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

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

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641 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 641
Reviews: 114
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 7.8%
Wants: 437
Gots: 178 | FT: 25
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  15.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 06-03-2007

Vintages: 2005, 2011
View: Beers (20) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 641 | Reviews: 114
Photo of thebigredone
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Absolutely delicious. Great barrel flavors, dark fruit, just the right amount of sweetness, goes down incredibly smooth.

Tough to beat this as a sipper on a cold, rainy day.

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.26/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Very deep purple color. Very much the color of brandy. Bubbly tan head sputters out almost immediately. No lacing. Very leggy. This is all excusable due to the strength and time in the barrel.

S: Brandy is very forward on the nose. Blackberry jams, black currants, dark grapes, dried figs. Malts bring caramel chews, blackstrap molasses, and black cocoa. Some wet paper oxidation and mild spicy alcohol as well. Woods influence itself is not readily apparent on the nose.

T: Dark grape, juicy blackberries, dried cherries, plum, black currants- the brandy barrel influence is front and center. Subtle woody oak. Rich brown caramel chews. Molasses. Maple. Pecan turtles. Hint of salty soy. Vinous. Spicy alcohol builds toward the back. Rich and sweet throughout. Wet brown paper bags from the oxidation (normal). Brandy lingers in a long sweet finish.

M: Heavier body. Slick and coating with a syrupy texture. Little to no carbonation. Big alcohol warmth, but not heat. Drinks very much like a brandy.

O: While barrel aging has been all the rage in the Craft beer segment for years, finding a brandy barrel aged beer is still very much a rarity. It's a welcome change of pace from the ubiquitous bourbon barrel aging. In this case the brandy flavors are the focal point of a beer whose base flavor profile complements them most graciously. The sweet, sticky, malty, and vinous flavors of the old ale are a perfect springboard for a dominant brandy barrel character. This is a gratifying and complex sipper that offers a very unique experience. It has an upper-class air about it. I actually prefer it to bourbon barrel aged old stock. Worth the high price tag.

Photo of FosterJM
4.37/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1802nd Review on BA
Bottle to NC Tulip
500 ml C/C

2011 Vintage

App- Out of the bottle this was more of a crimson and ruddy brown mix of colors. A solid depth of highlights on the outside but the inside was a big deep red chasm. A solid 1-1/2 inch head of tan bubbles with some pretty good cling down the glass.

Smell- On a big first woft you get a ton of rootbeer aromas. The oak and vanilla and sweetness of the brandy come together quite nicely. As it warms more of the caramel from the old ale comes out with a malty dark fruit aroma.

Taste- I enjoyed this. The big aromatics came across on the flavor profile and played nicely together without being overly dramatic or one flavor taking over the palate. I enjoyed the opening sips of the base beer beer shining with some deep caramel and a little bit of booze on the flavor. A little warmer more of the classic brandy flavor with some oak and tannin flavor came in.

Mouth- A solid medium body with a creamier medium carbonation with a good amount of residual bubbles to coat the tongue. The residual flavors that I get are more of vanilla and brandy on this one. The base beer doesnt carry through much.

Drink- I was surprised I didnt have to trade for this one. Was great to finally find a top 250, just sitting on the shelves. Would love another bottle to hold onto for a couple years. Was a layered and pretty complex drinking BA beer.

Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.94/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 vintage. First time having this and I am so pleased to have come across it. Deep brown color with moderate carbonation. Head dissipates completely in approximately 60 seconds. Dark fruits, sugary sweetness! Nectar of the Old Ale gods! The taste is so balanced with the brandy influence definitely there but refined and subtle. Absolutely perfect drinking experience and I must have this one again!

Photo of anteater
4.59/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brown, semi transparent, thin white head that disappeared quickly

S: Molasses, vanilla, caramel, oak

T: More of the molasses, vanilla, caramel, oak, a touch of alochol burn and brandy. These flavors are so incredibly smooth though, I am amazed at the 15.2% alcohol.

M: Not too thick, not too light

O: Probably the best beer of its style that I've had. It's similar to Bois, Arctic Devil and Mother of all Storms but so much smoother. Such a freaking good beer!

Photo of maximum12
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer had been on my wants list longer than any other brew & it apparently showed up in the Twin Cities without fanfare. I hunted it down & paid the big price tag. 500ML bottle split with my wife after a pair of disappointing beers.

Pour is 3.6% more than dead flat, but even that bit quickly circles the drain. Looks like flaking rust. Huge brandy notes whitewash whatever else might plink the nose: maybe some toffee, & after it warms a bit, there are hellacious wood notes.

Old Stock Cellar Reserve - Brandy Barrel Aged is hot with brandy & standing straight under the Granite Pack of my expectations. SIp after sip brings quick jabs of brandy, gorgeous brandy. Boozy vanilla lounges with high-end toffee (where is good toffee made, anyways?). Lower levels of oak/wood, sherry, brown sugar, plummy dark fruits. Complexity is oozing out of my pores just being in close contact with this beer, & the relative lack of bubbles doesn't hurt it at all.

A sipper & I keep sipping & sipping & wishing this came in a 750ML bottle. North Coast has certainly nailed the art of the hellaciously expensive beer that sticks around due to the price tag - but is ultimately worth it once as a treat. Would I buy another? No. Am I happy I danced for one? Yeah. Excellent beer.

Photo of mothman
4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage

This beer has been on my wants list for nearly 6 years. I finally am getting to try it for my b-day. This marks my 2500th beer on BA.

Pours a fizzy cola head that settles to nothing. Color is a dark brown nearing black.

Flavor profile: Oddly enough, it has a cola/dr.pepper flavor to it. The nose is all brandy and oak. Some molasses and dark fruit shows. Perfect aroma. Very rich and complex. The taste has a lot of brandy with a little bit of heat. Raisins, molasses, toffee, caramel, chocolate, dark fruits all show in the taste. A fair amount of oak.

Mouthfeel: A bit spritz/bubbly. Lower carbonation, but it works with this beer. Ends a bit dry. Might be the only flaw in this beer.

Overall, this was a very good beer and I am happy I finally had it. It's very complex and has a lot going on with it. The barrel flavors are incredible. I wish I could have this more often.

Photo of Jonada
4.19/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage. 15.2% ABV

500ml bottle served in a snifter

Appearance: Pours a dark, murky red brown color with very little tan head that dissipates quickly to nothing. Body is opaque with only a small amount of light penetrating the edge of the glass.

Smell: Caramel, toffee, oak, vanilla, boozy brandy, red wine grape and fig.

Taste: Sweet caramel and toffee, that carries throughout, but is balanced more towards the finish with a warm booziness. In addition to caramel and toffee are notes or dark fruit and oak which yield to a strong hot brandy character that comes through in the finish and lingers well into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Not necessarily thin, but not quite as full bodied as I'd be looking for in a beer this big.

Overall: A really great beer. It's definitely drinking hot right now, though still excellent. This will only improve with some age.

Photo of Axnjxn
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle into a tulip. 2011 vintage

dark brown pour with a slight head. smell of brandy and sweet alcohol. taste is very sweet...but as intended with the brandy barrels. vanilla and caramel are dominant flavors as well. extremely smooth. as it warmed up it become much more alcohol apparent. very full bodied and definitely a sipper. carbonation low.

overall extremely enjoyable for experienced craft beer drinkers. loved it.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.59/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a rich dark brown color with a surprisingly full one finger khaki colored head. Given the ABV, wasn't expecting a lot in the looks department, but this is surprisingly attractive.

S: Right away, you're hit with a good amount of brandy. It's not hot and sharp, but it's still full and inviting. A good amount of toffee and raisin skin aromas mixed in there as well, with the darker fruit notes coming through more as this warms. Brown sugar, sea salt caramel, prune and some oak.

T: Pretty sweet upfront. Brown sugar, vanilla, toffee and burnt caramel. The toffee is probably the strongest note I get here and it slowly fades into a burnt raisin skin note near the middle. The beer gets drier and drier as it goes, finally ending in a slightly hot finish with big notes of brandy, maple syrup and pronounced oak. There's a good amount of carbonation in here, leading me to want to assume this beer is far less than 15%. A quick attempt to get out of my chair leads me to believe otherwise, though. Ridiculously well done.

Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Mahogany deep amber with a light head. Still as can be.

S- Oh my! Can smell the brandy, sugary molasses and charred caramel from a ways away (despite the lingering cigarette smoke on the jacket of the patron next to me). Hints of wood barrel and vanilla.

T- Follows nose really well. Lots of depth to this one. Brandy gets things kicking from the start. Lots of vanilla and cream. Syrup like dark fruits. Finishes warm. So intense.

M- It's strong as can be and it lets you know it from the get go. Some burn on the way down and a lingering dryness that leaves you smacking. I do enjoy the full, creamy feel though. Soft carbonation.

O- very impressed. Gets better with each sip (which is the only way it can be consumed) as it is so rich and succulent, but maybe that is the 15.2 talking. Would love to have a full bottle on a special occasion...too bad I can't afford that. Easily the best I have had of the style. A true "wow" beer.

$12 for an 8 ounce pour. Yeah, it's a swift kick in the nuts, but one that I would probably ask for again.

Photo of DovaliHops
4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage. Pours a nicely carbonated dark, brownish red color with a small, off-white head. Scent is STRONG in booze. A ton of hot brandy and other whiskey aromas. Tons of dark fruits with a whole lot of malt. Lots of vanilla and a hint of toffee. More sweet brandy...this beer smells spectacular. Taste is just as good as the beer smells. Boozy brandy and oaky barrel flavors up front. Sweet brandy and vanilla flavors. Lots of dark fruits...plums, raisins, prunes, and dates. Wow, this thing is boozy. Lingering maple syrup on the tongue. Mouthfeel is a bit over-carbonated...but doesn't lose points for this. Very full-bodied. Drinkability is high, but a sipper. Overall, this beer is fantastic! Very hot, but I can't wait to see how this ages over the years.

Photo of Dope
4.36/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2011 batch.

A: Pours dark, dark, dark brown with maybe some red? Tall, fluffy and very fizzy light brown head. Head fizzes out like soda in just a few seconds. Almost no head retention and zero lacing. Looks almost still in the glass.

S: Huge, sharp and boozy fruity aroma. Sweet cherries, grapes, raisins, prunes, you name it. I don't know how long this was aged for but it's not far from sniffing plain brandy. Sugary and stinging.

T: Welp, as you can probably guess - brandy and lots of it. Stinging, sharp brandy. A plethora of fruit flavors, very similar to the aroma. Syrupy sweet raisins and prunes accompanied by cherries and grapes again. Prunes are probably the most prominent along with the cherries, in my opinion. But with some grape jelly. Interesting. Sugary sweet maltiness with some brown sugar and breadiness in the finish. Fruitiness is drier in the finish, with the booziness amplifying the drying effect. Lingering delicious brandy that warms the belly between sips.

M: Low carbonation with a heavy body lends to a syrupy mouthfeel. Big barrel presence helps cut it a lot, however.

O: One big, stinging, fruity old ale. Sharp, sharp strong flavors and borderline overpowering booziness. I am well accustomed to boozy brews but this one is serious. A true sipper; 500ml is almost too much (thankfully it's not a 750, are you listening The Bruery?). Seriously big and seriously good. One of the very best Old Ales out there. I will also note that this significantly better than the bourbon barrel version, in my opinion.

Photo of BMMillsy
4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the grocery store. Very excited to find this one. Corked and caged 500 ml 2011 year poured into my FW Teku glass on Feb 1, 2014. Pours dark brown with a slight red hue and a one finger yellowish brown head. Big time sweet brandy aroma with lots of nuttiness and brown sugar, maybe a little cocoa. Very much like a pralines smell. Big bold brandy flavor with plenty of nuts and brown sugar. Caramel, marshmallow, toffee wow. This is impressive. Lots of sweet brown sugar but balanced by some nutty bitterness. Body is heavy and slightly boozy but lightened by a surprisingly large amount of carbonation. I recently had Bois (bourbon) and this beer reminds me a lot of that, albeit with less vanilla flavors. A very nice after dinner treat.

Photo of chrisp450
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2011 Brandy version, 500 ml bottle served in a snifter. Cooled slightly, allowed to warm to room temp.

Appearance: Brown almost cola colored but slightly opaque. Light comes through on the edges while tilting the glass. Head comes and builds for a moment, disappearing just as fast as it came. A fair amount of carbonation fizzle as the head vanishes. Leaves a clear syrup on the glass after drinking.

Smell: Brandy, brown sugar, vanilla, almost butterscotch like smell. I get the booze/sugar soaked raisin smell the deeper I go.

Taste: Unbelievable. Butterscotch, sweet toffee, vanilla, brown sugar soaked raisins, almost maple syrupy ale and brandy, Sweet, sweet brandy. Damn this is tasty. 500 ml is not enough, even for one.

Mouthfeel: It tingles the tongue with a carbonated feel. Not ridiculously thick, but has a slight syrupy feel.

Overall: I was very pleasantly surprised with how good this was. Would love to try this with a bit more age, but already great. Wow, very good.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Photo of chanokokoro
4.66/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage, poured from a 500ml formerly corked and caged bottle into an Old Stock Ale branded long-stemmed chalice

Pours a very dark amber highlighted with ruby hues capped by a one and half finger beige head that dissipates fairly quickly. Little to no lacing. Huge vanilla notes, oak, butterscotch, and booze on the nose. Opens with vanilla, butterscotch, brown bread, general nuttiness, hints of toffee and leather, as well as dates and dark fruit midpalate. Finishes with oak, accents of fig, strong brandy booziness, and vanilla. Fairly syrupy smooth full body, very low carbonation. Wow, brandy barrels and Old Stock Ale are as solid a combination as one might expect. Absolutely exceptional.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.93/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Photo of Impfan
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've waited seven long years to try this masterpiece, and I wasn't even slightly let down.

Beautiful dark ruby pour with a very minimal, fleeting off-white head.

Aroma and flavor of dates, figs, persimmons, walnuts, raisins, caramel, toffee, toasted coconut, leather, tobacco, honey, brown sugar brandy, apples, pears, kumquats, breadfruit, canned peaches, starfruit, casaba melon, white grape, mandarin orange/tangerine, with almost a mentholated, extremely long finish.

Yup, this was definitely worth the wait.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
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!

Photo of MarcWP
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into FW snifter.

Pours a murky mahogany color with fizzy active tan head that dissipates quickly to a small ring around the edge of the snifter. Nice carbonation bubbles coming up from the bottom. Looks inviting!

Aroma is a beautiful Brandy infused dark fruit and caramelized sugar mix. Oak, brown sugar, vanilla, Cabernet, chewy fig, dates, molasses, peloncillo, old raisin, leather, burnt marshmallow, and it goes on and on.

On the palate the Brandy elevates the base beer (already a top tier beer for its style) to a class in of its own. Big grape, plum, sweet red wine, date, brûlée winter fruit, adjoins molasses, agave, brown sugar, coconut rum, vanilla, maple syrup, and just enough leather and dark bread to round things out gorgeously!

Mouthfeel on this is perfect for an old ale and/or barleywine. Surprisingly plenty of carbonation that gives the body a heavy side of medium illusion when in reality if you took some of that carbonation away it would be in the light medium range. Just silky and brings out the flavors in the best way possible.

Overall, this is one of the best beers I've EVER had. Served in a snifter is the best way to enjoy this. The Brandy in this is just KICKIN! A sipper in every sense of the word, a beer to be enjoyed during the cold months, paired with a fine cigar, or as a digestif after a gourmet dinner. Absolutely marvelous.

Photo of sukwonee
4.56/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


It's expensive for sure... and misleadingly sized bottle (looks like a 650 or 750ml but it's only 500ml) but this time it's worth the price tag. I didn't like North Coast's BA Rasputin but this one is fantastic.

Lots of sherry like aroma, dark fruits, caramel, brandy (yes you can actually detect brandy), it's a tad bit sweet, but it hides the alcohol completely (alcohol is not detected).

Photo of impending
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


500ml into a chocolate milk glass, perfect dimension for a brew of this size. Pours a deep walnut chestnut, light passes given the chance, brief large bubbled froth settles quickly, a good sign.

An intoxicating aroma, sweet rich dessert style brandy goodness. Wonderfully thick and fresh, I think I dreamed of this aroma as a kid, beautiful adult candy. I would love a woman to secret this scent.

An explosion of flavors, everything you want is here. A review listing 87 descriptors for taste, I understand. The caramel goodness, the expressive alcohol brilliantly used as a flavor component allows for many flavors to ride it's back, zero harsh. Tiny sips contain the whole vibrant deep and complex flavor.

Easy to incessantly tiny sip, provides a stunning flavor/mouth/tongue reaction, very pleasurable. Aftertaste never really leaves before your next sip, you don't let that happen.
Wonderful, excellent. you pay attention.
spectacular at room temp
perfect thickness but not nearly a pancake topper, perhaps yes, a perfect sweetness, no guilt

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5


Thanks to Pacamacca for 2011 vintage of brandy Old Stock!

500ml C&C bottle poured into tulip glass.

Vintage 2011.

Tonight we drank 2011 Old Stock Cellar Reserve (aged in brandy barrels) side by side with 2009 Old Stock Cellar Reserve (aged in bourbon barrels) and a bottle of the base beer: North Coast Old Stock Ale. It was epic!

Appearance: murky brown bodied beer with a full finger of whispy head that drops to no head at all fairly quickly. 3.75

Smell: Huge brandy notes and dark fruits. Caramel and toffee. Big oak presence. This beer smells great, but slightly boozey. 4.75

Taste: Brandy barrel forward Old Ale is my immediate impression upon first sip. Lots of dark fruits and brandy influence. Brown sugar, toffee, maple, and butterscotch. Lots of oak goodness. Flavors are very robust and will only get better with time as this beer mellows. 4.75

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer that is almost a full bodied beer. Low carbonation levels that almost reach moderate carbonation levels. Warming alcohol and slightly boozey fresh, but it does not hinder this beer at all. I would honestly say that its ridicously smooth for an over 15% abv beer. 4.75

Overall: I really liked this beer fresh; and its fantastic with age. Its probably one of the best bandy barrel aged beers that I have drank. No doubt this will cellar well, just like the bourbon old stock does and has proved to me. North Coast has a world class barrel aging program; especially giving reguards to barrel aging old ales. Glad I have a few more bottles of 2011 brandy Old Stock they drink great fresh of with age! 4.5

Score: 4.64


huge thanks to sean9689 for trading this bottle!

375ml C&C bottle poured into tulip glass.

Vintage 2005.

Appearance: dark brown bodied beer with a thin cap thats almost a full finger of light brown head resulting from a hard pour. Head drops quickly down to no head at all. 3.0

Smell: This smells awesome! Nice sweet notes are smelt without even putting my nose into the glass. Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and dark fruits(big raisins, figs, and dates)! Such big coconut notes! Also wood and sweet boooze that smells like its really smooth. Little hint of oxidation. 4.75

Taste: Its a well balanced barrel aged beer. Dark fruits, caramel and boat loads of raisins. Hints of coconuts, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, and molasses. Getting some decent oak notes as well. Also a bit of a vinous note and a hint of oxidation. The aftertaste is both oaky and full of raisins. 4.5

Mouthfeel: high end of a medium bodied beer almost a full bodied beer with low carbonation levels. Thick and viscious beer that does get to be syrupy or cloying at anytime. The low levels of carbonation are just the right amount that keeps the beer from feeling too thick on the palate. Just a nice warming booze here thats really effortless to sip on and enjoy. Not harshness from this beer at all. Great sipping beer on a cold winter night. 4.5

Overall: The barrel and malt profile really strikes a nice balance. Its still gotta a nice amount of carbonation. 4.5

This is the highest rated beer made by North Coast. This is without a doubt the oldest beer that I have ever drank; its 8 years old. It has held up very, very well. I gotta say I very am impressed at how well that this beer has aged. I do enjoy the Bourbon Old Stock a little bit more, but the bourbon was vintage 2009 and isnt as old as this bottle of 2005 Brandy Old Stock. Maybe I will hold on to a bottle of 2009 Bourbon and see if it is as good as the Brandy when it reaches 8 years old...I wish that I could have a chance at trying this beer fresh, sooo... North Coast you guys should really brew this beer again! Not many Brandy barrel aged beers out there and I think that I would like to see more of them!

Score: 4.49

Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Brandy Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 641 ratings.