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: 1,079
Photo of Mongrel
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smell is out of bounds - like bourbon cherry pie, with brown sugar and spice really rounding out the aroma.

Palate has plenty of that bourbon/cherry profile, plus distinct notes of grapes, raisins, dates, brown sugar, jam, pepper... the list goes on. There's a sturdy spiced bread type of malt backbone holding things together. Bourbon is prominent but mellow - not hot. Really refined and nuanced all around.

Feels almost like a good Belgian quad, just slightly less carbonated. A little wheaty, boozy and sweet, but ultimately finishes really long and dry.

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

Just an old school solid enjoyable brew. Of course easy to come by, and often times overlooked, glad I got to try it, albeit wish I had waited for warmer weather.

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Photo of lbloom
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage, drunk in July 2016. Purchased from the brewery store, drunk out of a tulip glass.

Wow. I've been privileged enough to have some fantastic beers in my lifetime. This might be the most unique. And possibly one of the best. A truly brilliant beer. A beer that doesn't get much buzz, but a true whale worthy of finding and conquering.

A: Dark brown. Not much carbonation or head. Maybe a half inch of soapy tan head dissipates after 10-15 seconds. No lacing. Reminds me a bit of a strong ale. Looks mysterious. Not an especially pretty beer, but you can tell by looking at it that it means business.

S: An extremely complex bouquet of preserved fruit and malt. Figs, raisins, plums, brown sugar, molasses, sticky malts, spices, vanilla, wood, bourbon. Smells I associate with fireplaces and snowfall. Somehow nostalgic and familiar, but definitely unlike any other beer I've ever experienced.

T: Wow. Incredible. So complex. An assault of dark fruit, holiday spices, burnt sugar, and barrel. Booze hits quickly, but it is pretty subdued, just giving heat and warmth to the whole mix. This is a beer that makes me want to cuddle up around the fire with a blanket over my legs. Hard not to wax poetic about this one. Transportive. This is truly a beautiful taste. Sweet without being overpowering. Overwhelming complexity. Soft barrel notes warm and smooth out the beer. This tastes soothing and beautiful.

M: Rich and heavy. Carbonation isn't overwhelming, but is definitely present. Reminds me a great deal of the feel of strong ales. Works well with the taste. Not sticky, but definitely a full bodied beer.

O: Beyond complex. Drinking this is an experience. It reminds me of my youth, but in a way I can't quite describe. Warm nights by the fire, eating dinner around the table with my family, watching snow fall onto our deck. Sweet and decadent without being syrupy or overpowering sweet. A beautiful mix of dark fruits, preserved and candied. I will buy this whenever possible. A beer for special occasions. Rare and beautiful. I can't emphasize enough how spectacular this is.

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

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

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Photo of 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 dazedman
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle 2013.
So good
Like putting your nose in a glass of fresh pecan pie
The taste has hints of toffee and caramel
Alcohol hits but fades fast
Really a great beer. I'll buy another bottle if I can find it.
Wonder what 5 or maybe 10 years would do to it!

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Photo of Trevor11
4.9/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This Old Ale tastes very much like a wine or a barleywine. However, the bourbon characteristics come through immensely. I had the 2013 vintage a week ago and it truly blew me away. It doesn't really even taste like a beer. Lots of molasses, dried fruit, smells and tastes of bourbon, thin body but strong kick at 14.1% abv

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

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

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Photo of Abe_Froman
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage poured in 2016.

Pours dark raisin brown. when held up to the light it becomes a hazy dark amber.

A warm alcohol nose with hints of dark fruits, cherries and raisins.

Hits the tongue with a bit of thickness and sweet. Cherries and raisin flavors fill the mouth with hints of oak. Afterwards there is a slight bourbon burn with hints of Carmel and vanilla. A warm sweet bourbon flavor with fruit notes lingers on the tongue.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.01/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 vintage. Pretty boozy with strong alcohol noticeable. For my taste not well-balanced with bourbon taste and bourbon dominated. I acquired this in a trade but I wouldn't go out of my way to purchase this with the price point.

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

This one is the 2013 vintage. The smell is all bourbon and barrel. Taste is a bit thin. However, the taste is not nearly as strong as the nose would indicate. This has an astringent bourbon warming, then dissipates immediately to an almost cola finish. Good stuff.

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Photo of buckeye1275
4.99/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 Vintage
It is expensive compared to regular Old Stock? Yes. Is it worth it? Hell yes! I loved this beer. It is the perfect blend of the base Old Stock and that bourbon-barrel flavors that I really love. The aroma of bourbon and dates followed by the rich velvety, smoothness that comes with good barrel-aged beers and then a finish of the sweet caramel I love from Old Stock. If I can still find it, I will definitely buy a few more.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

poured out of a 500 ml bottle in to a mug.
Nice cola body and mocha head that dissipates quickly
nice carbonation for such a heavy beer.
overall. really nice.. If you like a beer that tastes as advertised, this is it. I would drink again

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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 Chris_Huston
3.18/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

After a number of BA beers, I've finally realized it's not my thing, and it's practically impossible for me to be objective about it, but I do my best at it. In the better BA beers, you still get a good taste of the base brew, and that's where this one falls short(er) for me. The base beer is a beautiful caramel, not-too-sweet ale that bears many revisits, but I get virtually none of it here. It's overtaken by the barrel. If you like a bigger barrel presence in your BAs, this is a fair choice, but to my taste it takes over too much.

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Photo of ajm5108
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours like a cola, both in color & in the fact that it has a persistent carbonation but no head. Aroma is outstanding, full of decadent toffee, caramel and vanilla. Lots of sweet malt aroma and it compliments the bourbon notes exceptionally, with very little "booze" on the nose. A little more heat & alchohol on the tongue, but it is blended and balanced well with notes of toasted butternut toffee, more caramel malt and some delicate oak. Mouthfeel is thick & coating but not sticky. Personally I think old ales & bourbon compliment each other phenomenonally (more so than the ubiquitous stouts cluttering shelves) and this is one of the very best.m

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

2013 Vintage poured into tulip glass. It pours a cola brown with a one-finger, ecru-colored head and lacing. The smell is decadant: roasted malt, caramel, vanilla, oak, dark fruit, and, of course, the bourbon. The taste really follows the nose: caramel, toffee, oak, raisin, and bourbon. There is very little hop presence. For having an ABV of over 13%, this ale is smooth as silk but definitely a sipper. It's medium-bodied, creamy, with moderate carbonation. It really drinks like a Barleywine. Overall, it is truly an outstanding Old Ale that deserves its world-class rating. I've been meaning to try this for quite awhile and I am happy to have finally done so.

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

Bottle from 2013 I had been looking forward to drinking this for a while
Red-brown translucence brief tan head no lacing
Smell of vanilla and wood
Taste malt, alcohol, bourbon and caramel, bit of a whiskey sting on the back of the mouth
Maybe a bit thin on the mouth
Quire good

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Photo of fx20736
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 Vintage. Served cool in a Duvel tulip.

Look: deep garnet, virtually no head or lacing

Smell: oak, sherry, red plums

Taste: caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, some oak

Feel: Medium carbonation helps with the sweetness

Overall: decent but I think I like the non BA version better

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Photo of CoreyC
4.72/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 poured into a snifter

A - light head dissipates completely, but there is a very interesting continuous bubble flow.

S - Awesome sweet smell of candied fruit, maybe apricots.

T - Very smooth with no bite and lighter flavors of the nose, with maybe some raisons.

M - Light, nice.

O - What an awesome smooth sipper.

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Photo of smanson56
4.41/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a dark hazy brown color into my snifter glass. The nose brings forward the barrel aging of this great beer with lots of bourbon in the nose. The taste follows the nose and as a bourbon lover this is one great beer.
Smooth Bourbon and beer it doesn't get much better than this.

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Photo of Houser
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2009 vintage, this beer is awesome. so smooth, lots of caramel sweetness and a nice bit of bourbon to complement the flavors of raisins, plums, again, lots of caramel.

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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 LouZ
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Draft pour of 2013 vintage. Rich copper-like color, maybe a bit orange, with aroma of malt and bourbon but not super strong in this department. Taste matches and delivers a pleasant sweetness from dark fruit, maybe dates or fig. Smooth and balanced feel; medium to full body and quite drinkable. There is some alcohol burn, as expected given the ABV, but this is so smooth and clean that it's not unpleasant. That may be a result of the age. Overall, a great representation of the style and I'll need to find again.

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Photo of Furlinator
4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Toronado San Diego during SDBW 2015 on 11/13/15.
2013 Vintage. 

The taste is dominated by sweet caramel malt. Very little detectable hop presence. This tastes like soft caramel chewy candy squares. Dangerously smooth, even at 14.1%. Unbelievable!

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Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.35 out of 5 based on 1,079 ratings.
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