Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) | North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels)Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels)
1,089 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 1,089 |  Reviews: 365
Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Giggy
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of VictorsValiant
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jrenihan
4.16/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage. Nose is nice, though bourbon heavy. Some molasses and leather beneath. Flavour is similar, sweet bourbon with oak, caramel and vanilla. A decent amount of alcohol heat, though not that much considering the abv. Very old, though the bourbon overtakes any "old ale" flavour. It may as well be a stout, though with more caramel.

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Photo of ccg
4.21/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage, opened 2017-03-10 after a year or so in the cellar.

It pours dark brown but not opaque. A surprisingly fizzy head dissipates in a matter of seconds. It does briefly show some lacing before the head completely disappears. After a couple minutes, it looks completely flat.

For an Old Ale, the smell is excellent. There is tons of malty caramel and brown sugar and some yeastiness. It also has a strong backbone of oak. I think that the bourbon characteristics blend so well with the sweet malty caramel of the Old Stock Ale base that the oak from the bourbon barrel comes across as a separate note.

The flavor is similarly dominated by malty caramel, oak, vanilla, and bourbon. To me, it comes across as just a bit cloying. The flavor has a bit of a overly sweet, syrupy characteristic that's not quite as pleasing as the smell. Nevertheless, it's still a sweet, delicious, bourbon and caramel treat.

The mouthfeel is the one place where this beer falls short. It feels very thin, especially for something that tastes so syrupy and that has a 14% ABV.

Overall, it's quite a nice beer and an interesting twist on the base Old Stock Ale. However, at ~$25 for a 500ml bottle that comes across as thin and a bit cloying, I think the base Old Stock Ale is still the way to go. You get the same characteristics with less overpowering sweetness and alcohol and at a much more reasonable price. It's a great beer that's worth trying once, but probably only once.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.48/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle - 500ml corked and caged - poured into a snifter

muddy dark brown in color, small white head that eventually fades. heavenly aroma of rich bourbon - boozy vanilla, toffee, raisin, fig. taste is similar flavors - extremely bold yet drinkable. sticky mouthfeel, coats the tongue.

tasting great at 3-4 years old.

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This is the 2013 vintage--consumed in early 2017. From the caged 500 mL bottle.

Pours a very cloudy, in fact rather murky, brown. Very little head that quickly dissipates. Viscous, with persistent sticky lacing throughout.

The age has tamed the bourbon barrel aroma, but it is very present. The aroma is very sweet, and the base beer old ale aroma is not overwhelmed by the vanilla and whiskey notes. Molasses and burnt sugar put their fingerprints all over this.

The flavor of the base brew comes through quite well, doubtless because of the aging, which has tamed the "burn" that barrel-aged offerings of this and other styles might otherwise impart. As a result, the bourbon/vanilla provides a pleasing sweetness that matches well with the innate sweetness of an old ale. However, this borders on cloying on the "sweetness" end of the spectrum.

The mouthfeel is nearly sticky and fairly heavy--which is somewhat surprising given that bourbon-barrel aging will often "thin" and "burn" the base. The "lean" provided by the 13% ABV and potent and lasting carbonation are welcome--otherwise this brew would simply be too sticky and heavy.

Overall, this is a well-done, if somewhat overpriced, barrel-aged old ale. It's just a little too sweet and cloying. Given the choice between this and the "base" North Coast old ale (Old Stock Ale), I would probably choose the base brew instead.

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Photo of CaptainHate
4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this on tap at burger in Santa Cruz. Have been a big fan of aging regular Old Stock and having one around New Years. This was a 2014 vintage and had a very rich dark color to it with the small head dissipating over the gradual sipping of this. Lots of bourbon and molasses in the smell. The bourbon, while complimentary to the taste, was just a wee bit too overpowering for me to give this a perfect score. But make no doubt about it; this is an outstanding beer and is very much worth seeking out.

[edit] Subsequently had a bottled 2013 and the extra year plus diminished the bourbon to a more appropriate level. According to the people in the beverage place, North Coast chose to age them on site and release them now; I don't know if that was all or only part of the complete stock. The price was higher than I prefer to pay but due to the positive earlier experience I took the plunge willingly.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.26/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy rust colored. Finger width foamy head. Mild retention and decent lacing. Mild chocolate and raspberry aroma with a lot of molasses. Strong alcohol. Big alcohol flavor with molasses and mild raspberry. Heavy bodied with moderate carbonation. Very good but cannot drink a lot.

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Photo of Zythophile
4.1/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle Date: 2013 edition
Palate Contaminants: none

Appearance is a murky, toffee brown.

The smell is moderately rich. It has lots of molasses, and overall is like a Tootsie Roll. Sarsaparilla, too. There's more sweet wood as it warms up.

The taste is not as sweet, but the flavors from the nose are still present. However, the wood is very present up front. There's some heat in this, too, both the straight-up capsicum and the alcohol burn. Sweet bourbon grain is absolutely in the mix, as well. It's a sipper.

The feel is the weakest part, mostly because of the alcohol burn. It's slightly thin for the type, and the carbonation is prickly. I really would have thought that the years in the barrel (and one in the cellar) would mellow it out, but that's not the case for my bottle.

 788 characters

Photo of delgotit99
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of pathman
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1/14/17 bottle 2013 vintage

27 characters

Photo of JackRWatkins
4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a near opaque, muddy brown color, with no real head to speak of and almost no apparent carbonation, alcohol clings to the glass
S: Holy shit that is a lot of bourbon on the nose, notes of caramel and wood, very nice but quite dominating, there is a touch of a cheese-like pungency there but I suspect that's just the alcohol
T: bourbon, alcohol, caramel and some dark fruit, and butterscotch (maybe) with hints of coffee quite hot as a beer more so than stronger beers that I have had, quite sticky and a tad bitter, (though that could just be the astringency of the alcohol), the bourbon and caramel/butterscotch sweetness are definitely the dominating notes here
M: not nearly as sticky as you would think, but then again the mouthfeel is the only thing about this beer that is not heavy as hell
O: Holy shit this beer is heavy, I've had heavier beer that didn't feel this heavy, it's quite hot too. I don't mind boozy beer, but they don't do much to mask it and I think they might could do a little bit more. That being said, it is very good and worth a drink, bit I feel like it's missing something, not quite sure what. It is very good though, but a bit over priced.

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Photo of snowmageddon
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jvillefan
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jkhobbs99
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Treyliff
4.46/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage
500ml cork & cage bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep ruby-amber color with a thin foamy off-white head that has short retention

S- aroma opens with sweet toffee, caramel & molasses with undertones of chocolate and wood. Hints of rum-raisin, brandy & leather.

T- sweet vanilla whipping cream opens up front with toffee and brown sugar. Notes of fig and date give a fruit cake-like flavor, along with rum-like notes due to the sweetness interplaying with the barrel. The finish gives notes of cherry and bourbon, with lingers of brown sugar & toffee

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that continues into a slightly warming finish, abv hidden well, drinks nowhere near 14.1%

O- a few years of age has produced a mellow flavorful beer that his intermingled with the barrel very well

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Photo of AdamSteve
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of efrankmcguire
4.48/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MikeBogert53
4.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of RobinLee
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Jadjunk
4.01/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Old Stock Cellar Reserve is a small batch, limited release that has been aged in oak bourbon barrels. The aging process gives this world-class beer an added layer of complexity. A memorable drink that should be enjoyed as a completely unique offering." Brewed in the style of an Old Ale, aged in bourbon barrels, available in 500ml. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 500 ml. bottle to a tulip glass.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp, fizzy head of a medium tan color over a deep cherry cola body with moderate carbonation. Retention is below average and lacing is light and patchy. 3.5

(Smell) Rich, caramelized malts and bread malts with undertones of dark fruit, raisins and molasses, teamed with the complexity of bourbon undertones, vanilla and toasted oak tannins, a smooth graininess and delicate alcohol. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) Rich, toasted caramel bread and dark fruit viscosity, molasses and undertones of bourbon grain. Rich, viscous and deceptively drinkable. 4.25

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, resinous and softly chewy, medium dry. Carbonation is modest, generating a medium frothiness and a modestly crisp finish. Body is medium/heavy for the style, short of heavy overall. Balance is nearly even viscous sweet to grain alcohol. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 4

(Overall) Very solid, rich bodied Old Ale with a very enjoyable impact of bourbon. 20 bucks is a bit steep but the overall impressions were positive; 2009 in particular was a solid vintage of this ale and I wouldn't mind seeking it out other vintages. 4

North Coast Brewing Co.'s
Old Stock Ale 2009: Cellar Reserve

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Photo of BrewskiBrandon
4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mongrel
4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

 561 characters

Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.41 out of 5 with 1,089 ratings
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