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

Not Rated.
Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Brandy Barrels)Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Brandy Barrels)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

107 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 107
Hads: 656
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 7.28%
Wants: 444
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 (25) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 107 | Hads: 656
Photo of joshuaseresse
4.89/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by brian23456 and myself at our epic battle of the 12ozers tasting. A big, special thanks to ebay for providing this bottle... Split with some other upright BAs. Poured into snifter:

A - Nice dark brown with caramel ruby hues. No lacing, no head. Flat. What I expected.

S - Brandy, bourbon, maple syrup, caramel, brown sugar, toffee. Really smooth and delicious. You can tell this brew aged very well.

T - Follows the nose. Great taste. Sweet caramel and brown sugar. No burn from the barrel. The brandy mixes really well, but tastes a bit bourbony.

M - Just a tad of carbonation, but pretty smooth. Really no burn or heat from the barrel.

D - Went down really easy. Candy booze. I had to restrain myself just downing it. Really well aged and delcious. Wish I had a bottle of my own or they made more. A must try. (832 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3.93/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Kevin for sharing this one!

A-pours a cloudy dark brown color with a darker tan colored head.

S-the nose is rather strong, sweeter brandi with notes of dark wood, lots of raisins with hints of tobacco. Carmelized brown sugar towards the back with hints of sweet sherry. it may be a touch oxidized.

T-the taste is strong, the brandi and wood are up front, sweet brandi, juicy raisins, toffee and sweet brown sugar, the tobacco is light in the back and almost not there. Sheery in the back, maybe some sweet cardboard, again might be oxidation or just the sweet brandi with hints of heat in the finish.

M-full bodied, chewy and thick, syrupy texture and very viscous with a hint of driness in the finish and well carbonated.

D-decent and reasonably balanced. it is very sweet and might be slightly oxidized. solid flavors that blend together, love the raisins. decent stuff and goes down smooth with the huge body. (931 characters)

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.32/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Mikey! From notes, nov 20th.

Deep mahogany pour with a touch of amber highlight. Small head, very little to no lacing.

Great aroma, just awesome rich caramel, vanilla, toasted oakiness...yada yada yada (see bourbon old stock review). I found this barrel treatment to be a bit better- it wasn't sweeter per se, but has a bit of a brighter feeling to it through a slightly more vibrant fruitiness... caramelized pears? And just overall came across as a bit more complex and "well-rounded" as mikey said. Both barrel aged versions of this beer are just excellent and I would gladly drink them again.

Edit: Review 300. (626 characters)

Photo of Jmoore50
4.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I received a call from my buddy James saying that we need to drink the Brandy and Bourbon Old Stocks. After I changed my pants I rushed over and split these bottles with him. Brandy is better than the Bourbon.

The appearance on this one is a thick hazelnut color with lighter edges. It still has a very good carbonation and when poured produces some good bubbles. It leaves a very thick leg on the glass.

The smell is outstanding, it is dominated by Brandy smells and flavors. I am actually not the largest fan of regular Old Stock, so I was a bit skeptical going in to these. Well this smells like chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, toffee, and booze. I couldn't stop sniffing it.

When served it was straight out of the cellar, so it was on the cooler side. On first sip we were both pleased by what we were tasting, lots of strong barrel flavors accompanied by vanilla, toffee, cocoa, caramel. As the bottle and glass warmed up the Brandy started to come out more and reveal a strong alcohol presence. The liquor that was held in these barrels before the beer was complex, and it carries over into this beer.

It was heavy on the palate with a higher level of carbonation for this style. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard a 'pop' from the cork. As this beer warms it starts to turn into a liquor more than a beer with the alcohol becoming very apparent. With that said, I do have to say that I would not guess that the beer comes in at a 14.7% ABV.

A sipper, but when consumed it was colder and a perfect beer for a Saturday afternoon. Delicious.

(1,565 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.89/5  rDev -14.1%
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. (426 characters)

Photo of JAXSON
4.32/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish brown with a small ring of bubbles that are not as fine as I expected. Big, big nose on this one. Good amount of leather and leafy tobacco, sweet brandy, nice charred oak, raisins. Sharper carbonation on the tongue than I had expected. Very rich, focused on that old tobacco, leather, kind of a nice sweet brandy. Delicious. Mouthfeel is strange -- it's quite thick and almost syrupy but has really pringly carbonation, seems like around the edges. One of the better barrel-aged barleywines I've had for sure. (530 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.12/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shard w/ the Chicago crew on a random Sunday and drank right next to the bourbon version.

A - Pours a dark brown, very little carbonation, some bubbles here and there. Very "sticky" looking and there's a brown hue on the sides of the glass after swishing it around a bit.

S - Chocolate, dark fruits, brandy, burnt sugars. Maybe a little too much brandy (still) so I think this could age even longer.

T - Similar to the nose. Lots of brandy, chocolate, caramel, and a touch of barrel/oak. I think this one still has some hotness and can benefit from some more aging (unlike the bourbon).

M - Medium bodied, maybe a bit thin, but still rich.

D - Very good but didn't blow me away. This one was out-shined by several other beers we had during the night. I think some more cellar time would do this one good while the bourbon version seems ready to drink now. (867 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
4.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lightly chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks David.

After the disappointing lineup at T23 and realizing that I had missed all the good stuff in a bottle share later on, I thought, "F*** it" and shared this with my girlfriend and a friend in Berkeley. It redeemed the evening.

A: Pours a very dark, but still clear against the light, maroon body. Pulling out the cork produced just a small pop, and the head is consequently weak, composed of mostly large bubbles that quickly die off. Even the Duvel tulip etching doesn't bring out much carbonation. However, the beer doesn't need it. And at almost 15%, I'm certainly not going to expect more than what I got.

S: Even the bottle gives a strong whiff of grape / port before I've poured it. The beer is aggressively brandy-dominated, with strong notes of caramel, raisin, oak, dates. Even a touch of tobacco. Coconut and vanilla are noted. Still a small amount of booze, but nothing that singes the nose hairs, only imparts warmth. Outstanding.

T: While this is very barrel-defined, it's not barrel-dominated. That makes the difference for me. The base beer is (at least when young) fairly sweet and one-dimensional. The age has brought out some complexity, and the barrels amplify that in a very integrated way. Brandy, coconut, vanilla, dates, and raisins are all noticed immediately. Rather than producing cloying sweetness, they work with the tannins and tobacco-ey flavors to balance the beer. I pick up brown sugar, caramel, and honey (shut up, Arne). The finish has some heat to it and carries lingering brandy and barrel flavors.

M: While this beer has heat to it, I think it's just the right amount for a 15% beer. It's not solventy or even hot, just slightly warm. It's not particularly viscous or bursting with sugars; its viscosity is medium-full, though it is decidedly full in flavor. Pretty much the sweet spot of my palate.

D: The girlfriend wasn't a big fan of this, so I wound up enjoying most of her pour, too. I had no trouble putting down a lot of it, though obviously it's big beer and not something I SHOULD be drinking a lot of. If it came out again, I'd get it, no questions. Hopefully they won't charge $20 a pint or whatever they were asking for Old Rasputin XII. (2,246 characters)

Photo of alcstradamus
4.37/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I half-expected this one to be flat but was greeting with a nice half finger of head on top of a deep caramel brown body. In low light it appears nearly black.

The aroma is an other-worldly mix of strong caramel sweetness and layers of complexity underneath. Coconut, oak, cocoa, resiny and citrus hops, booze, vanilla, and lots more sit underneath that caramel. Very deep and evolving. The 14% ABV still makes itself well known in the aroma, even after a few years of mellowing. Definitely exceptional.

The flavor an absolute rush of caramel sweetness and booze. Wow. The brandy barrels definitely imparted quite a bit of flavor into the Old Stock base. Underneath the caramel is a hefty dose of floral hoppiness, coconut, and lots of vanilla.

The body is on the full side of medium. The carbonation is low and appropriate. A warm burn on the back of the throat follows every sip.

This one is most definitely a sipper that shows every bit of its high ABV. The flavor profile and complexity present here are outstanding. I wish I had some notes to compare this to a fresh bottle, but this is the only time I've tried it. I can't see why this one wouldn't continue to mellow and improve for years to come. (1,208 characters)

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.67/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to CoolJosh for bringing this one out for the Philly Beer Tasting of the Ages. This was the seventh beer consumed on the first night, and it definitely stole the show on Saturday. Thanks again, Josh! Bottle from 2005.

The color is similar to that of regular Old Stock, hazy nearly-opaque brown with some lighter hues as if there is some peachy color mixed in with the brown. There is no head to speak of, but at nearly 15%, what the hell would you expect? The edges of the beer turn maroon and amber when held to the light.

The bouquet of this beer is absolutely phenomenal. My nose is inundated with brandy, toffee, brown sugar, and the vanilla oakiness that I love in barrel-aged beers. This beer's aroma is absolutely phenomenal. When sipped, the spectacle continues, adding to the legend of this beer. Bandy, oakey vanilla, and those nice caramel and toffee flavors balance out beautifully and completely mask the alcohol until the finish where it is a pleasant taste. Dyan told me that this beer is nearly 15% and I almost fell out of my chair. The only hints of alcohol presence are the sherry-like aromas produced by the brandy barrel aging process. This is one helluvan experience.

The feel is thick but smooth. The warm finish and nice toffee sweetness are truly an accomplishment for a beer this big. The balance is absolutely insane, and I really would like to have another shot at this one. (1,412 characters)

Photo of bmanning
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Thorpe429 for sharing this 2005 bottle at a tasting.
A: Dark Amber Brown with thin beige head
S: caramel, toffee, chocolate, brown sugar, with a great sherry/toasted almonds aroma
T: The taste is incredible - probably the most caramel forward beer I've ever had - and it's a delicious brandy soaked caramel that explodes on the tongue! It's also very complex with raisins, dates, sherry, vanilla, oak, black pepper, dark fruits, and chocolate.
M: Very slick mouthfeel that coats the mouth, is very smooth, rich, and creamy, and no alcohol burn - superb
D: The incredible caramel flavor leaves me coming back for sip after sip - before I knew it it was gone and I was left wanting more.
Overall this is one amazing beer, and definitely the best Old Ale I've ever had, and the barrel aging of this beer was done perfectly. (827 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.67/5  rDev +3.1%
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 (1,781 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.79/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (1,121 characters)

Photo of CoolJosh
4.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Shared with good friends Treyrab, Nittanybeerfan, Dyan, randawakes, and ashherb17 at the most Epic F'ing Tasting Ever!"

Poured into a snifter. A gorgeous aged brown with burgundy hues. No head upon pour, but come on it's an old ale that's been sitting for over 4 years...

Absolutely F'ing tremendous. Unbelievable butterscotch, toasted pecan and toffee, vanilla, super sweet caramel and some very subdued sour notes. I can not stress how incredible this beer has aged. So mellow and balanced. God, I need more of this beer. Beermails sent. (542 characters)

Photo of tpd975
4.42/5  rDev -2.4%
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. (451 characters)

Photo of nickd717
4.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle generously shared by dbuckingham. David was awesome enough to bust this out at a tasting, bumping me up to 93/100 in my ticker-like quest to drink all the top 100 beers on BA.

Pours a murky dark amber-brown color with a small light beige head. Some decent legs on there.

Aroma is pretty amazing. The great caramel and toffee notes you get in regular Old Stock blend seamlessly with brandy, oak, and sherry. Some dark fruits in there as well.

Flavor is excellent. Caramel and toffee, brown sugar, figs, prunes, and dates, as well as very nice -bal aging flavors: oak, vanilla, brandy, and sherry. Really complex. The brandy character is a little more pronounced than I'd like, but that's probably the only minor flaw in this amazing beer.

Very full, smooth, and creamy on the palate with soft carbonation. Not much booziness at all for a beer of its strength.

Pretty good drinkability. I mean I'm not going to chug something like this, but I wouldn't have any problem polishing off (that is, drinking, not cleaning) a bottle. (1,042 characters)

Photo of jwolfie70
4.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I cracked open a bottle for Valentines day, and have to say that this beer is drinking sublimely right now. If you have any bottles, I would recommend opening and drinking. I have been feeling lately that (while good) I haven't had a beer lately that has blown me away. This beer did.

Pour: The bottle popped with a dull plup, and after soo many Lost Abbey flat bottles lately, my heart sank. Fortunately, the beer poured a deep amber with an inch of thick white head.

Smell: Deep caramelized sugar, brandy, malt, alcohol.

Taste: A sublime and incredibly smooth mixture of carmel, brandy, vanilla, malt sweetness, with just the right amount of alcohol kick to keep it from being cloying. This is what barrel aged perfection tastes like.

Drinkability: Incredibly drinkable for such a high alcohol content. You definitely want to sip, but I could sit their for a week straight sipping this beer. (897 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.87/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally decided to crack my lone bottle on Christmas with my dad. Pours a deep dark brown without much light getting through. Small bubbles of carbonation and alcohol swirls on the side of the glass. Aromas of deep caramel, fruits and nuts. Rich sweet malts with a vibrant brandy and oak accent. Brown sugar as well. The barrel has integrated with the beer flawlessly here. Sublime.

First sip is smooth caramel and dark fruit drenched malts. Toffee, brown sugar and nuts with a spicy oak kick. Brandy shines through but it is never overpowering. A bit of warmth on the way down with vanilla throughout. Amazingly well balanced and delicious. Quite honestly a masterpiece.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied . Luscious and complex. This is simply an amazing brew and I must say Old Stock lends itself beautifully to well cared for barrel aging. One of the best beers I've had the chance to sample to date. (909 characters)

Photo of lhaqq
4.52/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Coffee like body, though more syrupy and thick.
S: Chocolate, figs, sherry. Smells a little bit like a candy store at the end.
T: Rich. Lots of caramel at the beginning, some dark chocolate, raisins and a milk chocolate finish.
M: Coats the mouth as it goes down.
D: A friend aged it till 2009; really smooth given the abv. Great beer overall (345 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.76/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (693 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.72/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (1,451 characters)

Photo of joepais
4.64/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Solomon420 for this longtime want. I do belive this was a 2005 bottle. Bottle poured into a challis produced a slight off white head that faded fast to nothing. The body of the brew was a dark caramel brown in color with light tan colored highlights.

The aroma made this brew it was incredible brandy and woody fragrances filled the air never mind my head. I noticed the smell of caramel and toffee and molasses as the beer warmed this brew is a sipper as you could guess

The flavor of the brandy barrels come through first then as the brew warms you start to get some awesome old ale flavors of caramel, and other flavors involved with the sweet malts. It felt nice and thick in my mouth with some awesome syrup stickiness from all the sugars in the brew. Not a trace of alcohol flavors in this brew at all

Great Old ale I do really appreciate the style more and more. I had an awesome time celebrating the 4th while sipping away at this great American brew. I would defiantly seek out another I think it was well worth the price (1,043 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.27/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (1,159 characters)

Photo of scottoale
4.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 Vintage 375ml.cork finished brown bottle courtesy of a great beerman, Skye. Thanks man! Not much of a pop from the cork, yet it pours a fairly lively dark copper-brown with a bubbling 1/4" of beige foam. The head recedes leaving no lace behind.

The smell is of sweet caramel, toffee, molasses, vanilla and you guessed it, alcohol. Alcohol like a very big brandy sort of alcohol, but in a most pleasing manner. This is truly the smell of the type of beer that crave most...mouth watering.

The flavor exemplifies the smell in a big way, like amplification in fact. Big rich sweet malty intro that fills the palate with all of the above mentioned. Big, rich, malty and chewy thick flavor. And well balanced in it's own way with oak tannins and some charcoal character. Damn fine warming finish as well.

Big chewy body with complimentary carbonation and a boatload of warming alcohol give this brew a to die for drinkability in my book. This brew is the closest thing to Angel's Share and that's a great thing. Seek, savor and enjoy this big ass brew if given the opportunity...serious stuff! (1,097 characters)

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.79/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky, cloudy brown in color. There is just a hint of froth that comes from a pretty aggressive pour. The head is gone quicker than it had formed.
The smell is absolutely top notch. Dare I say heavenly. Brandy, caramel, toffee, vanilla, all there. And if the smell wasn't enough, the flavor was even better. A truly decadent sipper. The vanilla flavors are just absolutely wonderful. When you start with a base beer that is as incredible and strong as Old Stock only good things can happen from imparting some barrel influence. Incredibly full and creamy in the mouthfeel, this is a definite sipper. At the same time, you really don't get taken back by the high ABV. I was afraid that there would be a lot of heat, or a very noticeable alcohol flavor to this. But yet again, it doesn't disappoint.
Why oh why has this not been brewed and barrel aged again?! I'd much rather have the Old Stock in either the brandy or bourbon barrel aged as an option over the BA Rasputin. It's time to get those barrels going at North Coast and make this a annual release.
I realize this is getting harder to come by if not impossible to get. If you have one, consider yourself lucky, find some friends and share the bottle. (1,217 characters)

Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Brandy Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 107 ratings.