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
Ratings:
1,081
Reviews:
363
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
7.82%
 
 
Wants:
275
Gots:
449
For Trade:
39
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,081 |  Reviews: 363
Photo of rderedin
3.6/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Photo of Keananmichael5
3.61/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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 mig100
3.64/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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 KevinmusPrime
3.67/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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.

 1,301 characters

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.

 1,265 characters

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

 579 characters

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

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.

 1,130 characters

Photo of IrishColonial
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of Sarge3130
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

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 DbbC
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jspriest
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of kscaldef
3.75/5  rDev -13.8%

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

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

 1,141 characters

Photo of Eternal218
3.78/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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 Tafyob41
3.78/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.35 out of 5 based on 1,081 ratings.
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