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 hardy008
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper with ruby highlights and a 3 finger tan head which vanishes quickly. The aroma has raisins, caramel, brown sugar, bourbon, and vanilla. A very nice aroma.

Tastes just like it smells. There are raisins, caramel, brown sugar, bourbon, and vanilla. Very sweet, without being cloying. That is a difficult accomplishment, but Mark Ruedrich pulled it off. Very nice flavor.

Medium to full bodied, low carbonation, and smooth. There is a bit of alcohol heat, but much less than I thought there would be for an abv of 13.16%. This is a very nice beer, and I am glad that it came in a 500 ml bottle, as opposed to a bomber or 750 ml container. This is a nice beer to sip and enjoy.

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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 ne0m00re
4.07/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Live review of a 50 cL bottle of the 2009.
A: Murky dark brown ruby with constant bubbles, it poured with a quick one-finger cream head that died to a constant bubbling film and collar.
S: Bourbon and maple sugar come out on the forefront of raisins and molasses, a slight orange zest, a slight pine, some mild nuttiness, and a very mild vanilla. Smells good.
T: Exactly what you'd expect from the taste, but the bourbon is so subdued and mild. There is very little harsh finish, except for a nice mixture of the barrel and gin hops. The maple sugar stands out like maple candies. Everything else is what you'd expect from the smell. It is incredibly well-balanced.
M: A little spritzy and thin for my taste.
D: This was a very expensive bottle, but it is worth the special occasion. Overall, I'd say it's good.

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Photo of mjn5036
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375ml corked and caged bottle. The cork was a real pain to get out, eventually requiring a cork screw. This one was poured into a White Birch glass. The pour reveals the beer to be a translucent, burnt sienna with burgundy highlights. It looks fairly thin and innocent enough. No real head emerges from the pour, although it seems to be carbonated. A small ring of foam is mustered up and rests on the meniscus. No lacing from this bad boy.

The nose is very heavy on bourbon which is extremely pleasant, not in the least bit jarring. Rich caramel and vanilla toil together while chocolate, oak and brown sugars are in attendance in the background. Sweet, dark fruits, raisin and fig all come out as this warms.

The taste is just as inviting as the nose tempted me with. Sweetness comes through with caramel, toffee, chocolate, vanilla and brown sugar. A heavy oaky bourbon flavor encompasses all but never seems to get out of control. Again, raisin and fig are at hand.

While this is a beer to be sipped for sure, it is extremely smooth. The low carbonation makes the beer feel a bit boozier on the palate which is unfortunate but by no means a deal-breaker. It is thicker than I imagined, medium bodied and totes a pretty hefty abv. The alcohol heat is noticeable but doesn't seem to negatively influence the overall presentation of the beer; although even after splitting a bottle I am not sure I could stomach much more.

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Photo of KevSal
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

the bottle looks really cool (wish it was a 750ml though!)

A- wasnt to impressed with the head, it was their briefly, looked exactly like coca cola. the let down ends there. deep mahogany, amber red color, dark brown around the edges.

S- smells delicious, reminds me a bit of Cherry Adam. lots of caramel and vanilla. you can smell the presence of old stock.

T- didnt believe the hype, holy SH!T this guy taste great, super smooth. the flavor is everything you want from a bourban aged ale. its grabbed all the wood, bourbon and vanilla from the barrel. i honestly cant see this guy tasting any better.

m- perfect mouthfeel here too, the flavors release as it rolls around the tongue. very thick but not to syrupy.

d- 13.5% and its extremely drinkable. had to knock it down a notch because of the crazy price. however that being said im probably going to buy atleast another to age for a while. dammit why is this stuff so expensive!

if you can get passed the steep price tag go for it, it wont dissapoint

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.07/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split a 2009 vintage with my friend JustinA1 a few nights back. The following review is based on notes taken that night.

Poured into a 10oz. snifter.

Appearance: Dark chestnut body shows great clarity when held to light. A loose ring of large-bubbled, khaki foam sits atop for the entire session. No lacing. Looks dry and clean when swirled.

Smell: Bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and floral ester/hop notes came through early on. As it warmed, I got an increasing amount of hot cocoa and caramel. Pretty delicate for such a big beer. No fusel burn. I dig.

Taste: Bourbon, caramel, vanilla, and floral esters (just like the nose) combine with a new flavor: cola. I'm not sure if it's just the high carbonation that makes me think cola, but I definitely get it. Not nearly as delicate or complex as the aroma; the taste comes off as kind of one-dimensional, and acidic (early on, at least).

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is way too high on this one, but with a little time it mellows out. Malty, warm, and dry - but not too dry.

Drinkability: Pretty damn smooth for such a big beer. Certainly got better as it warmed up, too.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, Star Liquor - very pricey, so I must have been feeling rich when i purchased this

2009 cellar reserve

appearance: served in my ale asylum chalice, rich garnet-mahogany body, active carbonation that triggers a rush of foamy tan head with no lace

smell: rich malts, smooth bourbon, creamy caramel, dark fruits, brown sugar

taste: bourbon, oak, vanilla, lots of wonderful toffee, creamy caramel, dried dark fruits. This is a lovely beer - if not for the price tag, would certainly be worthy of an additional purchase. CW BB Barleywine makes for a strong alternative.

mouthfeel: rich, full bodied, perfect alcohol warming sensation

drinkability: good

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Photo of KAP1356
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a really cool looking cork and caged 500 ml dated 2009 into a Weyerbacher tulip...

A - Cork was one of the hardest that I have ever had to get out of a bottle. Poured a very nice clear dark ruby red/brown color. Reminded me a lot of a rich dark toffee color. A sizeable bubbly eggshell white color head forms and moderatley recedes to a cap of the same color.

S - Wow. Smells very rich and inviting. Lots of dark toffee, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla and bourbon. One of the most borubon forward noses I have ever experienced; cask like and a nice wood note. Extremely nice.

T - Sweet Mother of Mary. Awesome, awesome flavors here, and that was just the first sip. Sweet caramel, brown sugar, toffee and molasses. At the same time the bourbon is so prominent it really reminds me of sipping a sweet bourbon. There are some fruit like flavors that come out as well which are really quite nice; cherry and raisins being the most significant standouts.

M - Medium bodied beer with a moderate carbonation. I cant get over how despite the heavy flavors, there is a light feeling on the palate; much like a fine bourbon. There is obviously a warming heat to this one; and at 13.16% its to be expected. Alcohol really compliments everything else going on.

D - While I don't appreciate the $26 i paid for this bottle, this beer is...WINNING! The first barrel aged beer that was so reminiscent of the liquor that was previously in the barrel. For a bourbon lover, this was absolutely epic. Extremely enjoyable and I can't wait to have this again...just not paying the price.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.9/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a lovely ruby red clear brew, with a one finger head that dissipated very quickly. No doubt due to the high alcohol content, I am sure.

Aroma was initially full of dark fruits, Red wine, bourbon, oak, and soy sauce followed. Ordinarily I would have been surprised by the latter, but after reading "Tasting Beer" by Randy Mosher, I know more about the development of umami in aged beers. Interesting to finally experience one and know what I was detecting.

Taste was rich musty malt at first. Sweet caramel and toffee followed, along with tannins, bourbon, and a definite oak flavor. Hints of soy sauce were there, but the sweetness moderated them. Flavor profile was quite complex.

Mouthfeel was somewhat smooth and syrupy, a bit thick. Not surprising for a beer with this pedigree, it coated the tongue with flavor.

Drinkability has to take a slight hit, mainly for the ABV and price. I spent $21.99 for this bottle, and although I consider it money well spent, there are enough expensive brews out there that I wouldn't buy another.

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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 RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This is a dirty brown in color with light orange highlights and a head that can't possibly keep up with the booze factor of this ale.

Smell - There's a huge cask nose here that is extremely woody. This is more like a fine aged bourbon than a beer. The whisky-like booze is prominent.

Taste - This really is like sipping bourbon. The rich American oak permeates the entire flavor profile and there is a musty aspect of this booze that reflects long cellaring. The malt is straight Kentucky bourbon and there's a rich cherry condition that begs for attention.

Mouthfeel - This is medium-bodied with a big alcohol presence that is somehow inviting.

Drinkability - I felt like a king sipping this ale. It is so well done and so incredible that you forget how hard it is.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jeremy (JAXSON) for this one. Poured from a ceramic 375ml corked and caged bottle into a Darkness snifter. This is the new 2009 release.

A: Cork is near impossible to get out and robs me of my manhood as I struggle with it. Standard pour yields a .5 finger coarse, slightly grainy light caramel head with moderate retention. Beer is an attractive, clear dark amber. Lacing is spotty and with no cling. Great legs though. An attractive brew overall but nothing over-the-top.

S: Nose reminds me why I loved barrel-aged beer so much. Subtle notes of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, and sweet booze. Super appetizing and makes me salivate a little. Very rich.

T: Opens sweet caramel apple, brown sugar, molasses, and toffee. Dates and figs come in towards the middle and serve to sweeten an already candy-like brew. Vanilla notes linger in the background with the bourbon barrel-aging providing a bit of spice. Flavors integrate extremely dry. End is brown sugar and caramel with a syrupy, maple finish and a sweet light caramel aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Silky and smooth in the mouth but the bubbles make this seem thinner than it really is. Slightly abrasive going down. Heat is present but subtle. Finish is slightly dry and short with a lingering aftertaste. Could be a bit flatter but impressive overall, especially considering the high abv.

D: Can't believe I'm saying this but this beer is worth its ridiculous price tag. Barrel-aging is very subtle hear and well done so it doesn't crush the complexities present, but rather serves to enhance them. Worth picking up to see how it'll evolve and perhaps get better with time.

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Photo of rpstevens
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a New Belgium goblet. The beer pours a nice dark mahogany with ruby edges and a frothy white head that quickly fades to a tight ring, leaving almost no lacing behind.

The smell is very nice. Toffee, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla and leather. The bourbon and oak are strong, but not too boozy.

The taste is just as good as the smell. Toffee, vanilla and brown sugar are sweet and strong, but they are nicely balanced by the oak and bourbon. There are slight hints of dark fruits, mostly raisins, that accents all the other flavors nicely.

The beer is well carbonated, has a nice full mouthfeel and the alcohol heat compliments the flavors nicely. This is insanely drinkable for 13% abv.

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.71/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I brought this $23.00 bottle of beer home with me from a recent trip out to Southern California. For the price I paid, I'm expecting something pretty special.

A - All 16.9 ounces poured into the depths of a 36 ounce snifter. It has a light, airy, rather quick-lived, medium tan colored head that started out around 1.5 inches tall. It stalled as it began revealing the body at the surface. The color of the brew is a deep purple nearing bold brown. It does allow a bit of light through which aids in some of the different hues showing up. This is decent looker despite the fast paced and airy head.

S - Plum, alcohol, molasses, Worcestershire, banana bread, brown sugar, and a hint of bubble gum. The aroma is bold and doesn't leave much for assumption. The scent says if you're going to drink this, be ready.

T - The flavors are direct descendants of the aromas this brew offers. Pungent plum flavors, molasses, raisins, and hint of Worcestershire.

M - Certainly warming, this is to be expected with the ABV surpassing the 13% mark. There's also lightness to the feel that makes as if it's simply evaporating away right in my mouth and throat. It leaves a trace of stick along my lips and tongue too. Very nice feel.

~ The weightlessness of this brew makes for a very drinkable beer despite the huge ABV. While it is certainly that of the sipping realm, it goes down easily and without any coarseness. This is definitely a beer I will recommend to a friend. In fact, I brought one home for a friend. He has a birthday coming up, and this is his gift. We'll see if he reads this, if he does, no biggy, he'll still be pleased because the gift is not in the surprise with this beer; the gift is in the bottle. I say it's worth the price tag.

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Photo of djmichaelk
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very pretty 500ml corked & caged bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a rich, translucent brown, almost like maple syrup. I managed a finger or so of head, with very little retention or lacing, which is not surprising given the abv.

S - Plenty of bourbon to go around here, but not so much that it comes across as boozy. Brown sugar and toffee, some vanilla, and a slight nuttiness. Excellent.

T - Vanilla wafer, almond, toffee, and bourbon immediately jump out at me. The bourbon is exceptionally well-integrated, at once both obvious and subtle. I was going to mention peanut brittle but I've seen creme brulee in some other reviews, and that sums this up perfectly. Awesome tasting brew.

M - Great carbonation, with a rich, creamy feel. While it's a very strong beer, at over 13%, there's little to no burn.

D - It's always tough for me to rate a beer this strong highly in the drinkability category, but this one deserves it. I could go on drinking this until I fall over. And then drink some more from a sippy cup. The only problem is...

O - ...is the price. This is a phenomenal beer, and I'd love to have more of it. But at the price, I doubt I'll buy more than another one or two. Even at the lowest price that I've seen of $22, it's hard to swallow. Then again it's probably the closest I'll get to the brandy version from a few years ago, so I might grab a few more.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.07/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Old Stock Cellar Reserve, bottle bought at New Beer Distributors in Manhattan for $25.00. Beautiful design!

Caveat: regular Old Stock is one of my favorite beers of all time.

"Aged for 18 months in oak Bourbon barrels"

Appearance: Served in a Sierra snifter, it pours very smooth but vigorous, with a heavily carbonated head that dissipates quickly, leaving some bubbles and a white rim around the glass. Color is dark-brown, mahogany, very opaque.

Smell: Very nutty, candied walnuts, cream sherry aromas, burnt sugars, caramel, creme brulee, booze. Vanilla and bourbon, but the bourbon here is very subtle, unlike most barrel-aged beers where the bourbon is just all over and crazy.

Taste: Follows nose, but not as spectacular. A little thin. More caramel/toffee, vanilla, some wood overtones. Nice splash of bourbon at the end, spice and dryness. Burnin' booze as it warms up! Tastes like those "Cuba Libre" (rum-and-coke) candies we got as kids in Spain.

Mouthfeel: As with taste, thin. Very thin! Low body, medium flavor, medium carbonation. Burnin' hot, lingers around, burns the esophagus. Slightly chewy. Disappointing feel overall.

Drinkability: Superb! Oh my, hard to tell this is 13.16%. I pounded this thing like nothing else. Very smooth. It is funny because this beer disappointed me a lot but at the same time, and because of it, I wanted more. I would have loved to have a second bottle.

But it was not up to expectations and price, though, and I will take regular Old Stock anytime over this.

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Photo of 05Harley
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage, corked and caged

Purchased through Westlakeview Liquor's, Chicago, Illinois

Price - 24.99/bottle

Appearance: Pours ruby red with a 1 inch soda pop head that fades fast. No legs to speak of. In fact in a matter of minutes there's no sign of any bubbles ever being present. Upon close inspection one can see tiny bubbles streaming from the bottom of the glass and burst at the surface.

Smell: Pop the cork and BAM! Big hit of chocolate and bourbon immediately hits the nose followed by caramel and wood. This beer's aroma screams "enjoy me"!

Taste: Starts out sweet and quickly reveals the complex character it truely is. vanilla, raisins, caramel, ripe fruit and a touch of brown sugar. A gentle taste of bourbon rounds it out.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a medium to syrupy feel. No carbonation but it suits this one. A pleasent burn going down with a nice warming sensation. My taste buds just keep begging for more.

Drinkability: Delicious and well done. A beer I would shoot pool with in a bar on a Friday night. I would definitely not hesitate to finish a 750ml if it was offered. And probably stupid enough to try a second. My only complaint is the price and size...

Enjoyed another bottle of this the summer of 2014 with my son Bryan along with Firestone Walker 14, Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Bourban County Stout and this one blew his mind.

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Photo of Brent
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As an initial note, if style points were an option for the bottle, this would get an A+. It calls to mind a vintage port bottle that you would find on a pirate ship (or at least what I would envision one to look like, never actually having been aboard such a ship, myself). But, I digress.

And, to digress a bit more before actually getting around to the review, this beer caused me to reflect on the whole bourbon barrel aging trend that has grown exponentially over the last few years. When the first examples hit the market they were viewed more as a novelty and, for the most part, were pretty heavy-handed. Most had one primary flavor - bourbon - like having a boilermaker. A few less than satisfactory experiences caused me to think that this was just a passing fad.

Had I sampled this beer back then, I would have been blown away. It is testament to how far the level of quality overall has grown in this style so that it now takes a great beer to really stand out from the ever-growing crowd of bourbon barrel aged beers.

Now, at last, to the beer. Smooth, well rounded and mellow, with abundant brown sugar and caramel notes, but not overly sweet. Bourbon note is modest and clean. No boozyness despite the high alchol level, and, while a sipper, surpisingly drinkable.

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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 heysuz
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Intro: 16.9 oz. poured into large snifter glasses.

Appearance: Dark rich mahogany color with a medium thick brown head and lacing that disappears quickly.

Smell: Pronounced bourbon smell with hints of toffee and vanilla. Pretty complex layered aroma. Very enticing. Given the hype of the high price point, the smell makes you eager to taste.

Taste: Malty with toffee notes and slight bittersweet chocolate. The strongest influence is the bourbon flavor but surprisingly no real alcohol taste, very crisp and clean. Definitely think this is the best attribute of the beer although it has an outstanding aroma too.

Mouthfeel: Clean strong flavor without an aftertaste that has a smooth almost creamy feel.

Drink: Even though it has a strong bourbon tone it is very easy to drink because of its clean and crisp flavor. I could easily drink a couple more.

Conclusion: Pricy but very enjoyable. While trying not to justify the cost, it is very clean, rich, dessert type ale rather than a football session chug-a-lug beer. Everyone should try it.

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Photo of ratedz
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle @ $25/bottle. 2009 vintage.

Pours a hazy dark brown with thin off-white colored head. The head had faded to nothing by the time I walked from one room to another and set it down. Some bubbles are visible climbing up the side of the glass.

The nose is full of sweet caramel, vanilla some raisins, and a strong, but not overwhelming, hint of bourbon.

The taste starts off with some sweetness, vanilla and toffee, before some raisin flavor comes into play. I'm typically not a huge fan of a lot of raisin flavor, but it blends in with the beer very well and is not off putting at all. The bourbon flavor/heat comes in at the tail end and remains for a little while after the finish. A very complex, yet amazing, tasting beer.

Medium body and a slightly above average amount of carbonation. Smooth and slick.

This is crazy drinkable for a 13% beer. There is so much complexity to this beer that it hides the alcohol very well. There has been a lot of discussion on the price tag of this beer, but I definitely enjoyed it and am glad I was able to try it.

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Photo of Stunner97
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance- dark brown to dark copper with rapid fast carbonation off the first pour, head quickly fades,

Smell- very sweet malty nose, loads of vanilla and oak with slight touch of bourbon, raisins and sweetness present very strong on nose, enticing smell

Taste- wow really unique flavor on this beer really like nothing I have ever tasted before, just really rich and sweet malty ale, tons of vanilla and caramel being pull in off the oak, bourbon flavor is there but really more of the vanilla and sweetness really pushing through from the oak, very enjoyable long malty finish, just extremely complex with so much going on, reminds me in some ways of a fine 10 plus year tawny port just so rich and delicious

Mouthfeel- medium bodied with light carbonation after its original opening, good smooth mouthfeel

Drinkability- Really scary drinkable, the alcohol is just so well hidden and integrated into this beer, its really like I said an extremely unique beer that is like none other I have ever had before, really reminds me of a fine port or desert wine in alot of ways, a master piece of a beer to me that actually lived up to the high price, one to search out for sure,

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Photo of John_M
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Actually brought this back from my recent trip out to Ft. Bragg. Turns out I needn't have bothered, as the beer seems to be readily available in the DC and Baltimore areas. Oh well, at least it was a bit cheaper at the brewpub.

The beer pours a fairly dark amber color with pretty good head retention and fair lacing. On the nose I get a huge blast of vanilla, brown sugar, prunes and bourbon, with some underlying dry sherry as well. The flavor profile tends to replicate the nose pretty closely in this rich and intensely flavored beer. Mouthfeel is full with a long, sweet finish, though there's enough underlying hoppy bitterness to buoy the sweetness. As a result, drinkability isnt' too bad in this 13% abv. beer, as it's not at all cloying or heavy on the palate. Still, a little bit of this goes a long way, and I was very glad I had two friends to help me with my 500 ml. bottle.

A very nice beer from North Coast, though I'm not sure the $20 plus price tag is justified. Would have to think twice before buying another bottle of this.

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Photo of ChrisPro
4.64/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

500 mL bottle, 2009 batch.

After a long fight with the cork, managed to pop the top

A - Pours a clear dark ruby with some light tan bubbly head. Managed to get a finger's worth, but it dissipated quickly.

S - Bourbon definitely hits the nose, but not in an overpowering way. Some nice toffee aromas, along with caramel and big fig. This is a great complex nose

T - Very sweet rich caramel, then a nice balance of bitterness to just barely cut the sweetness. The bourbon lingers on the finish for a while leaving great vanilla.

M - Very sharp carbonation on the tongue. Actually feels thinner than regular old stock and I'd say medium body. A nice buttery slickness as well.

D - Hands down one of the best bourbon aged beers I've had. So well balanced and sickenly drinkable. This is incredibly drinkable and hard to not just gulp it down.

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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.

**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.

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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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