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: 359 | Ratings: 1,072
Photo of sitarist
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another blind review via the blind bif's. Thanks to Brez07 for this one.

Pours a deep brown with hints of ruby red. Its not opaque, but very little light gets through. There is almost an inch of khaki colored head that falls to a ring. No lacing, it all slides back into the drink. My olfactory receptacles are overwhelmed by bold aromas. Plums, brown sugar, sherry/port, oak, teriyaki, and as it warms I get lots of smooth bourbon. Its barrel aged, but what style? Horehound, teriyaki, port wine, cinnamon, cracker-jacks, toffee, and hints of bourbon are some of the flavors that I detect. Just like an great bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon; this is way out of my league, but highly delicious. The mouthfeel is absolutely perfect! Its body, carbonation, and viscosity are well suited. An outstanding beer. The whole is greater than any one component.

Im pretty sure this is a bourbon barrel aged beer, as for a style Im still at a loss. My guess is a Barrel Aged Dubbel, or Barleywine.

Its a 2009 Old Stock Ale Cellar Reserve aged in bourbon barrels. Wow, a huge want of mine!

Thank you so much Matt.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.41/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer at my rehearsal dinner at Brasserie Beck May 27th 2011.

A: Thin crimson brown look with a small tannish head that dies to a small ring. OK.

S: Very nice bourbon soaked oak infused malt smell. Dark as night with dark fruit tones and some vanilla. Leather, butterscotch, toffee and caramel are all there.

T: Great overall with a lot of the smell: Vanilla, caramel, alcohol heat/complexity like a fine bourbon itself, toffee. Like a huge malty dessert.

M: Not as hot as expected with lots of savory and sweet notes. Plenty of carbonation.

O: Great experience, might be worth the price it had in stores.

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.29/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

North Stock Old Stock Cellar Reserve is heavy, sweet, and boozy.

It poured the color of muddy water, with no head and no lace left behind. The smell and flavor were excellent and complex, with notes of vanilla, bourbon, and wood. The feel was smooth and slick, with nothing significant left behind.

Old Stock Cellar Reserve is an exceptional sipper. It would pair extremely well with an after-dinner cigar. It is heavy with alcohol and loaded with complex flavor. Although leaving no real feel, it does leave a great alcohol warmth. Be sure to share the bottle, and do not drink it alone, in the heat, as I did. It was very nice; however, it packed an alcohol-related whallop.

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Photo of Tilley4
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like the regular Old Stock quite a bit so I'm hoping the barrel aging will make this one even better...

Lots of sweet boozy malts highlighted by a tangy fruitiness like peaches or pears or something of the sort... I would say its almost like an citrusy hop aroma but its different than that... Very prevalent bourbon aromas as well... It's not hard to find the barrel here...

Wallop of sweet bourbon soaked fruitiness with hints of cocoa and spiciness as well... Bourbon is right up front although its more the taste and not so much the booze... Not quite as smooth as I was hoping it would be. Still a bit rough around rhe edges and it seems like this could use another year or so... Its still good, don't get me wrong but I think it could be better...

A good brew for sure but something has me thinking I should have waited til 2012 to open this up...

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Photo of alleykatking
3.42/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 375ml. 2009 bottle.

A- Pours a reddish brown color. No head showed with this beer but there were a couple bubbles and that was it. No lacing at all but this beer does show some legs.

S- Alcohol right off the get go in the aroma. Darker fruits with caramel malts come out but these quickly get masked up by bourbon and light oak. This has a light sherry tone to it as well but mixed with bourbon.

T- Sweet caramel malts in the front of the beer gets a dose of alcohol soaked darker fruits in the front. There is another alcohol like character in the middle which shows almost a sherry flavor mixed with barrel notes. Bourbon soaked fruit gives out more of strong hard alcohol flavor in the ending of the beer.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is light for the style but fitting for this beer. Darker fruits and alcohol are left on the palate. Aftertaste is hot alcohol, bourbon, darker fruits. Flavors were a little underbalanced overall in this beer. No off flavors but the barrel age could have calmed this beer down a little more. High alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This beer needs some aging on it. The ABV is high and it shows in the flavor which I didn't care for. Hard alcohol like tones to this beer should die down with some more time to it. As of now I thought this beer was a little above average but not by much.

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Photo of hopsbreath
4.23/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half liter 2009 bottle split between two Portsmouth snifters and shared with TulipSnifter. Bought at Beaumont Market for $22.

A: Dark murky amber with voluminous white head that diminishes to a wisp ring. No lacing but none were expected. Great legs. 4.5/5

S: Nice smooth and mellow barrel character with minimal heat. No harshness at all with a lot of vanilla. The wood on this is pretty special. Outstanding. 4.5/5

T: Again with the sweet vanilla and limited booze. Peppery alcohol, butterscotch, toffee, and loads of other sweet bourbon characteristics come through on the palate. Damn is this smooth. 4.5/5

M: Moderate body with appropriate carbonation. Sticky finish. Good. 4/5

O: Good stuff but not worth the price tag. It's a solid four, but it you could score a half liter bottle for a better price it would be more appropriate. 4/5

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

Big thanks to Trappistlover for this tasty treat!

I hate to keep giving the beers I've been reviewing such high marks but they, to me, are all top notch beers. With that said her we go!

A: Somewhat murky ruby with a head that dissipates quickly.

S: Yup, that is a damn fine beer. Smells like bourbon and candy. Very sweet smelling but with a bit of bourbon.

T: WOW! This has to be one of the best beers I've tasted. Almost like a barleywine. Kind of reminds me of 09' Gratitude but with less citrus in the mix. Very pungent vanilla taste a bit of oak from the barrel as well. Strong but smooth bourbon and hint of the base beer but not so much.

O: For $25+ a bottle this better be amazing and it is! Worth trying once and buying another to age. Thanks again to Dave for this!

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Photo of KeefD
4.67/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another huge thanks go out to joshuaseresse for sharing this excellent old ale! Review from notes:

Dark brown color, some white bubble pop up, but are short lived. Plenty of malty goodness in the nose, big wafts of bourbon, light chocolate, and toffee. Yep, flavor is right on with the nose - chocolate, molasses, loads of caramel, bourbon, oak, and a good bit of booze, but it's not overdone. Damn, this stuff is delicious. Medium-full body, carbonation is actually higher than I expected for the style, but I dig that. I could easily sip on a couple bottles of this all night long, despite the strength. Fantastic.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle, 2005 Vintage,

A: Pours a murky brown with no head, yeasty look.

S: Classic bourbon barrel nose, vanilla with sweet dried fruit.

T: Raisins and dates, heavy on the dried fruit flavour mixed with the malt. Some aged barleywine style malt, hint of oxidation.

M: Full-bodied, very light carbonation, soft, a sipper.

O: Not as good as the brandy for me, but this was a delightful effort. I wonder what it tastes like fresh.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.55/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Old Stock Ale Bourbon pours a old ale reddish brown color. With a slightly hard pour no head came up just some popping bubbles. A few swirls managed to produce some small white bubbles. No lacing, pretty much what I expected.

S- Right out of the bottle this pretty much smells like alcohol and malts. As this opens up the alcohol remains but a bunch of dark fruit and caramel come out wih the bourbon not far along. Some traces of sherry and sugars are there too. A very nice rich smelling beer with dank bourbon. This needs to be room temp to fuly understand

T- As with the smell this was pretty standard cold but got better when it came to. Loads of rich sweet malts with caramel. Not much hops as they faded, nothing at all really. The alcohol which usually distracts me from the beer works well in this. Bourbon soaked dark fruit like plums plus figs and raisins. Some hard alcohol like tastes, this one is great when it is warm, pointless to drink any other way.

M- Well above medium bodied with pretty low carbonation but there is some there. This one is sweet but boozy and still a bit hot after two some years. On par with an english old ale in which I believe this was inspired by.

D- 13.16%, that is alot, and it is noted in the taste. While the ABV is high this is very drinkable although it needs to be sipped and one is plenty although I kind of want to crack another one right now. Insanely expensive, kind of a rip off.

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

09 bottle split with onix1agr on the late.

A- a small cap of tan head that quickly vanishes to leave just a faint ring around the glass. Bordering on dark brown in color with a beautiful garnet glow when held to light.

S- caramel, vanilla, dark brown sugar with the smooth bourbon and light breadiness. I bet a bunch of toffee and its nice.

T- opens up bready and caramel sweet with a good amount of bourbon and a touch of vanilla. The barrel is big and slightly over powering to the rest of the brew. Some sherry like notes in the back.

M- about medium in body with a bright carb that really agitates the taste buds. Lots of heat still on this one.

O- this is tasty and well done but nothing all that spectacular. Ill try it on draft again if I see it but this bottle is far to pricey for another run.

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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.

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

A: This poured a hazy mahogany with a bit of light tan head.
S: It smelled like strong bourbon and oak and vanilla, with honey wheat and toffee and a bit of copper.
T: It tasted like sweet dark fruit and honey wheat and bourbon and vanilla and oak and toffee. Lots of little subtleties below that, but very much overshadowed by the huge flavors up front. It had a sweet and hot aftertaste.
M: It was thick and viscous with lots of carbonation. Very nice, but too bubbly.
D: This was simply a delicious beer that was clearly intended to age for a long time. The alcohol was very noticeable, the flavors were all super bold (perhaps a bit rough still), and it seemed intentionally over-carbonated. In 5-10 years, the alcohol will have mellowed, the flavors will have softened, and the carbonation will have settled. At that point, this will be a top beer. Fresh, it's very enjoyable but not worth the cost. I'll be sitting on my extra bottles for quite a while.

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Photo of jnn4v
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: light brown / stained hardwood color. No head at all. Some minor sediment. Translucent.

S: Amazing scent. Caramel, vanilla bourbon, shortbread, and butterscotch.

T: Clearly has a sharp edge to it with a strong bourbon taste, but honestly is very tasty to me (a bourbon fan). Cola, pumpernickel, caramel, rye, and other malty and bourbon and oak complexities all mingling.

M: Good carbonation, good viscosity, good density. All around nice texture.

O: Lovely beer with a lot of subtleties and complexity, despite the very strong bourbon flavors and 13% ABV. Seems like it'll only improve over time.

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

Lazy sunday afternoon, why not pop a nice sipper to enjoy.
Served at cellar temp.
When help up to the light, this thing has some real nice deep cherry hues, but is otherwise plum purple/black. The initial pour yields a rather vigorous tan colored head, holy carbonation. After the head dies down, a steady stream of bubbles consistently floats to the top. This much carbonation for a ~13% makes me a little nervous.
The bourbon aromas wafting out of the snifter are intense, coupled with a solid backbone of vanilla and toffee. I certainly cant be disappointed when i dont have to be anywhere near the glass to know whats laying within.
The flavors of the above mentioned are superb, but the carbonation level kind of gets to me. It should be mentioned that for the first half hour out of the bottle, its rather harshly carbonated, but it eases off a little bit after sitting for a while, and you start to get a little bit of creaminess out of it. Aside from this aspect, this brew has potential to become great with a few years in the bottle to mellow just a bit. Into the cellar my other bottle goes.

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Photo of Mavajo
4.07/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 4

Dark caramel color with a billowy cream/tan head. Aroma is mainly bourbon and caramel malt. Much of the same in the taste -- bourbon, big time caramel, vanilla. Very good taste -- Old Stock is a great candidate for bourbon barrel aging, since it already carries many of the falvors that bourbon aging imparts.

My major knock on this is the mouthfeel. Way, way overcarbonated in my opinion. Totally effervescent, almost like a soda. It gives it a sensation of being way too light and thin. That's not what I want from a 13% ABV barrel aged beer. It's odd, though, because this is the second time I've had this beer, and I don't remember it being over-carbonated the first time.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle. This is the 2009 vintage.

The beer pours a dark carmel color with a tan head. The aroma is full of bourbon, caramel and maple syrup. The aroma is definitely that of a bourbon-barrel aged beer and is quite enjoyable.

The flavor is more of the same. I get a lot of chocolate notes and caramel malt, as well as some bourbon and maple notes. There is also a little bit of vanilla from the barrel aging process. The alcohol is detectable but is not overpowering.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very nice.

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Photo of tbrown4
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared this bottle with my buddy Greg to celebrate a special occasion.

Duvel tulip

A - Murky dark brownish red. Very thin white head. Lots of carb streams. Looks a lot like cola.

S - Woody, bourbon, caramel sweet, strong alcohol

T - Savory, wood notes, obvious bourbon notes. Same caramel sweetness but with a rich sour & tart middle. Surprisingly finishes very clean with not much of an aftertaste.

M - Thin, fizy, light warmth

O - Very nice treat. This is a special beer. Very nice unique flavor profile for the style. It's easy to sip and I'm sure it'll develop and mellow out even more over time. It's quite pricey.

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Photo of alexhahn82
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my first review, so forgive if its not a standard style one.

I said this is my first review, not my first beer. This beer is spectacular, after uncorking there are only mild notes of bourbon when smelling the bottle. After poor it is a deep amber to brown color, poured into a wide mouth balloon wine glass due to my lack of appropriate hardware on hand to pour in. Very effervescent, light in body, strong in bourbon finish. This beer is the creme de la creme if you are a bourbon fan searching for a bourbon experience.

Don't take this the wrong way, just the literal way, this beer is very light and airy, but finishes with medium to strong bourbon tones and highlighted by vanilla notes and finishes with an effervescent bite, almost like a bourbon flavored soda, like I said don't take it the wrong way, upon finish you can't help but imagine how incredible this beer will be in 2, 3, even 4 years down the road, a MUST have.

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Photo of phishisphunk
3.59/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark clay looking bottle, corked and caged, served at cellar temp into a sniffer. A nice presentation from the folks at North Coast. Definetly something different.

A: a vigorous pour yields a transparent deep ruby red/brown ale with a short lived off white three finger head. The head recedes quickly with zero lacing left on the glass. After letting this one sit, it presents like a cognac with no legs....thin with little to no carbonation.

S: the nose presents a a bouquet of booze, toffee, carmel, and vanilla with hints of wet oak and coconut. The barrel is evident but I don't think the base holds it up enough and I'm fairly unimpressed.

T: the taste follows the nose pretty well. Vanilla, hints of coconut, with a mild tart berry like finish as it passes through the palate. The heat from the booziness is evident, but integrated well.

M: the beer feels smooth and well rounded. This one leaves you with a feeling of warmth on the inside. Overall the beer is still pretty hot.

D: I'm certainly glad to have tried and shared this one as I enjoy barrel aged beers, but something about this one didn't work for me and the old ale style. The body is a bit thin, it's pretty boozy, and the base beer feels emmacerated by the barrel. Most importantly, the hefty pricetag won't soon entice me into buying another. This one will hold up for a bit in the bottle if looking to cellar. Drink it if you must.

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

500mL corked and caged bottle. 2009 Vintage. Huge thanks to cjacobsen for sharing!

(A)- Pours a deep dark toasted brown caramel color that produced some off-white to tan froth that dissipated quickly.

(S)- A really nice dry oaky bourbon aroma up front. Lots of rich caramel, toffee, fig, and bits of a charred wood and almost sings of some dark-ish fruits. Plenty of bourbon in the smell, but I like it.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. Lots of rich and sweet caramel, toffee, fig, and a nice dry toasted oak nuance. Fairly bourbon forward being this fresh, but still meshes well.

(M)- A surprisingly higher carbonation level for the style, but it helps this out alot. Very rich and bourbon forward, but it fits well and does not throw its hefty ABV around.

(D)- A fantastic sipping old ale. The bourbon really enhances this well without completely taking over the beer. If this was cheaper, I would be all over lots more of this for longtime aging; I can see this getting even better in a few years.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed on 4-20-11
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A – Poured two fingers of foam, foam dissipated quickly. Brown reddish in color, good amount of carbonation present

S – Malty, heavy bourbon notes. Not much hop aroma being picked up

T/M – Smooth bourbon brew with sweet malts. Medium to lighter bodied brew with bourbon driving this bus

D – Excellent brew. Great birthday gift from Shango42. Big thanks for that. Nice easy sipper. Took about an hour to drink this bad boy. Couldn’t do more than a bottle of this. I am sitting on another bottle and very much so looking to see how this brew ages! I recommend picking up one or two and trying it!!

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

(A) Murky brown with a red tint to it. Pours with some head but ends up with none.

(S) Smells of booze, bourbon and the soaked oak. Has a bit of biscuit with fig and molasses to tie in. The nose is quite complex and big. It changes and enhances as it gets warmer. The bourbon comes out and some more sugars and raisin follow.

(T) Figs and other dark fruits along with a wet roast malt grain. The bourbon is there and opens up more with the warming in the glass. The alcohol is still pretty at large. I get a bit of toffee mixed in there as well.

(M) It's got a flatter smooth feel, almost oily. It's got a decent body to it but it's far from chewy.

I wasn't sure what to expect and with the reviews being so high, I had big expectations for it. It definitely lived up to it though. This will only continue to mature and get better as some time piles on to it.

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Photo of Drazzamatazz
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice lively pop to the bottle. First pour created a lot of fizz that quickly fades away to nothing, pretty expectable there. Beautiful glowing mahogany hue.

S: Lots of toffee and caramel in the base. Bourbon is very present along with vanilla from the wood. I'm getting some brown sugar and raisins. It smells almost like English bread pudding....yum. One of the most inviting noses I've experienced in awhile.

T: Bourbon is much smoother than expected here. Getting even more brown sugar and raisins than I did in the nose. Vanilla in toffee pop up right alongside one another. There's a lot of bourbon going on throughout the entire palette, but it never seems to overpower some of the more subtle flavors going on like maple syrup and ever so slight tobacco. Its just what you'd want from a barrel aged Old Ale; sweet, malty, complex, lots of bourbon and definitely wood presence.

M: Carbonation seemed like it was going to be prickly at first, but this one is intended to be sipped and once it opens up it mellows out perfectly. Medium body and definitely warming with each sip.

O: I hate to say it, but this one is worth the tall price and I'm definitely planning on going to get some more. A great base beer handled beautifully to create one of the most complex yet balanced bourbon barrel aged ales I've ever had. I can't wait to see how this one might age...and I feel like I won't be able to wait either.

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

500ml bottle poured into a large snifter shaped glass

Pours with surprising coarse carbonation, small fast-fading head, very active carbonation. Sort of a grayish brown color, somewhat cloudy (I poured to the last drop, so any sediment is mixed in with my beer at this point). Smell is alcoholic, damp, dark fruits like overripe cherries. Interesting.

Taste is surprisingly sweet, especially up front, but the alcohol really kicks you in the teeth at the end. It doesn't really detract from the beer (since that's pretty much an aspect of the style). I actually get a crazy mixture of fruit, and I can't identify much out of it, although I think I get a lot of black licorice or anise flavor, too.

Mouthfeel is rather thick and sticky, but somewhat lightened by the carbonation. Overall, pretty good.

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Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.35 out of 5 based on 1,072 ratings.
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