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: 358 | Ratings: 1,071
Photo of WhiskeyMax
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into tulip with half inch of tan bubbly head that went away almost immediately. 2013 vintage. Nice rich dark brown color. The nose seem a bit watery to me. Not as strong as I expected. That being said it does smell good. Molasses, brown sugar, dried fruit.
Taste is great. More in the taste than nose. I like that it is not so overly whisked, and I like me some whiskey, but think the two should be separate. Smooth and rich mouthfeel, but nit syrupy. A fine beer. Pricey at $18.50 would like to buy another to cellar but cost may be prohibitive.

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Photo of Odysseyalien
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a delicious upgrade from your standard Old Stock Ale. The barrel aging really adds a couple of layers of delicious to this brew. My only real objection is the price. Still, I'm going to go out and buy another bottle or two on payday.

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Photo of dbossman
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy, dark brown with a foamy, quickly dissipating head and little lacing--very still

S: This has loads of bourbon, vanilla, oak coming through; sweet yummy maltiness

T: Bourbon, of course, but also dark fruits: cherry, plums, etc.; oaky with some vanilla; this is delicious and surprisingly simple

F: A touch thin but fairly nice medium body with a nice amount of carbonation--especially considering how still the beer looks

O: A boozy bourbon bomb but still warms you on a cold day--quite the beer

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Photo of cbutova
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 generously shared by Chico. Review from notes.

A- Dark red brown body poured into a pint glass with an unexpectedly large off white head The cap fizzes out fairly quickly and a cloud remains, not much lace.

S- Opens up with a pretty big deep caramel nose and some subdued whiskey and oak notes,  nice vanilla and sugar maple hints.

T- Intense raisin spice flavor builds with the classic old stock caramel backbone, bourbon and oak comes and goes but adds nice oak, whiskey and vanilla notes.

Mf- Surprising fizzy foamy high carbonation, oily and fairly warm.

Really opens with warmth, oak and Bourbon and caramel syrup, love old stock and with bourbon it's pretty awesome.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

1324th Review on BA
Bottle to Excelsior Tulip
500ml C/C

Purchased at Bevmo Chino Hills for $22.99

App-  A deep deep garnet red mixed with a burgundy color. Around the edges you get a small bit of gold mixed with brown. A two finger head that was khaki in color that receded quickly with only a ring of bubbles.

Smell-  A really aromatic old ale. Huge amounts of bourbon and just a touch prickly on the nose. A lot of creamy vanilla with a lot of barrel on the nose. A bit sweet at times as it warms and even like JW lees and collage a bit of a sherry note.

Taste- A really delicious beer. The old ale is a great base beer which to add onto. The bourbon adds a few layers of flavor with vanilla, oak, cherrys and a slight malt. A good balance without being overly sweet or prickly.

Mouth- A semi medium body with a prickly medium carbonation. Prevelant booze is quite residual. This is my knock on this beer. The body and finish.

Drink- Highly drinkable with a lot of layers going on. Malty, vanilla, oak, bourbon. Glad I finally got one.

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Photo of sitarist
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another blind review via the blind bif's. Thanks to Brez07 for this one.

Pours a deep brown with hints of ruby red. Its not opaque, but very little light gets through. There is almost an inch of khaki colored head that falls to a ring. No lacing, it all slides back into the drink. My olfactory receptacles are overwhelmed by bold aromas. Plums, brown sugar, sherry/port, oak, teriyaki, and as it warms I get lots of smooth bourbon. Its barrel aged, but what style? Horehound, teriyaki, port wine, cinnamon, cracker-jacks, toffee, and hints of bourbon are some of the flavors that I detect. Just like an great bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon; this is way out of my league, but highly delicious. The mouthfeel is absolutely perfect! Its body, carbonation, and viscosity are well suited. An outstanding beer. The whole is greater than any one component.

Im pretty sure this is a bourbon barrel aged beer, as for a style Im still at a loss. My guess is a Barrel Aged Dubbel, or Barleywine.

Its a 2009 Old Stock Ale Cellar Reserve aged in bourbon barrels. Wow, a huge want of mine!

Thank you so much Matt.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing Mikey! From nov 20th notes.

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

Aroma is just hugely rich with tons of barrel character. Rich, slightly buttery caramels, toffees, toasty wood, sweet syrupy richness and caramelized flavors. Very slight oxidization peeking through at this point, but at no point was it a detriment to the beer. Vanilla, great deep fruity date note. Drinks great for the nearly 15% beast, still medium-full mouthfeel, low carb, great, rich beer to sip on.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Kevin for sharing this.

2009 Bottle poured into a Cigar City snifter.

A- Dark Brown color red orange hues coming off the bottom, minimal lacing, no apparent head.
S- Really nice aroma, caramel, toffee, dark fruits (plums, raisins), big vanilla and bourbon notes, brown sugar.
T- Taste is similar to aroma, nice bite after every sip, huge vanilla flavor, love the bourbon in this beer, toffee, caramel, brown sugar, oak, dark fruits, really nice, rich and complex.
M- Big mouth feel, alcohol is present but not overpowering, minimal carbonation, bitter sweet finish.
O- This beer is really tasty, strong complex beer, it’s a sipper and one that needs/should be shared with others, really enjoyable, would love to try this again sometime in the future.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown color with a moderate rocky off-white head that lasted with good lacing. Medium to heavy dark fruit, bourbon and malt aroma. Full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Full complex bourbon and toffee malt with a long complex finish with a small alcohol bite of long duration. This is a standout brew.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

L: pours rusty brown with no head
S: nice sweet bourbon, dark fruit juices.
T: just like the nose. Sweet smooth bourbon really stands out.
F: smooth, but very carbonated. Tingly bubbles that I'm not a fan of.
O: a good beer for sure, but not better the ba raspy

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Photo of JLeege
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

'09 ~ 500 mL bottle ~ poured into a snifter.

Appearance- Pours a dark mahogany color with a bubbly one finger head. Quickly fades to virtually nothing. Active carbonation is noticed when held to the light. The initial head was quite impressive for a beer of this stature.

Smell- The nose on this is incredible. The bourbon is not messing around! Vanilla, caramel, woody, earthy. Some dark fruits as well.

Taste- Lots of sweet dark fruit on the front of the palate. Dried raison, cherry, dates. Then the bourbon hits you. Strong vanilla and caramel notes, with some chocolate, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Lingering oak and bourbon taste, with the fruit aspects still sitting on the front of the tongue. Sweet overall, but not cloying at all.

Mouthfeel- Higher carbonation than expected. But a medium, semi syrupy body. A little hot, but nothing terrible for a beer this big.

Overall- A very solid sipping beer. I wish it wasn't so expensive, but that makes this a nice treat.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour for Best Damn Night Of The Barrels held at The Beer Company in San Diego, CA.

2009 vintage.

Pours a clear brown with a foamy beige head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, toffee, bourbon, and wood. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some great barrel aged aromas and flavors.

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Photo of kirok1999
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy dark copper with ruby hues. Slightly foamy on the pour and a slowly disappating thin head. No lacing and just a wisp of foam on the surface.
Smell is rich and complex, dark caramel, sweet milk chocolate, dark fruits.
Taste is massive, bourbon notes at first, the alcohol comes on after the initial sweetness. There's a lot of chocolate in the finish that lingers for a long time. It's thick and rich, and there's a noticable amount of carbonation, even after over 20 minutes in the glass. This really needs to age a while. Right now the Brandy Barrel is better but after a year or two things may change.
This brew challenges you to take the smallest sips possible because there's so much flavor there. I've been working on it for over half an hour and I'm not half finished. Great Old Ale that will be better when it's older.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage

Pours a dark brown color, huge big bubbled fizzy tan head, the bubbles pop quickly with quite the sound, leaves no cap or lacing but not surprised.

Smell has a strong amount of vanilla, good oak bourbon aroma, lots of dark fruit like plum.

Taste starts out with a boozy warmth, vanilla and dark fruit hit first followed by a subtle oak woodiness, bourbon has a large presence throughout, tad on the sweeter side but the strong booziness masks it, carbonation is a bit on the high side but at least this isn't Lost Abbey.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Kevin for sharing this one!

A-pours a cloudy dark brown liqud, hints of sediment, small tan head.

S-the nose has some light notes of wood up front, dark raisins, dark malts, notes of chocoalte and toffee, the bourbon is there in the back.

T-strong malt body to this, a little malt sweetness and raisins up front, toffee and chocolate malts, bourbon, actually rather sweet bourbon with a fair bit of heat in the finish.

M-full bodied and sryupy, this is pretty chewy, strong carbonation and prickly on the back of the throat.

D-this is pretty solid, seems well balanced and not oxidized. the bourbon is pleasant and light, the malt body is pretty huge and the base beer is well integrated, the heat is there but not offensive. the sweet raisins are nice to balanced the other flavors. good stuff.

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Photo of Brad007
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Figured I'd open this first as it seems to be the easiest to acquire if I ever want more.

Pours a very nice burgundy color with a one-finger head into my glass. Seems to be a lot of carbonation present.

Boozy in the nose with lots of bourbon character present. Not much else comes through. I don't see anything out of the ordinary.

First sip finds a strong hint of bourbon with perhaps caramel, vanilla and toffee lurking within. Rich and chewy with a decent character. Quickly warms the tummy.

The bourbon doesn't seem to linger much at the back of the throat. Lots of warmth.

I think this ale has aged well and I would definitely put away another bottle to see how it holds up after another year. It could have been a booze bomb but luckily, that's not the case. This is a sipping beer so savor every drop!

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Photo of mjpolzin
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My guess would be this is the only time I will have this beer because even if North Coast makes it again, the barrel aging process will be different than it was in '09. The price tag was pretty hefty but I finally bought it after seeing it sit on the shelves for almost a year. I saved it for the night I got home from coaching my athletes at the State Track meet.

The beer was a nice dark brown color but the carbonation was a bit too much for me. I am not sure why but I don't like my beer looking like a soda.

The smell and the corresponding taste was awesome. It smelled and tasted very similar to Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine but it wasn't quite as good. The scent and taste was of bourbon, vanilla and some fruit but there was "hard to put my finger on" sharpness that downgraded the beer for me a little bit.

This was a great beer but with the price tag, its hard to say it was worth it. Knowing that it tastes similar to the barleywine I referenced and knowing I can get that for a little bit cheaper price and can get it once a year, I may remember this old ale fondly but it won't quite go to the top of my list.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I picked this beer up at Greens Liquor on Peachtree street in Atlanta. It was quite expensive at $21/bottle, but I have really high hopes for this as Old Stock is one of my favorite beers.

Appearance: Had a pretty aggressive pop on the cork once I got it moving, so there was a lot of gas in there. The beer poured very clear with an active 1/8" head that fizzed around for about 30 seconds and then fell back into the beer. Afterward, it looked about like a Coke with no bubbles on top at all.

Aroma: I initially got plenty of dry wood, so it is obviously aged and not blended afterward. A good bit of alcohol is present in the nose adding spicy complexity and a bit of heat that is noticeable already. The vanilla that is so strong in the flavor is starting to come out more in the aroma as the beer warms.

Taste: The flavor is much softer than I thought it would be from the aroma. There is a whole bunch of vanilla in the flavor that is very well hidden in the aroma. There is alcoholic complexity here along with some reserved toasty malts. This beer is really complex. The beer is medium to light bodied and comes across the palate more like a liquor than a beer.

Opinion: This is a really nice beer. It was a little weird in that the aroma was so far off from the flavor, but I can't hold that against it too much. The flavor if this beer is really nice overall. I don't know...it is really great, but comes across the palate a bit thin. I am seriously splitting hairs here as I brew and used to regularly make wood aged beers, so I respect the velvet that they got in the mouthfeel. Don't get me wrong, this beer is really incredible, but to drink it for over $20 a bottle, it is quite prohibitive. If they could pull this off cheaper, I would drink it all the time, but as it is...I am certainly glad that I tried it.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a really nice beer. I'm just not sure it was worth $25 for the 500ml bottle.
In a snifter the beer was a ruby red color with just a rim of head.
Nice aroma of toffee, dark fruit, vanilla, and whiskey.
The whiskey aroma disappeared in the taste. Toffee and raisin. Kind of musty.
Very smooth. Didn't notice the alcohol at all, as contrasted with the regular Old Stock.
Very drinkable, but expensive.

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Photo of RAlmeida77
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: pours a murky brown with minimal head
S: bourbon, raisins, figs...lots of dark fruit
T: similar to the nose. smooth bourbon with dark fruits prominent
F: med carbonation and very smooth.
O: considering I'm not typically a fan of the style, I really enjoyed this.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My wife picked this up for me a week or two ago.

Appearance- reddish brown color, thick head that dissipated quickly like soda

Smell- strong aroma of bourbon

Taste- bourbon flavor mostly, definitely reminds me of whiskey

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, smooth, highly carbonated

Drinkability- I thought it was very good but the bourbon smell was a little too strong.

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Photo of marikoangel
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a bubble glass at Amsterdam in SF.

A: It pours a mud brown. Opaque and murky. There was maybe a 1/8in of head that dissipated almost immediately. No real lacing to speak of. A flat brown beer.

S: Intense and sweet. A huge blast of sweet rotting and candied fruit, vanilla, oak, brown sugar, with a hint of chocolate and coffee.

T: The taste is definitely different that I thought it would be. It's more stout-like with nice rich chocolate flavors, like milk chocolate with smaller hints of dark fruits, such as raisins. There is lots of vanilla, oak and light caramel, with a little toffee malts. It starts stronger and a little boozy, but quickly mellows out. Pleasantly complex.

M&O: It has a medium mouthfeel that's a bit oily and chewy. Overall it's super drinkable, almost to a fault. It doesn't taste like a 13% beer, it goes down too easily with no alcohol burn but with some boozy notes still. I'm definitely loving this one. It's the 2009 reserve and was one of three bottles left; so I'm happy I got a chance to try this at least once.

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Photo of BZero007
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle, picked up a Total Wine for $22.
Heard the great reviews about the brew while its fresh, so picked up another bottle as well. Poured in to a tulip glass. Pores a extremely dark amber hue color. Holding it to the light the drink is crystal clear and looks great. Head easily forms with no help what so ever. I am extremely surprised that the head formed great from a high abv barrel aged beer. Lace was left all over the glass and looked great. The aroma was of a lightly sweet malt flavor with a bourbon background. The flavor is similar but the brew is much hotter than the smell. The sweet malt is mixed excellently with the bourbon and neither over powers the other. Which is very interesting again for this kind of brew. I feel like I'm going to say that through out this review. The brew warmed your belly like a strong drink would so this is a sipper by far. The amount of carbonation through the drink is again surprising. I highly recommend this drink fresh to anyone.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

Let me start this review by saying the olive green color of this bottle is awesome. The cork on the other hand, was a major pain. Way to big for the bottle...

Poured from a corked and caged 500ml bottle into a North Coast pint glass...

A - Pours a dark mahogany with light brown hues and a one finger tan head that dissipates almost immediately. Not much lacing to be had here...

S - Vanilla, bourbon, molasses, and caramel. This one just smells smooth. No scent is over the top or to prominent. Very nice...

T - Amazing. Molasses, oak, vanilla, and caramel. Ends on a smooth bourbon note. Finish has a butterscotch taste that melds really well with the rest of the flavors. Really well balanced. For the abv, this one is really smooth...

M - Probably one of the downfalls on this brew in my opinion. I was expecting a more viscious mouthfeel. Instead, it tastes a little watered down. Also one can argue that there is a little to much carbonation. Really bubbly...

D - Took off a point for the high price tag. Nonetheless, this is a steller brew, and is probably one of the better tasting beers I have tried. Extremely tasty. Definitely something I would be interesting in trying again...


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Photo of Dope
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2009 batch.

A: Murky brown pour with a fizzy, soda-like light brown head. Head fades out very quickly with zero lacing and almost no retention.

S: Heavy bourbon. Caramel and LOADED to the gills with dark fruits. Heavy fig, raisin, prunes. Smells more like pure bourbon or even brandy for that matter. Sharp booziness.

T: Again with the heavy bourbon. Not nearly as boozy as the aroma but still strong. Lots of toffee, loaded to the gills from start to finish. Brown sugar and caramel sweetens everything but the toffee really shines. Dark fruits are heavy too, more raisin and fig. Sweet vanilla everywhere, especially in the finish and aftertaste. Notable oakiness in the finish and lingering for a long time between sips.

M: Very low carbonation and very heavy bodied. Thick.

O: Very interesting barrel aged old ale. It has held up well for the past 4-5 years. Very sweet, very heavy due to a high ABV and low carbonation. A sipper for sure. Luckily this is only a 16.9 ounce bottle, it would be tough to drink a 750 of this stuff (are you listening, Bruery?). Dessert beer for sure. Not far from drinking pure spirits, I wish the Old Ale aspect stood out a little more, even after the years this one's barrel presence is a bit overpowering. Maybe it just needs a few more years to balance out. I enjoyed it a lot but couldn't give it the higher scores that are typical.

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Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.35 out of 5 based on 1,071 ratings.
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