Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Brandy Barrels) - North Coast Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 395 | Reviews: 89 | Display Reviews Only:
4.1/5 rDev -8.9%
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.
01-24-2014 05:53:15 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.8/5 rDev +6.7%
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.
03-29-2010 00:50:58 | More by Thorpe429
4.4/5 rDev -2.2%
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.
12-06-2008 16:35:13 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.65/5 rDev +3.3%
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!
01-08-2014 16:08:14 | More by BEERchitect
4.95/5 rDev +10%
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.
01-24-2009 06:07:36 | More by mikesgroove
4.53/5 rDev +0.7%
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.
12-24-2007 08:33:39 | More by ChainGangGuy
4.78/5 rDev +6.2%
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.
07-30-2009 23:30:22 | More by largadeer
4.72/5 rDev +4.9%
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.
03-12-2008 15:00:33 | More by RblWthACoz
4.53/5 rDev +0.7%
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.
05-16-2012 18:59:52 | More by Kegatron
4.13/5 rDev -8.2%
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.
08-07-2011 04:24:34 | More by MasterSki
4.22/5 rDev -6.2%
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).
02-01-2008 03:59:35 | More by Gueuzedude
Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Brandy Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 395 ratings.