Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) | North Coast Brewing Co.

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

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

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.16%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Vintages: 2005, 2009, 2013

Added by BeerBeing on 06-03-2007

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Reviews: 363 | Ratings: 1,076
Photo of jerefreakinmiah
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchasedo from Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, CA through their website in May, 2014.

This was, without question, one of the best beers I ever had the pleasure of consuming. So glad that I was able to share it with 4 other people.

Smelled of gingerbread (WHAT? My thoughts exactly), honey, and bourbon. The bourbon smell had receeded quite a bit, but was still present. No oxidation.

This was a very drinkable beer. The 13.16% abv was NOT present at all. I tasted honey sweetness and a touch of bourbon. The sweet smell tricked my senses into believing that I picked up the presence of cinnamon and Christmas baked goods.

The brew changed so much as we sat and drank it. Hard to believe how mutable of a think beer is.

I wish that I had another 2-3 bottles on had to experience with time.

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Photo of alexhahn82
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my first review, so forgive if its not a standard style one.

I said this is my first review, not my first beer. This beer is spectacular, after uncorking there are only mild notes of bourbon when smelling the bottle. After poor it is a deep amber to brown color, poured into a wide mouth balloon wine glass due to my lack of appropriate hardware on hand to pour in. Very effervescent, light in body, strong in bourbon finish. This beer is the creme de la creme if you are a bourbon fan searching for a bourbon experience.

Don't take this the wrong way, just the literal way, this beer is very light and airy, but finishes with medium to strong bourbon tones and highlighted by vanilla notes and finishes with an effervescent bite, almost like a bourbon flavored soda, like I said don't take it the wrong way, upon finish you can't help but imagine how incredible this beer will be in 2, 3, even 4 years down the road, a MUST have.

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Photo of abriggs1
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the epitome of what a high end beer should taste like. Way back in 2009, I had some Old Stock Ale and thought it was one of the best beers I have ever tasted. I kicked myself for not buying a case. Now we have a barrel-aged offering that has everything I've ever wanted in a beer. The dry esters are both decadent and gritty; producing a beer that has an old world vibe with a modern intensity. The obvious vanilla and tobacco flavors are immediately there, with hints of coconut, cola, dates, figs, and hazelnuts.

It takes a lot for me to give a beer a perfect rating, but this beer is one of the best ever produced by human hands. Is it the best beer I've ever tasted? It comes close. It's not cheap, but I'm most likely going to go back and buy the other two bottle in stock at my local swill merchant tomorrow.

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Photo of billzav
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This barley wine is a deep mahogany color, with appreciative notes of bourbon and sweet caramel complimented by dark fruit, peppery spices, vanilla, and a hint of chocolate in the backbone. There’s a rich oaky character from the barrel aging, and this wonderfully complex beer is velvety smooth from start to finish. Surprisingly, the considerable alcohol content isn’t too noticeable.

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Photo of buckeye1275
4.99/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 Vintage
It is expensive compared to regular Old Stock? Yes. Is it worth it? Hell yes! I loved this beer. It is the perfect blend of the base Old Stock and that bourbon-barrel flavors that I really love. The aroma of bourbon and dates followed by the rich velvety, smoothness that comes with good barrel-aged beers and then a finish of the sweet caramel I love from Old Stock. If I can still find it, I will definitely buy a few more.

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Photo of Suds_With_Buds
4.96/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2011 500ml bottles, this was the highlight of the night thats for sure.

Rich decadent chocolate fruit aromas flood the nose from a good foot away.

Light carb and clear deep red appearance.

This taste is to die for, the heat from the bourbon is present but in no way overpowering, if anything it helps the very rich notes of sugary caramel and raisins explode into a wonderfully complex brew.

This is the best Old Ale I've tasted. Can't wait to try the Brandy barrel aged version. The price point is the only turn off about this beer, but the taste is unrivaled.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.92/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Duvel snifter glass.

Drinking this one at literal room temperature (60 degrees).

A - Pours a whiskey/cognac brown color. Forms a 2 finger, medium-tan colored quickly-dissipating head. High head potential, super low head retention. No lacing.
S - 5 - Wow, this is incredibly complex. Malts, bittersweet chocolate, very light barleywine style hop profile, leather, oak wood, wood sap, bourbon whiskey, butter, butterscotch, brown sugar, candied figs and plums, currants, raisins, dates, light marzipan almond cherry and lots of booze.
T - 5 - Taste matches the smell identically. Reminds me of a triple strong version of Founder's Backwoods Bastard for reference.
F - 4.5 - Quite smooth and oily, but also a bit then. Could be thicker. Really the only aspect holding this beer back from a perfect 100.
O - 5 - What an absolutely mind blowing brew. If you can get your hands on this, cellar it and save it for a special occasion, its amazing!

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Photo of fartingdog
4.91/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Hazy deep amber/brown. Head disspipates quickly.

S-Bourbon, caramel, dark fruit (date, raisin).

T- Rich caramel, toffee, borbon, fruity. There is alot going on here. Complex and absolutely delicious. Oh god, this is good.

M- Thick and viscous- pleasantly coats the mouth and th e flavor lingers. Boozy alcohol warming in the finish. I can only imagine this will continue to age gracefully in the bottle.

D- Amazingly good, to be sipped for sure. Alcohol is quite noticable letting you know you probably shouldn't have too much, even tho you want to.

They took an already great bear and turned it into an absolutely amazing one. One of the best beers I've had this year.

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Photo of Trevor11
4.9/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This Old Ale tastes very much like a wine or a barleywine. However, the bourbon characteristics come through immensely. I had the 2013 vintage a week ago and it truly blew me away. It doesn't really even taste like a beer. Lots of molasses, dried fruit, smells and tastes of bourbon, thin body but strong kick at 14.1% abv

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Photo of CptBlackBeerd
4.89/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 Release - 16.9 oz corked and caged bottle poured into an 8 oz snifter.

First of all the packaging is unique and beautiful with the khaki coated champagne bottle and red metal North Coast cork topper.

A - Appearance is dark rich mahogany with a short lived airy tan head. Little to no lacing.

S - Wow, barrel aging at its finest. Lots of bourbon, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, vanilla and oak. It gives off great vapors and a very nice scent.

T - Absolutely delicious. Sweet malt with bourbon, toffee, crème Brule and some dark fruits. The alcohol is warming but so well masked that it is not overpowering. The long aging process really shows here in the complexity.

M - Nice smooth medium mouth feel, low carbonation, rich but with lightness not usually associated with such high apvs. And there's a pleasing slightly sticky finish.

D - Very, very drinkable considering its 13% apv. It is a sipper, but yes, it is worth the price of admission. I'm going to grab a few more before they disappear.

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Photo of matttttYCE
4.89/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Used a snifter for this. Pours a beautiful, slightly murky dark burgondy/plum color. The head is a little darker than off-white. It was pretty foamy and a finger and a half high but that died down right quick. All that's left after just a few short moments is a foamy ring around the glass, but one that seems to be lasting and replenished by some moderate bubbles coming up the sides of the glass. Hm. Nice.

The aroma is of pleasantly abundant bourbon aromas, a bit of bourbon spice, loads of wouth-watering vanilla, notes of coconut to go along with the bourbon, notes of chocolate in there behind the bourbon, good amount of caramel that really compliments the bourbon, strong plum/fig/prune (almost juice like) notes, toffee and molasses, brown sugar, some hints of toasted almonds, and plenty of malty goodness. For as nice as I thought the Old Stock Ale 2011 I had recently smelled, this smells even better! In fact, the aroma deserves a 5 straight up. It's amazing!

The taste really isn't any bit of a let-down after smelling it. There's a pretty substantial candy sweetness at first (not a bad thing at all, in fact really compliments everything). Then I get extremely well integrated bourbon tastes, plenty of vanilla, coconut, caramel, again chocolate in the background that's fantastic, a mixture of grape plum and prune juice (not a bad thing either), toffee, plenty of malty sweetness, and some hints of brown sugar mixed with maple syrup coming in on the finish. I hate to sound redundant, but for as complex as Old Stock Ale 2011 was, Old Stock Cellar Reserve is extremely more complex. This may be one of my favorite tasting beers of those I've tried so far! It's that good.

Mouthfeel - The consistency is velvety and rich. The carbonation is creamy, almost round (just right actually). The body is medium-ish. The finish is actually a bit long and wet, which is nice, with lasting flavors of vanilla, caramel, sweetness, brown sugar, hints of bourbon, and of dark fruit.

Overall - Well the aroma got a 5 and the taste got a 5. If the mouthfeel got anything higher than a 3.5, I think that solidifies this overall score as a 5. I really can't see any way this beer could be improved. Sure I didn't give it 5s across the board, but I don't think I ever will give that to any beer. Point here is that this beer smelled and tasted amazing, and the mouthfeel was wonderfully complementary to the beer. Seriously 5.0 worthy. The smell, as well the taste to some extent, reminds me a good deal of Firestone Walker 15th Anniversary, which is another beer I loved. Bottom line, the price tag on this beer was high, but I'm SO glad I took a chance and got it (it was the last one on the shelf). I'm kicking myself for not buying more when there were more on the shelf.

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Photo of nhindian
4.88/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2009 Vintage

Appearance - Old Stock doesn't have much in the way of looks. The body is ruddy and murky, and when viewed in the brownish hue it has, it looks sort of like a port wine. A khaki-colored head springs forth as it hits the glass, but fades almost as rapidly as it appears, leaving nothing but a slow trickle of carbonation to break the surface.

Aroma - Every time I smell this beer, I am hit immediately with a rich sweetness that runs the gamut from bourbon to dark fruits. Figs and raisin are the most noticeable, and the combination with the liquor makes it the perfect smell for a cold Autumn night like tonight. Toffee, caramel, and a touch of cocoa add an additional layer of sweetness as well.

Taste - The taste is a faithful representation of the aroma down to a 'T'. Each note is reproduced on the palate for the taste buds to savor and it goes over just as positively here. The first flavors are the cocoa and fig, mixed with the bourbon to give it a warming alcohol-soaked quality. It also draws comparisons to port here as well in my opinion. The finish is filled with toffee and barrel character. There is an overarching presence of alcohol heat, but it never is at the forefront or detrimental.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is not as heavy as I would've expected for a beer of this size. It definitely has some meat to it, but it flows gracefully over the palate and doesn't weigh heavily on it. There is a zesty amount of carbonation that gives it a sort of cola-like similarity.

Closing Arguments - Overall this is a wonderful beer from start to finish. The flavors are deep and layered and one needs only to take a small sip to have them develop rapidly in the mouth. This is definitely a beer to cradle for an hour or so and appreciate how it changes with temperature and after the palate grows acclimated to some of the flavors that allow the more nuanced aspects rise. In comparisons to other beers, I can easily draw parallels to Samuel Adam's Utopias, with this being a more 'mild' take. Although expensive, this is a beer that would be excellent for a celebration or special occasion, or just to sit out on the porch as the weather changes and take in the world.

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

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

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

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

Thanks to Joeyschlitz for generously opening this on new years eve. Pours dark caramel with a bit of tan head. Smells like a bourbon caramel apple. Taste is all malt - sweet brown sugar, caramel, apples, bourbon and toffee. Very well rounded and complex. Body is medium with medium carbonation. One of the best beers I have had this year.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.86/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by jayhawk73. Thanks Jeff!

2009 vintage

The beer is a crimson / brown / ruby color, with just a fleeting glimpse of a head. The aroma is simply fabulous. Delectable bourbon, oak, malt. Perfect blend of flavors. This beer tastes amazing. Incredibly smooth, time has served this old ale very well. The $20+ price tag is a bit steep, but wow, this beer delivers. Alcohol presence is completely unobtrusive. I highly recommend this beer. A must try.

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Photo of Boonedoggle
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving Type: Vintage 2009 500mL into brandy snifter

Appearance: Pours a half finger head . It's a dark dark beatuiful red.

Smell: Smells of rich bourbon and sweet raisins.

Taste: Very smooth. There's a very slight burn from the bourbon barrels, but not overpowering. It's just enough mellow the beer and give that bourbon taste. Tastes of raisins and milk chocolate.

Mouth: A medium bodied beer. I say medium because I feel it should be heavier, but it's actually quite light.

Overall: This beer is very smooth. I imagine aging in bourbon barrels really mellows this beer out. I originally thought this was a 2011 brew, but after realizing it's 2009 the smoothness of the beer makes more sense. I imagine the alcohol and bourbon burn is more apparent for a young brew so a year or two in the cellar would do this beer a great deal of good.

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Photo of vic21234
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Corked and caged 2013 Vintage poured into a snifter at room temperature.

A- Pours a clear and bubbly mahogany color with a small amount of fizzy off-white head that quickly fades.

S- Smells great, with notes of dark fruits, slight sweetness, and lots of bourbon.

T- At first taste is caramel and dark fruits. Then comes notes of sweet oak and bourbon.

M- Medium bodied, lightly carbonated, well balanced, drinks hot with a nice warming after each sip.

Great beer, and huge bourbon characters.

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Photo of Avagadro
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep mahogany in color, with garnet highlights when held to the light. Its body is crystal clear topped with a kakhi froth. It doesn't stick around long, but that's not surprising given that this brew is 13.6% abv.

S: I knew from the second that I popped the cork, which was no small feat I might add, that this was going to be an amazing brew. How you ask? I could tell because the second that cork left its bottle I was bombarded with the aroma of dark rum, figs, raisins, creme brulee, cinnamon, and dulce de leche. This brew has a lot going for it in the aroma department.

T: The flavor follows the aroma, with additional notes of Pedro Ximenez, toasted coconut, and molasses. This brew is only slightly sweet, which makes these flavors all the more enjoyable. I am absolutely floored by the breadth and the the depth of the flavors in this brew, all perfectly balanced in a harmonious fashion.

M: Full bodied, with a touch of stickiness. This is quickly remedied, though, by a torrent of bubbles to scrub away only the stickiness, leaving the delicious flavors to linger between sips.

D: This is the most enjoyable beer I have had since Canadian Breakfast Stout has graced my lips. It is delicious through and through, and is truly unique in its flavor profile. As a frequent consumer of Bourbon, I was a touch disappointed that there wasn't a more overt bourbon presence, but what is there is absolutely divine. Regarding the first question everyone asks when they pick up this bottle, "Is it really worth the money?" I can say with the utmost confidence, "It's a bargain; this beer has flavor and balance that rivals any $40 bottle of port."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Mark
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have come to really appreciate and love Old Stock Ale. This edition aged in bourbon bottles is two years old and superb. Deep copper color is a bit cloudy, no head and or lacing is present but it looks darn good. Deep luscious aroma of stewed dark fruits and of course bourbon invites. Extremely smooth with dark fruit tones mainly raisin and plum. Bourbon notes are in prominent evidence and lend lots of character. Medium bodied, very drinkable despite this beers great strength. The ultimate sipper for a winters night. Outstanding beer.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - released the cage and decorked the bottle, filled my ccb snifter. deep ruby brown with a real nice shine to it when the light hits it...thin fizzy head that fizzed out. super slippery with no lacing at all...expected for a bourbon barrel aged brew.

s - oh zing...that's it! bourbon barrel aged old ale. YUM...my favorite blend of beer for bourbon barrels. nice chocolatey bourbon. dark rich fruit. nutmeggy old ale backbone. just perfect.

t - really solid and nice balance between old ale and rich chocolatey booziness. grapejuice, caramel. really amazing.

m - full bodied. rich. coats my mouth in boozy tingles.

o - as good or better than any other barrel aged old ale, but at twice the price. this beer is certainly a delicacy and provides the satisfaction you'd expect if you saved it for a special moment. although it's a pricey beer, it is a damn fine beer...world class.

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

Reviewed from notes from 1/19/13

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of zaphodchak
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 vintage

Caramel color and legs instead of lace. Some slight foam that subsides quickly.

Thick bourbony nose.

Magnificent richness, full of bourbon, vanilla, oak, and everything I might ever ask for. Super warming.

Nice and smooth, supports the powerful flavor.

This is fantastic, probably not worth the price, but pretty great. Excellent pairing with aged gouda.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I waited a very, very long time to be able to get ahold of this one, After not being aloud to be at DLD, this year, I felt I had to open up something special to make up for it. Served at cellar temp and poured into a snifter this one was consumed on 04/24/2010.

Rich caramel colored pour with a light head of off white that caps it off rather nicely. Settling down it left a little bit of a light sticky lace along the sides. Aroma was the best I have ever come across. Rich toffee and butterscotch, tons of sweet nectar notes. Candy in all its glory. Perfectly aged with a smooth, perfect profile of vanilla, toffee, and rich butterscotch that will not let up. Rich bourbon flavor just rolls across the palate with a smoothness unlike anything I have run across before. Rich vanilla and boozy notes combine to form a perfect balance of rich sweet notes and oak soaked barrel flavor.

Incredibly complex and drinkable this was was everything I had wanted it to be and more. Quite simply one of the best beers I have had hands down. Go seek this one out now. It is dead on perfect.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampling a cellar temp bottle provided to me by my bro-in-law.
Poured into a snifter the beer pours a deep mahogany hue with fizzy, frothy beige head of 1 cm that recedes rapidly to the thinnest of edge layers. Aroma is deep bourbon and vanilla notes with molasses and some maple syrup sweetness. All big malt with no real hop presence to speak of on this brew.
First sip reveals gentle spacious carbonation, almost like a cask with very little fizz on each sip.
Flavor is what the nose advertised with all sweet malt from start to finish. Brown sugar and molasses start this off but bourbon and vanilla pick up the middle and the finish is the flavor of doing a shot of Jack without the heat. This beer is 13%??? I dont get any booziness on the nose or flavor which could make this beer a little dangerously drinkable.

This is a big malty beer that I am enjoying a lot as I empty my glass. Definitely worth a shot if you see a bottle.

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Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.35 out of 5 based on 1,076 ratings.
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