & caged.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 3/4" tan head above the cloudy, barely translucent dark reddish brown brew. Head dwindles rather quickly, but still a standout for a BA old brew, with ample slow-falling lacing. Aroma is dark fruity alcohol with leathery maltiness. Taste follows the nose, the malt sweetness upfront, quickly falling to the prevalent alcohol. Not much room for the fruitiness or brandy character with all the alcohol numbing the mouth and throat. Mouthfeel is a bit harsh, but not so much for the BA old ale arena, and drinkability is good as well. Glad I got to try this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2008 03:59:59 | More by ppoitras
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks go to Kegatron for sharing this long-time want with me. Poured into a tulip, the brew appears an amber brown with some ruby clarity through the body. When held to the light, there id almost a green and yellowish hint around the edges. A very mild amount of carbonation produces a few bubbles across the top and lega of alcohol stream slowly down the wall of the glass.

The smell of this brew is sweet and boozy but not overdone to the point where it burns the nostrils. Despite having a solid booziness to the nose, it is quite inviting with some toasty notes of barrel, caramel, raisins and some more woody quality towards the back.

The taste is strikingly full of barrel presence. A minor note of oxidation is there but it isnt distracting, it lends a pleasant depth and change of character like a very old JW Lees offering. A hint of sweetness is there like raisins, molasses and toffee. A bit of moist wood from the barrel aging coupled with oxidation. The alcohol is the last impression left on the palate that tastes quite fortified but balanced and enjoyable.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a mild level of carbonation that really worked in this offering. The ~15% abv is masterfully hidden. It wasnt until I finished my glass and stood up that the strength really hit me. For that reason, coupled with such a low level of carbonation being very enjoyable, I have to give this a perfect "feel" rating. This was a solid experience that I was very appreciative of. I am a big fan of the base beer and this was quite a treat. Big thanks to you Heath despite making my face numb with this treat right at the start of a tasting.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2012 13:36:30 | More by stakem
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml corked & caged bottle into a couple of snifters. 2007 release.

Pours a deep clear ruby, with a very thin looking head of light mocha head. This retains with some equally light ringing around the edges of the glass and some gentle spotty lacing. The aroma smells of cocoa powder, molasses, dark fruit, charred wood, vanilla, and a little spicy warmth. This has a nice flavorful silkiness to it in the nostrils.

The taste is similar, with notes of chocolate, molasses, a touch of dark fruit, and still a faint bit of green hops left in here as well. There is also definitely a dark presence that seems to be maybe coming from equal parts malt and barrel. The finish is dry and oaky with a lingering mix of char and sugars. The mouthfeel is full bodied and a little prickly on the tongue, with more of a slick tannic creaminess across the back. There is some alcohol warmth to this which mostly comes out with some spice in the finish but there is absolutely no way that I would think this is near 15% ABV. Maybe 10% or around there but man, this is SUPER smooth for the size!

This was another treat from the cellar that I was finally able to get around to and share. There was a little oxidation present in the nose and taste but it seemed to mostly mingle well with that sweet and smooth mix of Old Ale and brand barrel and I can’t stress enough how damn drinkable this was for the size! I really hope that they make this again, as I’d probably even be willing to pay the high price that North Coast now charges for their special release beers.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2012 18:59:52 | More by Kegatron
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Much thanks to egajdzis for sharing this one. We opened side by side with a regular Old Stock Ale from the same vintage...
Appears a dark brown with crimson edges when held to the light. The head of foam slowly fades into a small, light tan cap and collar. Spotty lacing quickly slides back into the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, with more complex aromas highlighted by oak and ripe, dark fruit.
Taste is of sugar, maple, vanilla, and melon.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, hot on the palate with booze, brown sugar, and vanilla.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2008 02:34:11 | More by weeare138
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.8/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to fartingdog for cracking this one open when we visited San Fran, I've been looking to try this one since it came out.

Pours a hazy reddish brown, caramel coloured, thin tan head forms, settles to a medium ring around the glass, drops some decent lace spots on the glass. Smell is wow, brandy, thick toffee, cake, alcohol, lots of fruit, raisins/figs, wood, vanilla, port, very rich, fantastic. Taste is amazing as well, figs and rum raisins, buttery toffee, oak, brandy, dark fruits, alcohol, very intense and rich flavour, touch of vanilla, wood and brandy in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, some warmth going down but the ABV is well hidden. Reminds me a lot of the brandy barrel Angels Share. This is insanely good stuff. I would kill to get more. Thanks a ton Dave, you're the man!

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2008 16:53:18 | More by Viggo
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.94/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer is a deep, dark, chestnut hue with a soft, fluffy beige head. The aroma is wonderful, offering scents of toffee, caramel, oak, booze, vanilla. Wow, what flavor! A delightful beer to sip. Brandy character comes in late, lingering on the palate between drinks. Although there is certainly an alcohol presence, this beer is silky smooth and elegant. 15.2% and something I could sip on for hours. Wonderfully complex, delicious, well-balanced. A world-class beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 19:03:32 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.7/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark amber with a small, wispy, off white head. The reddish tinge is highlighted when held to light. The head quickly recedes, yielding a thin ring of lingering froth around the edges. It took me 10 minutes, but I finally noticed the substantial legs on this beer.

The vanilla is very strong in the nose. The brandy is unmistakable, and accompanying it is some brown sugar. The alcohol is well masked for near 15%. Some toffee is apparent, with more subtle notes of caramel, and a hint of oak. I get a lot of dates, and to a lesser extent, dried figs and other fruits. I'm blown away by the aroma. This is easily the best nose I've beheld on a brandy aged beer.

The taste is immediately of vanilla and toffee, with brown sugar sweetness. I half expected this to be cloying, but it's nowhere near so. I actually pulled out some dried dates to compare and this smells remarkably like them: brandy soaked dates. Figs are also noticeable. The alcohol is apparent in the taste, but the heat is complimentary, and it doesn't seem anywhere near 15%. The finish recaps each flavor, with lingering brandy soaked dates, vanilla, and tannins. The alcohol is warming near the end.

The beer is medium bodied. The carbonation is low, but I think it's near perfect for the style and ABV. The mouthfeel is silky smooth with some viscosity. The drinkability is very good and while I was enjoying this I had to fight the urge to gulp my 6.34012925 ounce pour.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2009 17:42:13 | More by HopHead84
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.78/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chestnut body with a thin layer of tan foam. The head recedes to a thin ring pretty quickly, but the legs on this beer are outstanding. Incredibly viscous stuff. The aroma is a melange of toffee, dates and vanilla. Brandy is readily apparent and lends a slight booziness that compliments the dark malts nicely. As it warms up, I get red grapes, brown sugar and a hint of sweet soy sauce. On the tongue it's rich, full-bodied and sweet, with flavors of brandy and oak supported by a huge caramel malt backbone. Light fruitiness mid-palate leads to a semi-sweet vanilla finish. Tannins add just the right level of balance, preventing this from becoming cloying despite the richness and high ABV.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2009 23:30:22 | More by largadeer
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

4.65/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Josh shared this at the Most Epic Fucking Tasting You Wish You Were A Part Of. Thanks a ton, man, this was the beer of the first night.

The pour is flat crimson red with brownish red highlights. No head or lacing, this has gorgeous legs, though.

The nose is outstanding. Brandy, caramel, vanilla, more caramel and toffee up front, this is exceptional. Oxidation is low, and mostly sherry-like. Brown sugar and honey are also noticeable. The palate is almost as excellent. Fantastically well-integrated, this is beautifully balanced. Brown sugar, honey, vanilla, caramel, and brandy, all very harmoniously integrated. Medium-high in body with low carbonation, the finish is moderately boozy with toffee and brandy lingering. The interplay between the caramel and brandy is just incredible. While sweet, this isn't cloying in the least, and the alcohol head just adds so much to this beer. I could drink myself silly with this, it's so sad that it's so rare.

**Edit 30 May 2012**
Thank you, Damian. 2005 vintage Old Stock, released 2007.

Despite its age, this still is one HOT. A very nice brandy character, big, boozy, with grape skin tannins, pomace, and more sweet aromas than the 05 bourbon had.Nice oxidation, mellow but present. A touch nutty (walnuts, almonds) that pairs nicely with the brandy. Beautiful nose.
The palate seems to have fallen off, taking on a slightly flabby, oxidized feel that gets in the way of enjoying the flavors here. Still, plenty of leather, brown sugar, some prune (more than I care for), caramel and a beautiful brandy note. Full in body, , softly carbonated and with a long finish that has booze, brandy, almonds, brown sugar and caramel, this is pretty solid. Not quite as good as the 05 bourbon, but this is just excellent
4.5/4.5/4/4.5/4.5

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2010 16:24:57 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

4.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle courtesy of Solomon420 poured into a snifter.

Pours a hazy caramel brown with amber showing through. The head was surprisingly active given the age and bubbled up to a one inch tan head before quickly receding to a thin ring.

The aroma is unbelievable. It starts with the brandy but then opens up to dark fruits with raisins and figs mainly and tons of caramel and brown sugar sweetness. There are hints of vanilla and wood as well.

The taste is just as spectacular with a huge sugary caramel sweetness of the base beer that underpins everything else. The dark fruits are complemented by hints of vanilla, toffee and chocolate with wood and brandy in the finish.

The mouthfeel is very smooth with good carbonation and has a dry boozy finish.

This is a great, great beer and very drinkable for the ABV. Quite simply, one of the best beers I've ever had. Can't thank Damian enough for this rare gem.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2008 03:55:21 | More by gford217
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Sean(I think) for this one. Drank and compared side by side with the bourbon 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 brandy is harsher, more bitter acohol..The taste is alcoholic brandy, just doesn't work that well. A little caramel and chocolate.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2010 01:44:11 | More by jrallen34
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

4.03/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2011 bottle.

Appearance - Deep nutty brown. Small khaki head that diminishes quickly. Nothing after a while.

Smell - Fruity brandy aroma. Lots of vanilla. Caramel malt. Buckets of vanilla, though.

Taste - Even more vanilla. Brandy is quite nice. Normally I'm not a huge fan of brandy, but this really works. Oaky with a hint of astringency. Dark fruits and caramel.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with medium carbonation. A little boozy,

Overall - The barrel is very nice. Vanilla is one of the best components of the brandy barrel and it augments this beer well.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2014 03:13:17 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Arizona

4.53/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sweet fiery gold of amberJACK
the firefly he brings me back
the head is small but full of life
Can I take this brew, for my wife ?

Bready, brandy, cherry, booze
So many aromas from which to choose
Sweet and boozy dreamy fun
Clearly this is number one

Malty sweet boozy taste
flavor lingers not in haste
brandy cherry wood and hop
It sweeps my palate like a mop

I love this old stock in its natrual state
but these barrel ages are extra great
trade for some if you've got the nerve
Tis' one of the best, this cellar reserve

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2008 01:38:52 | More by francisweizen
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

4.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to the one and only daknole.

A: Pours a dark brown with a small off white head. Lite retention and no lace.

S: Aromas of brown sugar, caramel, oak, vanilla, and chocolate.

T: Sweet malts, chocolate, and dark fruit up front. Hints of brandy in the middle and then the barrel kicks in. Mild oak, coconut macaroons, vanilla...mmm good.

M: On the fuller side of medium, smooth soft carbonation.

D: Crazy good. Dakine I have a man crush on you.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2010 18:03:29 | More by tpd975
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Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Brandy Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 256 ratings.