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:
1,088
Reviews:
365
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
7.82%
 
 
Wants:
277
Gots:
448
For Trade:
39
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Ratings: 1,088 |  Reviews: 365
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Impressive as hell to see what the bourbon barrels do to the ever-tasty Old Stock Ale. More caramel. More vanilla. More chocolate. Smoother taste. ...All add to the tradition and regal character of well aged English Old Ales.

Pourig a deep crimson color with near clarity, the beer portrays a very mystic hue. The familiar part-loose, part-dense bubbles that comprise the head is a direct carryover from the original Old Stock. But the fleeting retetion and low level of lace shows how the barrel changes the beer's appearance. Alcohols and barrel aging degrade the head character just a bit.

Deep and succulent aromas of toffee and molasass also share the stage with vanilla, caramel, and chocolate for a deeply desert-like scent. Enough wine-like character to resemble cognac and enough sweetness to resemble rum, the aromas are dense, robust, and refined.

Flavors closely resemble the aromas but with few exceptions. The sweetness of caramel, molasass, etc... is balanced (and perhaps overshadowed) by a highly attenuated sugary/alcoholic taste that's very good, but not as succulent as the aroma. English fruitiness of figs and dates carry a nutty undertone with mature barley, fruitcake, and chocolate. Rum alcohols made a return with a cherry-like taste and boozy overall flavor. The barrel's bourbon, vanillans, caramel, and tanins all make a posative impact in taste to elevate the natural flavor of Old Stock but to contribute strength and nobility.

Rich and succulent to start, the beer quickly ushers in alcoholic warmth that further sweetens the beer before turning warm, and then slightly boozy. Medium early creaminess is quick-lived and develops quickly to heat and semi-sweet dryness in finish.

The Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Stock definately carries a masculine bourbon, caramel, vanill, chocolate character that is very shy in the original version. Somewhat of a caramel and chocolatey port or brandy, this is definately a beer for discriminating palates.

 1,975 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.19/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

1 pint .9 fl oz/16.9 fl oz brown glass bottle coated in ceramic with hood-and-wire cap over a cork served into an EKU 28 snifter at me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof; I tried the regular version and was rather impressed. This is the 2009 cellar reserve.

A: Pours a one finger head of slight cream, good thickness, and great retention (~ three minutes maybe) for the ABV. Colour is a solid brown-black. It's generally appealing, but isn't particularly unique or special.

Sm: Bourbon, caramel, oak (up front primarily), almost a peat-like note, and cream. The main note is raisins, which doesn't work as well as it should. The oak resurges right at the finish, providing a sort of musty wood note that is more pleasant than it sounds. A moderate to strong aroma.

T: A nice little delicate blend of oak, light bourbon, some soda on the climax (which is unexpected), a hint of peat, light caramelized malts, and layered wood/oak undertones. The flavours of the regular old stock are but a shadow here, which seems to be to its detriment. The oaky complexity is nice, but the aging vessel tones seem to drown out the complex flavours that made me like the original so much. Some cream is present on the open. Sadly, some alcohol does come through in the early second act, which subtly affects the balance negatively. It remains well-balanced, but the build is far from ideal. I imagined the barrel-aged version of Old Stock would taste considerably better than this.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but coarse in the third act. It's not at all tailored to the flavours, but does manage to complement them in a general fashion. It doesn't get in the way, but it isn't helping all that much either.

Dr: For the high ABV, it's quite drinkable. But I don't know that it's at all an improvement upon the Old Stock ale, which in the Orange County store I purchased these beers at was only $3.99 compared to this version's hefty $22.95 price tag. I don't notice any benefits of aging. While overall it's an enjoyable beer, unfortunately it pales in comparison to the original. Its high price point and disappointing quality should turn off most beer fanatics. I'm regretful I took the plunge for this one, but I enjoyed it for what it was.

 2,289 characters

Photo of oline73
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Unibroue goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber with hints of red when the light hits it. There is a one finger head and the carbonation reminds me of soda. As the head fades, it leaves a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Simply amazing! Smells like vanilla and caramel with hints of dark fruit. I can definitely pick up the bourbon. Quite sweet, but still very balanced.

Taste: A lot like the smell, but not quite as smooth. A strong bourbon presence along with some caramel, vanilla, and dark fruit notes. The finish is quite hot. This beer is delicious.

Mouthfeel: This is the only place this beer falls down for me. Too thin and the carbonation is too high given the taste. The finish is warm and a bit dry.

Overall: The taste and smell of this beer are amazing, but the mouthfeel really took away from the beer. I really liked this beer, but given the price I don't know that'd I'd pick up another.

 944 characters

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

Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of largadeer
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 edition:

Tawny in color, dense and oily, this beer appears to have a bit more carbonation than the brandy barrel version, though the head still recedes quickly. The nose is surprisingly hot despite having several years of age on it, but beneath the heat there's a lot of complexity; turbinado sugar, leather, spicy oak and boozy, caramelly bourbon. Alcohol and rich caramel hit the palate first, but it dries up a bit, allowing leather, tobacco, vanilla and fruit to come to the forefront before finishing with a resurgence of heat, tannins and caramel. Delicious stuff, though I prefer the brandy barrel version.

2009:

Dark brown, perfectly clear. Has a very pristine, filtered appearance. Pours with two fingers of fleeting tan head. Mellower than the '05, but less complex. Heavy on the oak and bourbon, feels a bit refined, but still quite good. This doesn't touch the 2005 Brandy Barrel Old Stock, but it's a good beer all the same. Probably more of an A- beer; my scores reflect the original 2005 bottling.

 1,020 characters

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

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

500 ml bottle into snifter; 2013 vintage, bottled in early 2015. Pours fairly cloudy deep reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of huge raisin, plum, fig, date, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, coconut, toasted oak, bourbon, light leather, and oak/toasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with awesome balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, date, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, coconut, toasted oak, bourbon, light leather, and oak/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, date, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, coconut, toasted oak, bourbon, light leather, and oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Incredible complexity, robustness, and and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; with a great malt/oak spice balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and lightly slick/sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light-moderate warmth lingering after the finish. Minimal booziness overall in aromas and flavors. Overall this is an absolutely incredible barrel aged old ale style. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the huge ABV. An insanely enjoyable and delicious offering.

 1,729 characters

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

Pours no head. Color is a murky copper.

Aroma: Warming bourbon, vanilla, caramel. Creamy. All malt. Nice oak. Good -bals.

Taste: The taste reminds me of the Bruery's -bal aged beers, which I think are awesome. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, and chocolate. All malty goodness. Very warming.

Mouthfeel: Warming and smooth. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends warming and dry.

Overall, this was a really nice old ale. Very Bruery0like. Good -bals. I like the bourbon flavors a lot. Solid. I definitely dark lorded this bottle.

 548 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Split with Amyliz4. Served in a Hill Farmstead glass. 2009 Vintage.

I'll start off by saying that this is the best off-the-shelf beer I have had in a long, long time.

Pours a fairly-deep brown color. Head is extraordinarily weird. It fizzes up like crazy at first and then immediately dies down to nothing. Very reminiscent of cola in that way. In color, too, I suppose. The nose leads with a strong aroma of smooth bourbon. Some molasses and brown sugar are in the background, but the focus is definitely the barrel.

Flavor is much more complex and oh so incredibly smooth. Bourbon hits from the start along with some caramel, molasses, and a hint of burnt sugar. Light vanilla there as well. Bourbon dominates. Mouthfeel is medium and beyond smooth. Simply incredible. This was a sipper, for nothing other than pure enjoyment. Huge fan and I hope they do this more often. Also, please release the brandy version again!

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Photo of nickfl
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours with a small head of off-white foam on top of a clear, dark amber-brown body. The head settles rapidly and leaves almost no lace on the glass.

S - A thick, sugary aroma of chocolate, raisins, whiskey, and alcohol.

T - Brown, malty notes of toffee, dark caramel, and unrefined sugar up front. Some fruity notes of raisins, caramel, and almonds come out in the middle with a bit of vanilla. Things finish up with stronger, boozy notes of bourbon, toasted oak, pepper, and a lingering alcoholic warmth the is grounded by moderate bitterness and a subtle note of pine.

M - A moderately thick body, slightly above average carbonation, and a fairly dry finish.

D - Well, this beer certainly wasn't cheap, but it sounded good and now that I finally got around to opening it, I am happy to say that it lives up to my hopes and dreams (more or less). The aroma is quite complex and really shows the benefits of the barrel aging; this beer smells more like strait up bourbon than it does barrel aged beer. In some cases that would be a word of warning (such as the beers that we have all had that just seem like someone poured bourbon in right before it was bottled) but in this case it works magnificently and manages to convey all that is good about bourbon with just a touch of moderating influence from the complex character of the underling beer. The flavor is no less excellent as the fruity notes play with the whiskey and just a touch of the intense, sweaty hop character that I remember from the unaltered base beer. Overall it is a very nice beer, and one of the better uses of whiskey barrels in brewing that I have come across.

 1,643 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was the 2013 vintage Old Stock Cellar!

43 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of billab914
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage poured from a 500ml bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured a dark caramel brown color with a thin tan head mostly sticking to the sides of the glass. A steady stream of carbonation bubbles rises from the bottom of the glass.

The aroma really brings together the bourbon barrel and Old Stock flavors well. I get the bourbon, brown sugar and oak at first but as it warmed more of the caramel and dark fruits of Old Stock started to come out. It really comes together well and has a great range of flavors to it.

The taste also really brings all the flavors together very nicely. Bourbon, brown sugar, oak, dark fruits, caramel all compliment each other perfectly. A little bit of a bitter, balancing hoppiness is in the finish along with some brown sugar and bourbon lingering. It feels very well balanced for the style.

The mouthfeel is is on the heavy side and a little chewy. Carbonation is high for the style and gives it a bit of a silky, bubbly feel. I prefer much lower carbonation in the style, but it didn't detract from it that much.

Overall, it was a great beer. The barrel aging was really well done, it stands out but doesn't completely dominate. The bourbon was very flavorful and smooth and was the perfect compliment to the base beer. It had some great flavors to it and I really enjoyed sipping on it this evening. I'd say it deserves to be mentioned with the best of the style.

 1,413 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of vfgccp
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle, opened in September 2012.

A - Loose, soda-like, khaki head settles quickly into a medium halo leaving trace amounts of lace. Cherry wood body.

S - Bittersweet chocolate, white chocolate, light booze, old wood, raisin, vanilla extract, toffee, butter scotch.

T - Milk chocolate, raisins, plum, soft boozy oak, cherry cordial, toffee, caramel, pumpernickel bread.

M - Full body, incredibly smooth, appropriately low carbonation, and nice staying power.

O - Great age. The integration, complexity, booze, and fruit are spot on.

 542 characters

Photo of atrocity
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Appearance: Pours a clouded, dark brown body with a bubbly beige head.

Smell: Aroma drenched in bourbon with notes of caramel, oak, dark brown sugar, vanilla, fruit, and a puff of smoke.

Taste: Ah, rich caramel with a candylike sweetness you'd find in a dessert-minded liqueur. Macerated dark fruits. Full bourbon flavor with the essential hints of vanilla, wood, and brown sugar. Finishes bourbony with an alcoholic sear of success in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Lush mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A great beer and a fine offspring of the Old Stock Ale, but I gotta say the Brandy Barrel version just barely beats it out.

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Photo of millerbuffoon
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mdaschaf
4.26/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Love the bottle, too bad the price is so high.

A: Pours a dark ruby/brown color with a small off-white head forms, comprised of rather large bubbles, and dissipates rather quickly. Very thin lacing forms, but does not last.

S: Really great bourbon aroma, lots of vanilla and caramel. Slightly sweet with some brown sugar and a hints of wood.

T: Similar to the aroma, brown sugar, vanilla, caramelized sugar, and some molasses. The bourbon comes through very nicely.

M: Medium to full bodied, but not overly thick. Drinks smooth.

O: A very nice beer, not hot or boozy. Like the BBL version much more than the regular version. Too bad the beer is so expensive. Love the cool bottle...but have to assume that it adds to the price..so why bother?

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

Dusky ruby with maraschino cherry highlights when the glass is backlit with weak sunshine. Too bad the khaki colored crown fizzed away to near nothing inside of several minutes. The only thing left is a thin rim of bubbles along the circumference of the laceless snifter. Barrel-aged beer can often look like this, so I won't be too harsh.

The nose is an omen that good things await on the taste buds. Possibly even great things. The beer smells like Jamaican dark rum at least as much as it smells like bourbon whiskey. It features the molasses of the former and the caramelized sugar, vanilla and toasted oak of the latter. The power is unquestioned, but more depth is needed for a bigger score to be considered. Not surprisingly, that depth arrives once the beer loses its slight starting chill.

Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Bourbon Barrel) is the quintessential slow sipper of a high-powered old ale. I now wish that I had reviewed one of the several Old Stock vintages currently in my cellar to see what the barrel aging added. Or possibly subtracted, as that also sometimes happens when beer is aged in liquor barrels.

There's quite a bit of overlap between the two styles, but this could also be considered an English barleywine. It's malt-dominant, is relatively light of body, and the ingredients are all imported from England (Maris Otter malt, Fuggles and East Kent Goldings hops). On second thought, there may be more hoppiness than most British brewers would be comfortable with.

Flavors include dark toffee, dark butterscotch, bourbon-soaked raisins, crushed vanilla beans, a shot of blackstrap molasses and a double shot of tawny port. The beer's vinousness is as wonderful as it is unexpected... and I just got ouzo with that last sip. It's too bad the bottle only contains 375 ml because it's difficult to get one's palate around this much complexity given slightly more than 12 ounces of beer.

I've decided to bump the mouthfeel score up a notch because it improves a little with warming. Even though it's no more than light-medium for the style, there's a hint of oily viscosity on the finish that is, again, reminiscent of an aged port. Once a few minutes of light fizziness have passed, the carbonation is appropriately sedate.

Old Stock Ale Cellar Reserve (Bourbon Barrel) is great beer. Though I much prefer bourbon whiskey to brandy, I'm sure that Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Brandy Barrel) is outstanding as well. The neck label indicates that this offering is part of the 'American Artisan Series'. That's North Coast Brewing in a nutshell: American artisans.

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Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.35 out of 5 based on 1,088 ratings.
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