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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)
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
354
Ratings:
1,060
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
13.56%
 
 
Wants:
274
Gots:
451
For Trade:
43
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Reviews: 354 | Ratings: 1,060
Photo of craytonic
3.5/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had some significant variation with bottles, one was delicious, one tasted like a flat rum and coke, and one was somewhere in the middle.

Appearance: brown-amber mahogany pour with a very small head

Smell: Heavy bourbon/booze up front with notes of toffee, caramel, vanilla, brown sugar and oak. Tendency for some bottles to smell too much like rum and coke

Taste: Similar to the aroma, as long as it doesn't taste like a rum and coke it is fairly tasty. Again, bourbon dominates with caramel, toffee, brown sugar, vanilla and oak following. A bit too sweet.

Mouthfeel - a touch more carbonation would have helped.

Overall - I have had one outstanding bottle, one bad bottle that was a drainpour, and one bottle in the middle. Lots of potential but a bit of a gamble.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.55/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Old Stock Ale Bourbon pours a old ale reddish brown color. With a slightly hard pour no head came up just some popping bubbles. A few swirls managed to produce some small white bubbles. No lacing, pretty much what I expected.

S- Right out of the bottle this pretty much smells like alcohol and malts. As this opens up the alcohol remains but a bunch of dark fruit and caramel come out wih the bourbon not far along. Some traces of sherry and sugars are there too. A very nice rich smelling beer with dank bourbon. This needs to be room temp to fuly understand

T- As with the smell this was pretty standard cold but got better when it came to. Loads of rich sweet malts with caramel. Not much hops as they faded, nothing at all really. The alcohol which usually distracts me from the beer works well in this. Bourbon soaked dark fruit like plums plus figs and raisins. Some hard alcohol like tastes, this one is great when it is warm, pointless to drink any other way.

M- Well above medium bodied with pretty low carbonation but there is some there. This one is sweet but boozy and still a bit hot after two some years. On par with an english old ale in which I believe this was inspired by.

D- 13.16%, that is alot, and it is noted in the taste. While the ABV is high this is very drinkable although it needs to be sipped and one is plenty although I kind of want to crack another one right now. Insanely expensive, kind of a rip off.

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Photo of phishisphunk
3.59/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark clay looking bottle, corked and caged, served at cellar temp into a sniffer. A nice presentation from the folks at North Coast. Definetly something different.

A: a vigorous pour yields a transparent deep ruby red/brown ale with a short lived off white three finger head. The head recedes quickly with zero lacing left on the glass. After letting this one sit, it presents like a cognac with no legs....thin with little to no carbonation.

S: the nose presents a a bouquet of booze, toffee, carmel, and vanilla with hints of wet oak and coconut. The barrel is evident but I don't think the base holds it up enough and I'm fairly unimpressed.

T: the taste follows the nose pretty well. Vanilla, hints of coconut, with a mild tart berry like finish as it passes through the palate. The heat from the booziness is evident, but integrated well.

M: the beer feels smooth and well rounded. This one leaves you with a feeling of warmth on the inside. Overall the beer is still pretty hot.

D: I'm certainly glad to have tried and shared this one as I enjoy barrel aged beers, but something about this one didn't work for me and the old ale style. The body is a bit thin, it's pretty boozy, and the base beer feels emmacerated by the barrel. Most importantly, the hefty pricetag won't soon entice me into buying another. This one will hold up for a bit in the bottle if looking to cellar. Drink it if you must.

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Photo of OlieIPA
3.59/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by Pehlman and served in a short stemmed flute glass.

A: A deep dark brown body with light tints of red and orange around the edges. Supported a brief 1-finger head, but quickly disappeared. No lacing was apparent.

S: Brown sugar, caramel, bourbon and vanilla.

T: The initial sip has a strong bourbon/alcohol presence that is followed up with molasses, brown sugar and vanilla.

M: Thin on the palate with ample amounts of carbonation.

D: Good; has some complexity to along with the big and bold flavors, but the high alcohol content creates some fatigue.

Overall: A very good beer and very similar to the qualities you would find in a Lost Abbey brew. A try it beer! Cheers!

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Photo of bennetj17
3.59/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dull, semi cloudy brown. Some soap-like bubbles arise immediately but dissipate within seconds, leaving a rather flat looking beer in the glass. The smell is at first very bourbon heavy but after a few whiffs I notice a nice balance of wood and some toffee like malt character. There isn't much potency from the alcohol fume either so I'd guess it's mellowed considerably since 2009.

There is some nice vanilla sweetness up front with a raisiny, brown sugar malt backbone. Strong bourbon character without the alcohol burn. The back end lacks a good contrast however, and is a bit cloying. For appearing flat, the carbonation is actually pretty decent. The mouthfeel seems thin though, with a light syrupy feel. It could stand to be a bit more robust, but with this much alcohol content it's expected.

This beer has a nice flavor profile up front and alot of potential, but ultimately isn't excellent all around. Perhaps I would prefer some more bitterness for balance, and the carbonation and mouthfeel also need some work. Overall a nice brew but not worth $20+ for a small bottle.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.63/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This a fine barrel aged product but not an excellent "old ale" as reflected in the many other reviews. It's late so I'll fill in the details in a few days from my notes.

---------

$24.99 at Arrow Wine. Corked and caged 500 ml Bomber.

A decent beer but an abomination of the old ale style. I wish folks would stop thinking that spirit barrel aging is the be all/end all for a better beer. Aging yes, spirits no. Not worth the price I paid. Give me the non-barrel aged version of this beer any day before this one. As this beer warmed I liked it less and less. 3.5

A – Pours a cloudy, muddy reddish brown with a one-finger rocky tan head. Fairly well carbonated. Big alcohol legs with some lacing. 3.75

S – Aromas of bourbon, sweetness, malt, oak, dark fruit (raisins), caramel, faint vanilla almost overrun by other aromas. 3.75

T – Malty, candy sweetness, faint spiciness, a little minerally, oakiness, as this beer warms the bourbon becomes dominant. 3.5

MF – Medium bodied, semi-sweet finish, smooth. At 14% ABV this beer is not harsh or burning, but very warming. 4

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Photo of claspada
3.67/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fairly-deep brown color with an initially spritzy head that immediately fizzled down to nothing almost soda-like.

Aromas begin with strong, smooth bourbon. Tons of sweet vanilla, wood, and caramel. The sweetness is actually quite intense. Perhaps some brown sugar is there as well, but the focus is definitely the barrel.

The tastes begin with boozy bourbon along with some caramel, molasses and a hint of burnt brown sugar. Light vanilla there as well, but the bourbon dominates the overall flavor profile.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Finish is a tad boozy and sweet.

Overall I cannot call this a winner in my book only because it is a bourbon bomb still after 3 years. The base beer is such a solid offering that the barrel aging totally dominates the flavor profile. The base Old Stock only acts as a canvas for the bourbon; with so much bourbon flavor, I could just drink bourbon, especially for the elevated cost/small quantity of this brew.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.69/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 version, courtesy of AgentZero (thanks Mike!). At $26 I haven't wanted to pull the trigger myself, so I was very happy to have the chance sans charge.

It poured a dark reddish-brown with a thin foam that disappeared immediately to a delicate bubbly ring, then to nothing. Strong nose, earthy and boozy, very old ale-ish. Caramel, toffee, sweet malts and bourbon, oaky vanilla and so forth. I really liked the smell, you can tell it's gonna be a sipper.

Strong barrel components in the flavor, a lot of vanilla and bourbon making themselves known, also a mild stomache burn giving a strong ABV impression. More caramel and toffee than I get even in the standard Old Stock, although that might be because I've only had them fresh. Some dark fruits too, plums and raisins.

This was a serious sipper, a lot going on and not something to pound. Glad for the chance, although ultimately I don't think it's worth quite $26 for the small bottle. Maybe $14-15 is more reasonable based on drinker's enjoyment (not actual brewery cost issues though).

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.71/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried as a head-to-head with 2011 ordinary Old Stock.

Pours a very dark brown-red colour, little bit of cloud. Head is non-existent, really, just a rim of bubbles with mild cloud and a small bit of lace. Looks heavy, but lacklustre in all the important ways.

Massively sweet and nutty, with an effect I didn't think was possible- sharp coconut. It's coconut so pungent it assaults your olfactory in an almost spicy way, balanced with some coriander maybe? Pepper, vanilla and peanut brittle on there as well, but that coconut is iconoclastic. It makes me rethink what bourbon-ageing can do.

Taste is an impressive - for the most part - sweetness that burgeons with caramel toffee, pecan and some rye notes. Bourbony coconut comes through midway and really invades the late-mid with a hot booze that dried up on the finish, palate-wise. Kind of ends like a manufactured spirit, with the natural flavours getting soaked up by a black hole of booze, although a pinch of that coconut lingers. I don't mind it, but it's a bit hot and just short on the palate; would have liked more exploration of the complexities.

Big and full but that hot booze is a constant companion, from start to finish.

A bit too big for the container - let's just say I can see cellulite hanging out the hotpants of this beer.

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Photo of zoolzoo
3.72/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours sort of a coffee bean brown, almost red from some angles. Barely a head, reduces to nothing. No lace or residue.

S: Nice aroma...plenty of sweet bourbon coupled with some dark fruitage. Sort of astringent and sharp though, alcohol is a bit stinging.

T: Bourbon is nice and big, along with toffee and vanilla. I have to say though, alcohol cuts in really hard mid palate (doesn't bother to wait for the finish). The finish is nice and sweet, though slightly astringent as in the nose. As far as bourbon beers go, this is getting closer to sipping a really smooth whiskey, though not quite. There is perhaps some faint hoppiness in the finish, though it could be the ABV kicking in.

M: Mouthfeel is good, perhaps a tiny bit thin. Alcohol presence is evaporative at times making this a real sipper, especially approaching room temp.

O: Not the smoothest bourbon barrel beer ever, by far. Everything is just a little thin, a little sharp. Still, plenty of flavor to enjoy here. Just take your time.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.73/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ed for this one!

Served in a tulip glass, this beer is a crystal clear amber that glows a ruby port when held to the light. Head dissipates to a thin collar quickly while micro-bubbles break on the surface.

Smells of sweet biscuits and toasted marshmallows with a strong sting of oaky bourbon. There's a dry touch of earth and leather in the background along with a nice touch of alcohol.

The flavor was surprisingly subdued considering how present the aroma was. The taste seems dominated by a CO2 numbness that dissolves into sweet touches of caramel, sweet whole grain crackers and the oaky bourbon. Upon further review, this one seems to slip right over the tip of the tongue to engage deeper in the mouth. Perhaps a less intensive sip is in order to let this one really unfold.

Feels far more fizzy than anticipated: distractingly so. There I was expecting a dense and sweet sipper, this one foams up on the tongue to the point where I couldn't at times feel the denseness of the beer. I gave this many a swirl to get the CO2 levels down so that I could actually enjoy the delicate flavors. The alcohol seems to leave my mouth a bit numb!

Overall a tasty sipper. The CO2 and alcohol presence was a bit much for me, but it's still a nice treat.

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Photo of JLaw55
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is boozy. No, seriously. Like drinking Bourbon boozy. This has more in common flavor wise with Bourbon than with beer. It's the reason I couldn't rate it any higher, because outside of the booziness, the flavors are quite nice.

It is a dark slick brown color, with no head or lacing. It is dominated by caramel with layers of dates, raisins, oak, and nuts in the background.

Would not revisit. Just not my thing, even though it was well made for what it is. This is straying pretty far from what I would consider beer to be.

Would Drink Again: No
Would Purchase Again: No

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter. 2013 vintage.

2.5 A: Murky plum color. Less than one finger of foamy beige head. Retention is poor, but this beer is big so that is expected. No lacing left. Medium sized particulates floating throughout.

3.75 S: Boozy bourbon kicks this off. Lots of leather, toffee, prune, date, fig, and black currants. Raisin and tobacco with toffee and caramel on the second tier. Oak and vanilla on the third. It smells pretty good, and it has the requisite aromas, but it's missing that x-factor, whatever that means.

4.0 T: Raisin and tobacco gain some strength in the taste. These are quickly followed by the fruits mentioned above and the leather. Oak and vanilla without any tannic astringency. Sticky toffee then some layers of caramel. For a beer this big with so many flavors going on, it is drier than expected. Still, tastes pretty good.

3.5 M: Heavier body. Low moderate carbonation. Light stickiness and just the slightest velvety texture, but lacking creaminess.

3.75 D: It's good, but it's criminally overpriced, which is the norm for NC. It's not good enough to buy another.

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Photo of sk8man121
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16.9 oz. bottle (on sale for $16.99 at Whole Foods in Portland, ME) poured into snifter.

A: Pours a deep shade of plum with ruby highlights. 1.5 finger tan head settles quickly into a flat slick as expected.

S: Brown sugar, vanilla, toffee, caramel. Sweetness.

T: Raison, toffee and caramel. Warmed sugar and quite a bit of alcohol make up the latter half of this one. Nice, but also quite cloying.

M: Thick and syrupy. Carbonation is low, yet it creams up nicely.

O: I'm having a hard time understanding the massive amount of praise that comes along with this beer. It's certainly a nice barley wine/old ale, but it's also quite hot and somewhat of a mess. I enjoyed it, but I have no intention on grabbing another bottle for the cellar given it's ridiculous price of admission.

Good, but over-priced.

Edit: Forgot to mention that one impressive factor of this beer is that it truly is a different animal from the original old stock. So there's that, which is nice.

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Photo of afausser
3.76/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours really bubbly and fizzy, with the appearance of soda. Head fades just as quickly, with fine and fast-moving streams of carbonation. A ring of bubbles is all that remains around the edge of the glass, and it still really has the appearance of soda. Very odd. Side by side of the non-barrel aged is, as expected, with slightly more persistent head and far less carbonation.

Smell: excellent, heavy bourbon, caramel, and nicely blended oak notes. Some expected dark fruit notes, particularly prune and raisin. Much stronger and more dominant than the non-aged version, though reminds me of the non-barrel aged with a few years on it.

Taste: Honestly it's hard to get beyond the alcohol heat and the awful mouthfeel, but caramel and dark fruit notes shine through. Obviously a fair amount of oaky bourbon, even more than in the nose. Not incredibly well-blended, and I expect better from North Coast.

The mouthfeel really just ruins the taste. Foamy and gross. Would rather just have an 07 non-barrel aged version. Awful.

This is really difficult to drink, though not ridiculously so for the ABV. If it calms down after the

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Photo of teromous
3.78/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2013 Cellar Reserve 14.1% in a 500ml bottle

Appearance: Dark very murky brown body with fervent carbonation that tries to sustain an off-yellow head that dissipates as quickly as it forms. It leaves no head shortly after pouring.

Aroma: It has a very rich bourbon and oak aroma.

Taste: The most prominent flavor here is bourbon. A sweetness follows throughout the palate and starts with a bit of sweet caramel and ends with a very sweet alcohol flavor. It's not just the taste of alcohol but an actual sweetness.

Mouthfeel: It is a nice full bodied sipper. The beer presents a smooth and welcoming drinking experience delivering 14.1% ABV as if it were nothing more than a cream.

Overall: I didn't feel that the beer had much complexity in aroma or flavor. It relies heavily on the bourbon flavor to carry the beer. For bourbon and bourbon beer fans I would highly recommend the beer. For those looking for a complex Old Ale I would say to look elsewhere. The overall drinking experience was nice though. It is a very enjoyable beer to drink and it tastes good. In the end that is really what matters the most. The fact that they hid 14.1% ABV in this beer is truly remarkable. I recommend this as a holiday beer if you can manage to hold on to it long enough. I would buy it again, but I would probably try one of the other variants if given the choice.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.8/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Cellar Reserve 13.16% ABV

A= A vigerous pour reveils a nice large three finger head with large bubbles that fall fast with little lacing. The color out of the bottle is rather light but in the glass it looks a dark brown almost black color. The heads color is an off white color.

S= The taste is huge toffee and sweet caramel. Not caramel malt but candy caramel. There is a good vanilla aspect to it and a little oaky wood. Not much heat coming from it. Actually smells a lot like sticky toffee pudding. Really nice smell. Makes my mouth water.

T= The taste is very reminicent of a vanilla coca cola. Tons of cola flavor. Not much head coming from it at all which is suprising because I've heard this is rather hot. There is a good bit of vanilla and toffee but mostly cola. I'm actually finding it difficult to move past the cola taste. There is a bit of straight bourbon on the finish with an exhale. The exhale reminds me of a sip of a bourbon and water.

M= A little too high on the carbonation I would day. It's not bad at all and in a way it's actually plesant. Just a tad too scrubby. Also maybe a tad to dry.

D= This is a very interesting beer. Very very much like cola with a touch of bourbon. I've never had the regualr old stock but this has inspired me to check it out. A tasty beer that I found maybe a little boring.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.81/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Brown pour, thin, weak head. Red on the side. Aroma so improved. Nice barrel and bourbon characteristics. Caramel and vanilla.

Sweet, oak, bourbon gives flavor to the manageable heat. Sticky. Toffee.

You know its funny, Old Rasputin, awesome base, gets worse in the barrel, this beer sucks base wise, and it gets awesome in the barrel.

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Photo of pagriley
3.81/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

500ml into snifter. 2013 Bourbon barrel aged

Having this side by side with a 2013 regular.

Pours dark mahogony with no head or lacing
Earthy, dark dried fruits and musty old cellar
Sweet, dried fruit, oxidized sherry
Thick and creamy - lightly carbed

Overall good, but frankly almost indistinguishable from a regular 2013 with the exception of a bit of harsh alcohol heat. I will be picking up a 4 pack of regular from now on and aging that - for the price the bourbon barrel isn't doing much and for a 500ml this beer is substantially overpriced

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Photo of Devi0us
3.83/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage poured into my trusted Tulip...

A- Pours a mucky brown color. Aggressive pour yields a 2 finger tawny head that vanished swiftly leaving no lacing whatsoever. What's intriguing is the longer this sits, the clearer it gets. Starts to look like Hennessy. I love me some Henny.

S- Right off the bat, you get an explosion of bourbon. Malts, bananas and caramel ease their way into the mixture. Did I mention Bourbon?

T- Tastes sweet up front but gives way to the burn. The alcohol heat may be too hot for some but it's right up my alley. Tastes alot better when it came close to room temp.

M- A decent amount of carbonation. Seems a bit thin to me.

O- This is definitely a sipper for sure. Im glad I was able to try this one but not worth the beefy price tag. 

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Photo of wordemupg
3.83/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

500ml corked and caged 2009 bottle poured into tulip 16/6/13 thanks alpineclimber for the want

A dark brownish amber with some ruby when held to the light, cola like fizz makes me think my glass is dirty but a second and third pour have the same result, liquid looks like a slow boil and its a little noisy. I don't expect much head or lace from a beer this big but I find it strange how it just fizzles out, some thick legs on the side of the glass

S bourbon and booze with some oak, brown sugar, vanilla, faint molasses and just a hint of spice and rum raisin cake

T reminds me of JD, candied corn with just a hint of smoke, this aged bottles still rather boozy, perhaps a little oxidized and rum keeps coming to mind, maybe some candied dried fruits other then raisins but I can't place it

M not as thick as I was expecting, considering how many bubbles I could see I'm finding it a little flat in the mouth, quite sticky and still fairly hot

O I like it and want to love it but the nose just didn't follow through, solid brew but I was hoping for something amazing

Its a big brew but not as big as its drinking today, considering the age I'd expect it to have mellowed a little more then it has, I've drank bigger beers younger and the had less booze burn. I was loving the nose and perhaps that got my hopes up a little

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.84/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy and ruddy amber, near to hazlenut in color. A spotty cap of foam forms and quickly evaporates into a gurgling brook of bubbles. No real lacing and some carbonation that is more than expected from the 13.16% ABV brew. One thing to note is the price: $19.99/bottle, which I believe is 500ml. That's a jumpin-jeehoosafat-load of cash for one beer!!!! Nose is ultra-robust, rich, sweet and engaging. Lot's of the bourbon notes right upfront, but it's less like booze and more like a bourbon soaked dessert. Some thick caramel candy notes, and a few other things that I can't place - maybe sweet dates and candied pecans. It's really awesome. Flavor is very dominated by the bourbon barrel aging. It blasts you right away and continues all the way through the drink. This characteristic actually tastes like a separate item - like it wasn't intended to be merged with the brew at all. It really tastes detached. Like you have to take a drink to taste the barrel aging, then another to taste the underlying beer. My guess is this needs to age a year or so to be really good. Some chewy notes right upfront, I feel as though I'm eating a caramel flavored brownie that is glazed with bourbon syrup. The underlying beer is good, I think, but it's so masked by the barrel components it's hard to appreciate. Overall, this beer is very unique and is quite fun, but is too one-dimensional this early for it to be at its best. Buy and hold.

What I like most: The Unique and luscious aroma profile.

What I like least: The XXX-rated price-tag and the one-dimensional flavors.

Verdict: Not worth the price tag right now, maybe after a year of cellaring. Worth trying if you run across it.

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Photo of pzrhsau
3.86/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Murky brown and amber color with a robust head that dissipates really quickly. It's like a soda type carbonation.
S: Rich scent of bourbon oak and some vanilla.
T: The wood gives the bourbon a nice balance and there is also a kind of wine driness and sweetness to the beer. Rich bourbon and vanilla notes come from the wood aging.
M/O: Very crisp carbonation couples well with the rich bourbon and oak flavors. This beer is very bold and flavorful which is what was expected from something like this. A little on the pricey side but a nice indulgence.

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Photo of caskstrength
3.88/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

25 dollars for 500ml of an interesting brown bottle. Bourbon barrel aged old ale, which sounds pretty, pretty good.

Pours dark brown/red. Fizzy quickly receding bubbles. Looks exactly like Mother of All Storms, which is fine by me.

Bourbon barrel barleywine on the nose, but there's an odd woody and musty vibe here. Brown sugar and bourbon domintate overall. Very inviting if you like the bourbon barrel thing.

Bourbon forward on the tongue. Proper wood/barrel notes. Not much else shines through, things are pretty straightforward in the flavor department. Minimal fruit, minimal alcohol (at 13 percent?)
Bourbon, carmel, wood....more bourbon, some wood, lots of carmel. Tobacco and leather, but I'm searching hard. Brown sugar, definitely brown sugar. Butter? Yeah, maybe some butter with the bourbon and wood and brown sugar/carmel. (Toffee!)
It's quite sweet, but it works.

Mouthfeel is thinner than expected, but doesn't detract.
Good carbonation, which one can't assume for this type of thing.

This is fun to drink. "'Tis a woody bourbon libation, say I! Drink up, be merry!"

I also say I will never be drinking it again, if drinking it again means I have to open up my wallet for the privilege.

Aw, screw it. I'll buy another bottle or two probably. F-you, North Coast.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.89/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this, John! 2009 edition

Mildly hazy ruddy brown with a dense light brown head that recedes leaving no lacing, this is decent. Unlike the 05 release, I don't pick out impressive legs here. The nose has plenty of brown sugar, vanilla, bourbon and boozy heat. Mildly prune and raisin like, I'm surprised by how sherry/port like this is. Excellent stuff.

Opening with a big raisin and prune character, there's plenty of vanilla and bourbon present with rather excellent balance. Definitely hot, but not on this winter day, this is quite enjoyable. Drying and alcoholic on the finish, this is boozy with brown sugar, vanilla and bourbon. Medium-light in body with rather high carbonation, especially for the style, this aspect is rather disappointing. Almost juicy in its oxidation and fruitiness, this is thoroughly enjoyable, though at its price, a little disappointing.

If this beer was priced at half the going rate, it would have gotten an A-/A, but at the going price, I can not give this a higher grade. Sue me if you will.
3.5/4.5/4/3/3.5

**Edit 04 May 2012**
Drinking my sole bottle of the 2005 vintage (2007 release?) that I received from Solomon420. Thank you, Damian. 14.6% ABV

A rapidly receding brown head caps this ruddy brown beer, with nice legs too. The nose is pretty excellent. Rich, fruity oxidation with prunes, raisins, an outrageously good bourbon character, with vanilla, oak and a nice heat. Wonderful malt character from the base beer carries forward, with leather, tobacco, brown sugar, almond liqueur. Really exceptionally balanced. As it breathes, the nose gains a mildly jammy character (which, at the level present, is thoroughly enjoyable)

The palate opens with a blend of candied dark fruits (raisins and prunes with brown sugar and vanilla), a nice oak presence (bittering tannins), a definite almond-like nuttiness (almond skin). It does bring to mind King Henry but with less prune, and the Bruery 100% Barrel aged anniversary beers (minus the excessive sweetness). Unlike the 09 vintage, this feels fuller on the palate, leaving a nice sticky coating.The alcohol is quite wonderful. It straddles the line of lending a bite, lightening the palate, and lending warmth, in a way I don't see too often in a beer this high in ABV. Medium in body with the alcohol providing the lightening of the palate, this beer is mildly carbonated and really good. Oak tannins, toffee, burnt sugar and dark fruits linger on the finish. Fantastic stuff.
4/5/4.5/4.5/4.5

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Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.35 out of 5 based on 1,060 ratings.
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