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

Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Brandy Barrels)Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Brandy Barrels)
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Old Ale
ABV:
15.2%
Score:
99
Avg:
4.51 | pDev: 7.54%
Reviews:
125
Ratings:
737
From:
North Coast Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  442
Gots
  179
SCORE
99
World-Class
Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Brandy Barrels)Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Brandy Barrels)
Notes: Vintages: 2005, 2011
View: Beers
Reviews: 125 | Ratings: 737 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Arbitrator:
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Arbitrator from California

4.97/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lightly chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks David.

After the disappointing lineup at T23 and realizing that I had missed all the good stuff in a bottle share later on, I thought, "F*** it" and shared this with my girlfriend and a friend in Berkeley. It redeemed the evening.

A: Pours a very dark, but still clear against the light, maroon body. Pulling out the cork produced just a small pop, and the head is consequently weak, composed of mostly large bubbles that quickly die off. Even the Duvel tulip etching doesn't bring out much carbonation. However, the beer doesn't need it. And at almost 15%, I'm certainly not going to expect more than what I got.

S: Even the bottle gives a strong whiff of grape / port before I've poured it. The beer is aggressively brandy-dominated, with strong notes of caramel, raisin, oak, dates. Even a touch of tobacco. Coconut and vanilla are noted. Still a small amount of booze, but nothing that singes the nose hairs, only imparts warmth. Outstanding.

T: While this is very barrel-defined, it's not barrel-dominated. That makes the difference for me. The base beer is (at least when young) fairly sweet and one-dimensional. The age has brought out some complexity, and the barrels amplify that in a very integrated way. Brandy, coconut, vanilla, dates, and raisins are all noticed immediately. Rather than producing cloying sweetness, they work with the tannins and tobacco-ey flavors to balance the beer. I pick up brown sugar, caramel, and honey (shut up, Arne). The finish has some heat to it and carries lingering brandy and barrel flavors.

M: While this beer has heat to it, I think it's just the right amount for a 15% beer. It's not solventy or even hot, just slightly warm. It's not particularly viscous or bursting with sugars; its viscosity is medium-full, though it is decidedly full in flavor. Pretty much the sweet spot of my palate.

D: The girlfriend wasn't a big fan of this, so I wound up enjoying most of her pour, too. I had no trouble putting down a lot of it, though obviously it's big beer and not something I SHOULD be drinking a lot of. If it came out again, I'd get it, no questions. Hopefully they won't charge $20 a pint or whatever they were asking for Old Rasputin XII.

Aug 16, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of mig100
mig100 from Texas

4.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a thick burgundy with about a 3mm head and slight swirl, which quickly fades to almost nothing. Smells incredible... apples, brandy, toffee, raisins, figs... wow. Taste is an apple-brandy explosion with full and rich caramel and toffee notes. Incredible drink down and mouthfeel for 15.2% as well.

Overall, this puts the bourbon barrel aged version to shame. If you didn't like that version and you see this on the shelf, do not hesitate to buy it. This is a world class and decadent brew, and the best old ale or brandy-barrel beer I've ever had.

Sep 28, 2015
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barczar from Kentucky

4.41/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is rich, with big nutty toffee notes, rich, buttery caramel, and molasses, the combination of which gives a perception of fudgy brownies. Brandy and oak are prevalent throughout. Hints of dates, raisins, and figs pale in comparison to the booze and caramelized malt notes.

Flavor is very rich and sweet, with dark fruit opening up the profile, providing contrast to prevent the initial taste from becoming cloying. The finish is dry and fairly woody. Raisins and prunes fade to fig sweetness that lingers throughout. Subsequent sips reveal an almost vinous oxidation that opens the stage for vanilla to shine through. Exceedingly complex beer. The finish still has a very hot character to it, but the sweet molasses and treacle notes redeem. The interplay of flavors comes across differently with every taste. I only wish there were a bit more body to make the malt flavors linger a bit more.

Jun 02, 2015
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Stevedore from Oregon

4.49/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 cork and caged 500ml bottle. Served in a snifter glass 5 years later.

Pours a dark caramel brown body, half finger white head, short retention, some lacing. Looks hefty and substantial as it comes out of the bottle. Smell is caramel, molasses, dark fruit, sweet brandy, oak, even a touch of chocolate. This is crazy complex. Flavour is similarly complex with tons of honey, molasses, dark fruit and caramel, with lots of big brandy presence. At first it's got no booze and lots of complexity to it. As it warms, more caramel and heat comes out. Mouthfeel is full bodied, slick, viscous with a nice sweet molasses and brandy warmth on the finish. I can't believe I haven't had this so far, but this is a ridiculously good barrel aged old ale that nobody should sleep on.

May 20, 2016
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Intensely brandied and with the firm foundation of Old Stock Ale, this ale zings with savory, spicy and sweet flavors that carry a seriously adult attitude.

Brandy-Barrel Cellar Reserve Old Stock Ale kicks off with a creamy brandy pour- its color is a tawny ruddy brown with dark crimson threads. Mostly clear, its brandy and port influences reign even more true. Its part-froath, part-spritzy head is tarnish and only hangs around for the first few minutes of the session as the beer's alcohol has certainly compromised its foam character to further reinforce its brandy, cognac or sherry-like appearances.

Its incredible aromas are poignant, succulent, sweet and powerfully complex as the malt opens up with toasted maple and butter pecan notes. Its fruity follow-up includes all things dark and dried fruit- cherries, dates, figs, raisins, plumbs prunes and stewed red grapes. As the alcohol intensifies, the scent of undeniable brandy comes to mind, but so do more savory and sweeter alcohol is port wine, sherry, rosey and with cognac-type spice.

And then to taste, much of the same transpires as the malty sweetness of toffee, maple, butter, nuts and toast saturate the taste buds. As the complex alcohol flavors fold in, the sweetness turns to savory flavors of sherry, umami-rich soy, light sauce, light tar and an almost salty-meaty combination rises. The brandy influences are dense and condensed allowing the grape to turn more plumby, raisiny and rich with dates and figs. A tinge of cherry and oak signal a turn to closure while sharp peppercorn, cognac, and lacquer.

Its full, yet understated body is dense and creamy-sweet early while the malts and alcohol sweetness blankets the mouth, but its relatively moderate attenuation dries the beer's finish into a semi-drinkable, feathery texture that gives greater rise to the impressions of alcohol to really spice things up as the beer closes. Its long, spicy and savory finish is the perfect after diner digestive- paired with nuts, blue stilton and great company.

The beer is incredibly complex and it reveals a lot of aromas, tastes and texture in short order. It's put together beautifully as all the flavors strike the right place on the mouth and at the right time. The fruitier and spicier taste from brandy barrels give the ale something unexpected and truly majestic!

Jan 08, 2014
Photo of Resuin
Resuin from Massachusetts

4.62/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a snifter. This is from 2011, so 4-5 years since bottling.

A: Pours a hazy dark brown and leaves a finger of light tan head. Looks a bit murky, which makes sense. (4)

S: Sugar coated figs, oak, grapes, toffee, chocolate. (4.5)

T: Oak, grapes, caramel, figs, plums, grapes, big toffee finish. Superb balance and blend of flavors. I figured this for 11 or 12%. Perhaps time has mellowed it, but it's drinking great. (4.75)

M: Medium to full body with low to med. carb and just a touch sticky.

O: Some great flavors in here - sweet and delicious. This beer has held together very well. (4.75)

Jan 07, 2016
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ajs4bd from Missouri

4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Nov 27, 2014
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mportnoy from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

May 06, 2014
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Narthax from Texas

4.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mar 28, 2015
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stogirelli from Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

May 24, 2014
Photo of booga73
booga73 from Michigan

4.58/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jun 02, 2015
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

4.64/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

01/16/2014

Thanks to Pacamacca for 2011 vintage of brandy Old Stock!

500ml C&C bottle poured into tulip glass.

Vintage 2011.

Tonight we drank 2011 Old Stock Cellar Reserve (aged in brandy barrels) side by side with 2009 Old Stock Cellar Reserve (aged in bourbon barrels) and a bottle of the base beer: North Coast Old Stock Ale. It was epic!

Appearance: murky brown bodied beer with a full finger of whispy head that drops to no head at all fairly quickly. 3.75

Smell: Huge brandy notes and dark fruits. Caramel and toffee. Big oak presence. This beer smells great, but slightly boozey. 4.75

Taste: Brandy barrel forward Old Ale is my immediate impression upon first sip. Lots of dark fruits and brandy influence. Brown sugar, toffee, maple, and butterscotch. Lots of oak goodness. Flavors are very robust and will only get better with time as this beer mellows. 4.75

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer that is almost a full bodied beer. Low carbonation levels that almost reach moderate carbonation levels. Warming alcohol and slightly boozey fresh, but it does not hinder this beer at all. I would honestly say that its ridicously smooth for an over 15% abv beer. 4.75

Overall: I really liked this beer fresh; and its fantastic with age. Its probably one of the best bandy barrel aged beers that I have drank. No doubt this will cellar well, just like the bourbon old stock does and has proved to me. North Coast has a world class barrel aging program; especially giving reguards to barrel aging old ales. Glad I have a few more bottles of 2011 brandy Old Stock they drink great fresh of with age! 4.5

Score: 4.64
___________________

2/14/2013

huge thanks to sean9689 for trading this bottle!

375ml C&C bottle poured into tulip glass.

Vintage 2005.

Appearance: dark brown bodied beer with a thin cap thats almost a full finger of light brown head resulting from a hard pour. Head drops quickly down to no head at all. 3.0

Smell: This smells awesome! Nice sweet notes are smelt without even putting my nose into the glass. Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and dark fruits(big raisins, figs, and dates)! Such big coconut notes! Also wood and sweet boooze that smells like its really smooth. Little hint of oxidation. 4.75

Taste: Its a well balanced barrel aged beer. Dark fruits, caramel and boat loads of raisins. Hints of coconuts, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, and molasses. Getting some decent oak notes as well. Also a bit of a vinous note and a hint of oxidation. The aftertaste is both oaky and full of raisins. 4.5

Mouthfeel: high end of a medium bodied beer almost a full bodied beer with low carbonation levels. Thick and viscious beer that does get to be syrupy or cloying at anytime. The low levels of carbonation are just the right amount that keeps the beer from feeling too thick on the palate. Just a nice warming booze here thats really effortless to sip on and enjoy. Not harshness from this beer at all. Great sipping beer on a cold winter night. 4.5

Overall: The barrel and malt profile really strikes a nice balance. Its still gotta a nice amount of carbonation. 4.5

This is the highest rated beer made by North Coast. This is without a doubt the oldest beer that I have ever drank; its 8 years old. It has held up very, very well. I gotta say I very am impressed at how well that this beer has aged. I do enjoy the Bourbon Old Stock a little bit more, but the bourbon was vintage 2009 and isnt as old as this bottle of 2005 Brandy Old Stock. Maybe I will hold on to a bottle of 2009 Bourbon and see if it is as good as the Brandy when it reaches 8 years old...I wish that I could have a chance at trying this beer fresh, sooo... North Coast you guys should really brew this beer again! Not many Brandy barrel aged beers out there and I think that I would like to see more of them!

Score: 4.49

Feb 14, 2013
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djbrown13 from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Jul 30, 2014
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Goddamn_Drunk from California

5/5  rDev +10.9%

Apr 15, 2014
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Jmoore50 from Nevada

4.49/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I received a call from my buddy James saying that we need to drink the Brandy and Bourbon Old Stocks. After I changed my pants I rushed over and split these bottles with him. Brandy is better than the Bourbon.

The appearance on this one is a thick hazelnut color with lighter edges. It still has a very good carbonation and when poured produces some good bubbles. It leaves a very thick leg on the glass.

The smell is outstanding, it is dominated by Brandy smells and flavors. I am actually not the largest fan of regular Old Stock, so I was a bit skeptical going in to these. Well this smells like chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, toffee, and booze. I couldn't stop sniffing it.

When served it was straight out of the cellar, so it was on the cooler side. On first sip we were both pleased by what we were tasting, lots of strong barrel flavors accompanied by vanilla, toffee, cocoa, caramel. As the bottle and glass warmed up the Brandy started to come out more and reveal a strong alcohol presence. The liquor that was held in these barrels before the beer was complex, and it carries over into this beer.

It was heavy on the palate with a higher level of carbonation for this style. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard a 'pop' from the cork. As this beer warms it starts to turn into a liquor more than a beer with the alcohol becoming very apparent. With that said, I do have to say that I would not guess that the beer comes in at a 14.7% ABV.

A sipper, but when consumed it was colder and a perfect beer for a Saturday afternoon. Delicious.

J

Oct 19, 2010
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kbrown from Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -22.4%

Oct 18, 2014
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Sinzanasti from Ohio

4.62/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Feb 22, 2015
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Alieniloquium from Florida

4/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2011 bottle.

Appearance - Deep nutty brown. Small khaki head that diminishes quickly. Nothing after a while.

Smell - Fruity brandy aroma. Lots of vanilla. Caramel malt. Buckets of vanilla, though.

Taste - Even more vanilla. Brandy is quite nice. Normally I'm not a huge fan of brandy, but this really works. Oaky with a hint of astringency. Dark fruits and caramel.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with medium carbonation. A little boozy,

Overall - The barrel is very nice. Vanilla is one of the best components of the brandy barrel and it augments this beer well.

Jan 14, 2014
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lupercmda from North Carolina

4.89/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW. A nice thick brown pour. Smells of the toffee and caramel and the brandy barrel. Nice thick mouth feel is immediately felt. Tastes of the caramel, toffee and molasses with a hint of figs and raisins. A sweet beer that oozes the wonderfulness of the apple brandy barrel. Almost perfect beer!!!

Apr 04, 2015
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jluck2001 from California

5/5  rDev +10.9%

Sep 27, 2014
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jampics2 from Ohio

5/5  rDev +10.9%

May 27, 2014
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Brewski from Pennsylvania

4.49/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Feb 18, 2015
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Stillyman11 from California

4.13/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Mar 28, 2015
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gcasher from Pennsylvania

4.88/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

May 19, 2015
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hollywood_15063 from Pennsylvania

4.89/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Apr 30, 2015
Old Stock Cellar Reserve (Aged In Brandy Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 737 ratings